It’s tough to beat a good cheesy pasta bake. One night I was really feeling macaroni and cheese, but wasn’t feeling much else than that. I knew I needed to give my guys some protein and veggies though, so I assessed what I had in the refrigerator – a ham steak and a couple of heads of broccoli, threw them into the mix, and came up with this.
I tweaked my original baked macaroni & cheese recipe by adding two different kinds of cheese. My standard classic cheddar, but also a rich and creamy Gruyere to really bump up the wow factor. Plus, it was kind of a fun twist on ham & cheese!
Ham steaks are great to have around. I love to dice them up and put them in pasta sauce, or on pizza, or even just warmed up in a skillet and served on a biscuit for an easy breakfast. I also topped it with garlic breadcrumbs, which isn’t something I usually go for on my macaroni and cheese – but the savory crunch with a hint of garlic was a nice contrast to the creamy tender pasta.
A great one pan meal that was easy to throw together and bake, and that everyone enjoyed. Love those kinds of dinners!
Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Pasta Bake
2 cups short tubular pasta (elbow macaroni, gemelli, penne)
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp kosher salt
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
6 oz Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese, shredded
2 cups ham steak, diced
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 400.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Drain, place back in pot, and set aside.
In a medium size saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk to make a roux, cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, continually whisking until thickened. Once thickened add the salt and mustard powder, as well as the cheeses. Stir to combine until cheese is melted.
Add the ham and broccoli to the pot with the pasta, and pour the cheese sauce into the pot as well. Toss to combine. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish.
Combine the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and garlic powder in a small bowl, toss to combine. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the pasta.
Cover dish with foil and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.