Cheesy Broccoli Tomato Pasta Bake

This macaroni and cheese-style pasta bake is made even better with roasted broccoli, roasted tomatoes, and whole grain pasta.

Roasted tomatoes and broccoli make this mac and cheese-style pasta something special. | Kristine's Kitchen

The other day, the infamous “What’s for dinner?” question came up in my house. I had a plan (as I usually do) but didn’t feel like eating what I’d planned for. What’s a busy mom of two to do? Make macaroni and cheese, of course!

 

Mac and cheese is always a winner with the kids, and this time I upped the nutritional value by adding some roasted broccoli and roasted tomatoes. My whole family loves roasted vegetables, and who can resist broccoli coated in a creamy, cheesy sauce? Not I.

 

I used whole-wheat penne because that’s the only short pasta shape that I had on hand in my cupboard. We loved this with the penne, and I think it would also be great with shells. Shells are my kids’ favorite, so I’ll likely try those next time.

Roasted tomatoes and broccoli make this mac and cheese-style pasta something special. | Kristine's Kitchen

The tomatoes and broccoli roast together in the same pan, until the tomatoes burst and the broccoli starts to crispen and caramelize. While the vegetables roast, you boil the pasta and make the cheese sauce. Then you mix it all together, sprinkle on a Panko crumb topping, and bake until the Panko become golden and crisp.

Roasted tomatoes and broccoli make this mac and cheese-style pasta something special. | Kristine's Kitchen

We make mac and cheese pretty often in our house, and I’m glad to have this recipe to add into my rotation. I like that it has all of the cheesy pasta taste we love, but with some extra nutritional value thanks to the vegetables and whole grain pasta.

 

This pasta bake comes together fairly quickly, so it’s possible to make it on a weeknight. The leftovers are great for lunches in the coming days. This Cheesy Broccoli Tomato Pasta Bake is comfort food that your whole family will enjoy.

Roasted tomatoes and broccoli make this mac and cheese-style pasta something special.  Kristine's Kitchen

Cheesy Broccoli Tomato Pasta Bake
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 8
 
This macaroni and cheese-style pasta bake is made even better with roasted broccoli, roasted tomatoes, and whole grain pasta.
Ingredients
For the pasta:
  • 1 crown broccoli, cut into florets (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups (16 oz.) grape or cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 16 oz. pasta shapes (I used whole-wheat penne)
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. dry mustard
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) sharp cheddar cheese
For the topping:
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place broccoli florets and tomatoes in a baking dish. Toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes burst and broccoli begins to brown, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 375.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to the pot.
  4. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and then garlic, dry mustard, and cayenne. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Whisk in milk and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just comes to a low boil and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, a little bit at a time.
  5. Pour cheese sauce over pasta. Chop broccoli into small pieces. Stir broccoli and tomatoes into cheesy pasta. Pour into a baking dish that you've lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Stir together Panko and 1 tbsp. melted butter. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake, uncovered, until top just begins to turn golden, about 15 minutes.
Source: Kristine's Kitchen original.

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Comments

  1. Thèses pâtes looks so healthy even with the cream! It’s perfect for a dinner with family!

  2. The way you described the bursted tomatoes has my mouth watering!!

  3. oh I love a good baked pasta!!! and love the addition of the roasted veggies!! always good in my book! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  4. One of my favorite ways to eat broccoli is in pasta…with cheese! Love that this is a baked pasta too, something just makes it extra yummy when you bake it off until it’s bubbly and melted! Pinned for later, thanks Kristine ;)

  5. I so much identify with what you’re describing! I’ll plan weekly meals for the family and then not feel like making any of it. I just want to get sushi and call it a night! But when you have kids…not an option!
    This recipe is completely up my alley. I will be making this later in the week! Can’t wait to roast those tomatoes.

    • Most days I’m happy sticking with my plan, but I totally have those nights where I’d much rather order take-out. Like you, I usually resist because it’s just not worth it. And once I’ve made dinner, I’m always happy I saved the money and cooked us something more nutritious.

      If you try this pasta, I hope you like it! We sure did!

  6. My kids could eat mac and cheese everyday of the week if I let them. That also goes for any type of pasta. I love that you roasted the broccoli and tomatoes. I need to try that :D

    • You definitely need to try roasting your broccoli and tomatoes! They are so good that way, especially when mixed with some cheesy pasta! :)

  7. I’m about as picky as any child, so I need help sneaking in those veggies sometimes! This pasta bake looks like a great way for me to hide some tomatoes and broccoli (new to my list of veggies I like) while still enjoying them in a cheesy pasta!

    • I’m glad I can help you sneak more veggies into your meals. :) The broccoli and tomatoes are certainly delicious in this pasta! Have you tried roasting veggies? My kids like them so much better that way.

  8. Woah, now this is making me hungry ;-) I love that you added some roasted broccoli and roasted tomatoes. Thanks for sharing ;-)

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