My kids love white sauce pasta and so do I especially, Broccoli Pasta Bake. It was one of the few vegetarian options in one of my office parties and I instantly fell in love with it.
When I came back home I kept reminiscing the taste so much that my hubby asked me to make baked broccoli pasta for him and the kids. So the very same week I decided to give it a try at home.
It was easy to make and got rave reviews from a couple of tough critiques, my kids. It was truly very satisfying and to some extent relief when a dish is liked by all in the family and this dish is certainly one of them in my family.
I found it easy to cook and the recipe has the flexibility to make it the way you like by adding veggies and sauces of your choice and by baking it for the main course or simply use it as
Why cook pasta in the instant pot?
Boiling pasta on cooktop has always been a challenge, as it can stay undercooked or get overcooked and there is always a chance of water overflow the moment your attention veers away from the boiling pot.
Also, straining pasta is not fun and requires a lot of caution with excited small kids running around the kitchen area. Instant Pot has been a boon for me and simplified cooking pasta to a great extent.
There is no need to bring the water to rolling boil before adding pasta nor monitoring it continuously. This reduces overall time to cook pasta. It also uses less water as only the amount needed to cook it is required to be added.
Pasta cooked in Instant Pot tastes much better as instant pot infuses the flavors in the dish and does not let it escape in steam. Bottom line, I am not going back to cooking Pasta on my cook top.
How to cook pasta in the instant pot?
In order to cook pasta in Instant Pot, I use 1 cup water for every cup of pasta.
Add some salt and set it on the pressure settings to 0 minutes. Once done, wait for 6 minutes to release the remaining pressure manually. This is needed to avoid pasta from overcooking.
Releasing the pressure by turning the pressure knob to venting position and letting the steam release.
Since pasta has starch, it can throw out starchy water along with the steam. If this happens, turn the knob back to pressure position and wait for 30 seconds before retrying.
Repeat the process until all the pressure is released. Open the lid and toss some olive oil over the pasta so it does not stick.
How to make broccoli pasta bake
To make a perfect baked broccoli pasta dish, few steps are required once pasta is cooked.
Steaming broccoli in instant pot or cooktop
For baked broccoli pasta, fresh or frozen broccoli can be used. Fresh or frozen broccoli can be steamed in the instant pot for 0 minutes followed by a quick release.
You can also steam it on the cooktop until it is tender, while the pasta is getting cooked in the instant pot.
Making white sauce in instant pot or cooktop
For white sauce, turn the instant pot on saute normal mode. You can make the white sauce on cooktop on medium heat.
Add some cheddar and pepper jack cheese and mix well. Take it off the heat or flame.
Bake white sauce broccoli pasta
Bake the pasta in the oven for 10 mins at 350 deg F.
Serving baked broccoli pasta
Enjoy this baked pasta dish while it is hot with some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top while serving.
To pair with the baking dish, I love to serve pasta in the Lenox Butterfly Meadow Pasta/Salad Set.
Baked broccoli pasta is a great dish to make as a side or for parties and potlucks! It is truly a crowd-pleaser dish!
Don't forget to check out these instant pot recipes
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Baked Broccoli Pasta with White Sauce in Instant Pot
- Convection Oven
Cooking pasta in instant pot
For baked broccoli pasta
- 3 cups Broccoli florets
- Pepper, Seasoning optional
- ½ cup Pepper Jack cheese grated
Cooking Pasta in Instant Pot
- Add pasta, water and salt to the instant pot container.
- Select high "Pressure" mode for 0 minutes.
- Once complete, let the pressure release naturally for 6 minutes and then do a quick release intermittently over next 3 minutes.
- Toss the pasta with some oil and keep aside.
Steaming the Broccoli florets
- While pasta is getting cooked in Instant pot, steam the florets on cook top for about 3 minutes or until tender.
Preheat the oven
- Preheat oven at 350 deg F.
Making white sauce in Instant Pot
- Select "Saute" mode on high temperature, once hot add the butter.
- Let the butter melt and then add the all purpose flour and mix well until well cooked (about a minute).
- Add the milk and cook it well and let it boil for about a minute, strirring occasionally.
- Mix in the cheese and salt.
Baking the pasta
- Mix the pasta, white sauce and broccoli in a baking dish.
- Sprinkle cheese and pepper and bake it in the preheated oven at 350 °F for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve it while it is hot.
- Fresh broccoli can also be steamed in instant pot for 0 minutes on "Pressure" and then a quick release. For frozen broccoli florets, only thawing is enough.
- While releasing pressure for pasta, if the foam starts coming out then shift the valve in sealing position and then retry after about 30 seconds. Continue until all pressure is released.
- To ensure pasta does not stick after cooking, toss some oil over it once cooked.
- You can also use store bought white sauce incase you want to make the dish quicker.