Simple Recipe: Cheesy Broccoli, Cauliflower & Pasta Bake

  • Cheesy Broccoli, Cauliflower & Pasta Bake
  • Cheesy Broccoli, Cauliflower & Pasta Bake

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Recipe Description - Cheesy Broccoli, Cauliflower & Pasta Bake

Many years ago I worked as a mental health counselor for a couple of board & care facilities. Among the many duties, we were supposed to perform was the great task of cooking for 18 people, sometimes up to 40 depending on whether we had something special planned for our clients. Needless to say, I got really good at cooking for a small army and prided myself in being the cook all of the clients wanted to make their meals for them (some of my coworkers were, sadly, not very adept in the kitchen). Unfortunately, a lot of the recipes we worked from were not in the healthiest vein, partly because of what was donated to us and partly because there is only so much a non-profit can actually afford to buy. Still, there were wonderful things I ended up doing to pork loin and chicken (culinarily, of course, for my naughty-minded friends who read this) and I think the whole experience really helped me hone my Poor Girl skills long before I became said, Girl.

The following recipe is a healthier adaptation of a very simple, non-rocket-science, an easy-to-make casserole that my crisis house clients used to love, mainly because of the insane amount of cheese that was involved. I know, I know, I was just praising myself in my last post for my ability to get over the cheese addiction, but I didn’t say I was totally over my favorite dairy product! I can just control it better these days. 🙂 Though this has a fair amount of cheese to be pleasing, I use non-fat milk, brown rice pasta, and fresh broccoli & cauliflower to make the sinful stuffed cheesy broccoli, cauliflower & pasta bake. The original version calls for about double this amount of cheese, a ton of white pasta, and Velveeta (for crying out loud!), not to mention half a chicken or so, making it a caloric nightmare.

Cheesy Broccoli, Cauliflower & Pasta Bake
The excess of measurements alone also made the original a rather costly affair, the only redeeming quality is that I could make use of the vegetables I knew my clients wouldn’t eat otherwise (Moms & dads of finicky eaters, take note: this is one possible way to get those veggies into otherwise reluctant little mouths!). By reducing the amount of cheese, omitting the chicken, and throwing in those vegetable remnants that sometimes get forgotten in the refrigerator drawers, this goes down not only in calories & fat grams but in price as well. Of course, if you have some available and want to add a little bit of leftover chicken, by all means, do so! But I wouldn’t suggest going out of your way to add it unless you are looking to make this the entrée for your meal. This is a great meatless entree but works far better as a side in my opinion. Let’s check out this super-simple but comfort-foodie recipe: cheesy broccoli, cauliflower & pasta bake.
Cheesy Broccoli, Cauliflower & Pasta Bake

Details Recipe Information - Cheesy Broccoli, Cauliflower & Pasta Bake

Tools

Product imagesProduct namesCheck Price
Instant Omni Plus Air Fryer Toaster Oven
11 in 1, 26L, Rotisserie, Reheat Pizza, XL. With this large capacity oven, you can toast 6 pieces of bread at the same time, bake a 12” pizza, make a cake, or even roast a whole chicken
Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 1-Quart Covered Straining Saucepan - - Silver
Saucepan with straining lid and pour spout, featuring a thick aluminum core surrounded by stainless steel provides rapid, versatile heat locking lid, oven-safe, easy cleaning saucepan, lifetime warranty.
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (Set of 6)
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set - Easy To Clean, Nesting Bowls for Space Saving Storage, Great for Cooking, Baking, Prepping
Cuisinart Chef's Classic Ceramic Bakeware-2 Quart Medium Rectangular Baker, Red
Commercial Quality Stoneware, Thick wall, Heavy Weight, Virtually Non-Porous, Oversized, High thermal shock resistance, Dishwasher Safe.

Ingredients

Method

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small saucepan combine the milk, cream of mushroom soup, garlic, and salt & pepper, and whisk together over medium-low heat until smooth.

Step 2:

Combine the pasta, broccoli, cauliflower, and 3/4 cup of cheese in a large bowl and add the mushroom soup, folding everything together so it’s evenly mixed.

Step 3:

Lightly spray a 9″ x 12″ casserole dish with cooking spray and add the pasta & veggie mixture. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted & bubbly.

Step 4:

Serve as a side or with a salad as a meatless entree and enjoy!

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