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Cheesy pasta bake recipe

Cheesy pasta bake recipe

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Can’t choose between cauliflower cheese or macaroni and cheese? This veg-charged hybrid is a real winner. It works particularly well with leafy greens and broccoli, but feel free to mix it up with whatever veg you have available. See method

  • Serves 12
  • 30 mins, plus chopping


  • 1kg cauliflower, broccoli or a mixture of both
  • 750g leafy greens (kale, spinach, peas)
  • 800g dried pasta (penne, farfalle, macaroni)
  • 5ml olive oil
  • 2 litres white base sauce
  • 2 tsp yellow or Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 230g hard cheese
  • 500g stale white or brown bread (optional)
If you haven't got any brown bread, try using white bread instead


  1. Preheat the oven 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
  2. Break the cauliflower and broccoli into florets. 
  3. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, adding the cauliflower and broccoli for the last 4 minutes, then drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water.
  4. Remove and discard any tough stalky bits from the leafy greens, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Place a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients on a medium heat with the olive oil. Add the greens and cook for 3 minutes or until wilted.
  6. Add the white sauce, mustard (if using) and pasta. Grate over the cheese and give everything a good mix, adding a splash of cooking water to loosen. Season to taste.
  7. Transfer to a large deep baking tray (60x40cm).
  8. Tear the bread (if using) into small chunks and whiz in a food processor to chunky crumbs. Scatter the breadcrumbs over the pasta and season with a little black pepper.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

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