Easy Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake
Whilst we love a jackfruit taco extravaganza, a tangy fragrant pho or an expertly crafted vegan sushi platter - sometimes even we forget just how incredible the simplest of recipes can taste!
A comforting dish has the ability to conjure up feelings of warmth, nostalgia and most importantly inspire the good old happy-tummy dance. And we couldn’t think of a better example than the beloved pasta bake. Made by your mum when you were younger or cooked up as a people pleaser when feeding a gathering of hungry friends and family, a pasta bake is an absolute classic in most of our homes.
So inspired by our own cravings for a little bit of nostalgic comfort food, we whipped up this beauty of a pasta bake with an exciting new plant-based life hack: our very own, ready-made Sauce for Cheese Lovers, which we know you’ll fall in love with!
Fluffy pulse-pasta spirals are combined with fresh thyme, broccoli (gotta get those greens) and chickpeas for extra protein and fibre all lathered up in cheesy goodness and sprinkled with homemade cashew parmesan.
It’s the perfect tasty and nutritious dish to make for one and eat throughout the week or share the pasta bake love with friends and family - no unnecessary faff or frills included.
Saucy top tip:
Because your sauce has been frozen, it’ll be a little solid when you 1st get it out of the tub.
Simply mix it with a small amount of water (i.e. about 1 tbsp) and warm in a pan on the stove. Keep mixing and it warms and you’ll have a lovely, silky sauce in no time.
Time until on the table: Approx 30 mins
2 x Sauce for Cheese Lovers (2 x 190g)
1 x head of broccoli, cut into florets
250g pasta of choice (we used chickpea pasta here)
1 x can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Handful of fresh thyme
Sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional)
½ cup cashews
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to packet instructions and add in your broccoli florets in the final 5 minutes to tenderise.
Meanwhile make your cashew parmesan. Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder into a mini processor or pestle and mortar and blitz/ grind until a parmesan like texture.
Drain the pasta and broccoli and add into a lightly greased baking tray along with the chickpeas and thyme leaves.
Pour the cheese lover’s sauce over the pasta mixture and stir through so it’s evenly coated in cheesy goodness!
Sprinkle a large handful of cashew parmesan over the top (could add grated vegan cheese too), salt, pepper and a sprinkle of chili flakes if you like a little extra kick.
Bake in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and lightly crisp on top.
Remove from the oven and serve solo or with an extra sprinkle of thyme, a peppery rocket salad on the side. Or make it a treat-yourself feast with deliciously warm garlic bread.