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A quick and easy dinner with just a handful of simple ingredients! This broccoli and cheese Alfredo pasta bake is creamy, cozy comfort food. Pair the vegetarian casserole with a simple side salad and garlic bread for a hearty and satisfying meatless meal.

Overhead shot of a fork in a bowl of alfredo pasta

Vegetarian Alfredo Pasta Bake

If you’re trying to save some money at the grocery store, or if you just want to eat less meat for a variety of other reasons, a hearty vegetarian Alfredo pasta bake is a great way to bring your family together around the table. There’s no chicken in this Alfredo pasta (although you can certainly add it!), but it’s still a satisfying dinner thanks to a creamy sauce, plenty of cheese, and perfectly-tender fresh broccoli. It’s a simple throw-together meal that you can easily assemble at the end of a busy day, or prep in advance for your most hectic nights.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pan of baked Alfredo pasta with broccoli. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Pasta: I used fusilli here, but any similar short cut pasta will work. Other good options include penne, rotini, rigatoni, farfalle (bow ties), and elbows.
  • Broccoli: fresh broccoli florets cook right in the pasta water, but frozen broccoli is fine as well.
  • Basil: fresh herbs are best here, but you can substitute with dried basil in a pinch.
  • Alfredo sauce: use a jar of store-bought sauce for a convenient shortcut, or make your favorite homemade Alfredo from scratch.
  • Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses: for rich cheesy flavor and ooey, gooey texture. I actually love a 5-cheese Italian blend instead of just plain mozzarella.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
Boiled pasta and broccoli in a colander

Do you cook noodles before adding to casserole?

While it’s possible to make a casserole with uncooked pasta, this specific recipe calls for boiling the noodles before adding them to the casserole. The baking time in the oven is shorter, since you’re just heating everything through. This also ensures that the pasta is cooked perfectly, and doesn’t get overdone.

How can I make Alfredo pasta taste better?

Spice up a jar of store-bought Alfredo sauce to suit your personal taste preferences. I’ve kept it as simple as possible here, with just fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Additional options to amp up the flavor in the sauce include extra garlic cloves or garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, extra fresh herbs or dried herbs (such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, chives, and oregano), or a spoonful of sour cream.

Pouring Alfredo sauce into a pot

What can you add to Alfredo Pasta?

If you want to bulk up the dish even more, you can add cooked meat, such as the shredded meat from a rotisserie chicken, shrimp, or Italian sausage. You can also include extra vegetables like sauteed zucchini, spinach, onion, yellow squash, eggplant, tomatoes, frozen peas, sauteed mushrooms, or cooked cauliflower. If you add more ingredients to the casserole, you’ll need to add some extra Alfredo sauce as well.

What is the best cheese for Alfredo sauce?

For this alfredo casserole, I recommend shredded mozzarella or a 5-cheese Italian blend that includes mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, asiago, and romano, as well as grated Parmesan cheese.

Sprinkling shredded mozzarella cheese on top of a casserole

How to Bake Alfredo Pasta

This cheesy vegetarian casserole comes together quickly and easily. Assemble it in advance for even faster weeknight dinners!

  1. Cook pasta and broccoli in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain off the excess liquid.
  2. Stir in the basil and Alfredo sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer the pasta mixture to a greased 2-quart baking dish.
  4. Cover and bake in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top and return the casserole to the oven, uncovered, until the cheese melts — about 5-10 more minutes. I like to place the dish under the broiler for the final few minutes so that the cheese browns on top, but that’s not necessary.
  6. Garnish with additional chopped fresh herbs and serve!
Serving spoon in a dish of broccoli cheese Alfredo pasta bake

What to Serve with Baked Alfredo Pasta with Broccoli

Pair this easy Alfredo pasta bake with any of the following sides:

Broccoli and cheese alfredo pasta bake in a bowl

Make Ahead

This is the ultimate prep-ahead meal to get dinner on the table quickly and easily — even on busy nights. Assemble the casserole, wrap tightly, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.

When preparing this casserole in advance, I recommend using extra Alfredo sauce. As the dish sits, the pasta will absorb some of the sauce, and you don’t want to end up with a dry casserole.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat the casserole in a 350°F oven, covered with aluminum foil, just until warmed through (about 20 minutes). You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for about 30 seconds – 1 minute.

