Everything you love about broccoli cheddar soup is piled into this cozy broccoli cheddar pasta bake! Ready in less than an hour and sure to become a regular on any dinner rotation.
Everyone loves the soup sooooo…it only makes sense that the baked pasta version needed to happen asap.
While we’re obviously loyal fans to the almighty Panera broccoli cheddar soup, this pasta is most definitely giving it a run for it’s money.
Unsurprisingly, pasta tends to have that effect on most things.
We’re loading up this pasta bake with a mountain of tender broccoli, a purely ridiculous amount of cheddar, and the creamiest sauce ever. It all works out.
This Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Bake features…
- Tender broccoli and pasta baked in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce.
- A crunchy breadcrumb topping.
- Less than an hour to make with several make ahead options!
Making the Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Bake
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- All-purpose flour
- Chicken broth
- Heavy whipping cream
- Cheddar cheese
- Panko breadcrumbs
Choosing Your Pasta
This recipe works great with a variety of pasta! We love using ziti, rigatoni, penne, elbows, or even a longer cut such as angel hair or spaghetti.
Tips for Perfect Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Bake
- Par-cook broccoli – steam the broccoli just until crisp-tender – it will finish cooking in the oven.
- Use a roux as base for sauce – melted butter + flour with sauteed shallot and garlic provides a very flavorful sauce base.
- Use 12 oz pasta – we found that 12 oz was the perfect pasta-to-sauce ratio.
- Bake pasta at 400F – this temperature bakes up the casserole fast and browns the breadcrumbs perfectly.
Try these suggestions for a different spin on this pasta!
- Add more veggies – sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, baby spinach, or sweet pepper would be great extra veggie additions.
- Make it cheesier – feel free to add more cheeses such as Parmesan, mozzarella, or colby jack.
- Add meat – cooked chicken, sausage, or bacon would be the perfect additions to make this pasta a meaty version.
Make Ahead Instructions
Follow these instructions for make ahead options!
- Cook pasta and steam broccoli and store in fridge up to 3 days in advance.
- Assemble casserole and store in refrigerator up to 3 days. When ready to bake, top with breadcrumbs and add an additional 5 minutes if baking from cold.
Trust me, you’re going to love this killer pasta ever more than the classic soup! We love that it can be prepped ahead of time too for a stress-free weeknight dinner.
It’s about to be everyone’s favorite, just you wait.
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
More hot and cheesy pasta dishes you might want to try next!
Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Bake
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1-1/4 cups 2% or skim milk
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 oz pasta (rigatoni, penne, etc) cooked according to package instructions
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
- Place broccoli in a steamer basket set above simmering water. Steam broccoli 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender. Immediately plunge broccoli in ice water to cool quickly and drain. Set aside for a moment.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallot and saute until tender. Whisk in garlic and flour and cook 2-3 minutes until flour is golden-brown.
- Slowly begin drizzling in chicken broth, milk, and heavy whipping cream until sauce is smooth. Bring sauce to a low simmer and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup shredded cheddar, carrots, broccoli, and pasta until evenly coated. Season pasta with salt and pepper to taste.
- Scrape pasta into prepared baking dish and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheddar and breadcrumbs over top. Bake pasta at 400F 25-30 minutes until pasta is bubbly and topping is golden-brown. Serve pasta warm and enjoy!