Broccoli and Cheese Alfredo Pasta Bake
This broccoli and cheese Alfredo pasta bake is creamy, cozy, vegetarian comfort food!
Servings 4 people
- 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
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.
- 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.
Serving: 1/4 of the recipe | Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1141mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 607IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 284mg | Iron: 1mg