I do not recommend freezing the Alfredo pasta. Any dairy-based sauces tend to separate (or “break”) when thawed, resulting in a very undesirable texture.

Recipe Variations

  • Any short pasta will work in this dish. I used fusilli here, but other good options include penne pasta, rotini, rigatoni, farfalle (bow ties), and elbows.
  • Add meat such as rotisserie chicken, Italian sausage, or shrimp.
  • Use different veggies in lieu of the broccoli, or add extra veggies to bulk up the casserole. Try frozen mixed vegetables, corn, canned or frozen green beans, drained canned diced tomatoes, steamed or parboiled cauliflower florets, drained diced pimentos, sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, onion, yellow squash, eggplant, or frozen peas.
  • Jazz up the dish and make it spicy by adding a dash of cayenne pepper to the creamy sauce, or garnish individual servings with crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Season the pasta with extra herbs, such as fresh parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or chives.
  • Finish the casserole with a buttered breadcrumb topping before baking.
Square overhead shot of a pan of broccoli and cheese Alfredo pasta bake

Tips for the Best Alfredo Pasta Bake Recipe

  • If you like a “saucier” casserole, you’ll want to add some extra Alfredo sauce to the dish. As written, the casserole isn’t too wet. This is especially important if you’re assembling the pasta bake in advance, since the pasta will absorb some of the sauce as it sits in the fridge.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Boil the noodles for 1 minute shy of al dente, so that they still have a firm bite. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Bake the casserole just until it’s heated through. All of the ingredients are already cooked, so you just want to warm it in the oven. Don’t bake it for too long or it will dry out and the noodles will get mushy.
  • To serve a larger group, double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.

More Pasta Bakes to Try

Square overhead shot of a pan of broccoli and cheese Alfredo pasta bake

Broccoli and Cheese Alfredo Pasta Bake

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 514 kcal
This broccoli and cheese Alfredo pasta bake is creamy, cozy, vegetarian comfort food!

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups uncooked short cut pasta (I use about 8 ounces of fusilli)
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • 1 ¾ cups Alfredo sauce, store-bought or homemade (I use a 15 ounce jar) Tip: use extra sauce for a creamier, saucier casserole
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese or 5-cheese Italian blend
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: additional chopped fresh basil or other herbs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted boiling water for 1 minute less than the package directions for al dente. During the final 3 minutes of cooking time, add the broccoli florets to the boiling water with the pasta. Drain.
  • Stir the basil and Alfredo sauce into the pot with the drained pasta and broccoli. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  • Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes, just until warmed through.
  • Remove the cover, sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and return to the oven (uncovered) until the cheese melts, about 5-10 more minutes. If you prefer the cheese brown and crisp on top, place the dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes instead.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh herbs and serve.

Notes

  • If you like a “saucier” casserole, you’ll want to add some extra Alfredo sauce to the dish. As written, the casserole isn’t too wet. This is especially important if you’re assembling the pasta bake in advance, since the pasta will absorb some of the sauce as it sits in the fridge.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Boil the noodles for 1 minute shy of al dente, so that they still have a firm bite. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Bake the casserole just until it’s heated through. All of the ingredients are already cooked, so you just want to warm it in the oven. Don’t bake it for too long or it will dry out and the noodles will get mushy.
  • To serve a larger group, double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.
  • Any short pasta will work in this dish. I used fusilli here, but other good options include penne, rotini, rigatoni, farfalle (bow ties), and elbows.
  • Add meat such as rotisserie chicken, Italian sausage, or shrimp.
  • Use different veggies in lieu of the broccoli, or add extra veggies to bulk up the casserole. Try frozen mixed vegetables, corn, canned or frozen green beans, drained canned diced tomatoes, steamed or parboiled cauliflower florets, drained diced pimentos, sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, onion, yellow squash, eggplant, or frozen peas.
  • Jazz up the dish and make it spicy by adding a dash of cayenne pepper to the creamy sauce, or garnish individual servings with crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Season the pasta with extra fresh herbs or dried herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or chives.
  • Finish the casserole with a buttered breadcrumb topping before baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 514kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 21gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1141mgPotassium: 290mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 607IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 284mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: Alfredo Bake, alfredo pasta bake, alfredo pasta casserole, vegetarian alfredo pasta bake
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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