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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground meat or meat based alternative
1 (12-ounce) package pasta, gluten free if desired
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Calabrian chile flakes, if you like it spicy.
Preheat the oven to 350F
In a large preheated skillet add the olive oil and ground meat. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the meat is no longer pink. Set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, aiming for al dente.
In the final 3 minutes of the pasta's cook time add the broccoli directly in to the pasta pot.
Once the 3 minutes are up, drain the pasta and broccoli, reserving 1 tablespoon of the cooking water.
Pour the pasta, broccoli, and cooking water into a 9"x 13" glass baking dish. Then mix in the marinara sauce and cooked meat if using. If you are opting to make the Cheesy Baked Pasta dish spicy mix in the Calabrian chile flakes now.
Top with shredded cheese.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until light brown and bubbly.
Broil under the broiler for 1-2 minutes if needed.
See details in our blog post for the many recipe variations for this recipe.
When I make this for our house, which includes gluten free, meat lovers, and vegetarians, I combine all of the ingredients through the marinara sauce. Mix well. Then I divide the mixture as needed between two smaller glass baking dishes. Then I can mix the meat into one of them and leave the other veggie based.
We received permission from Peggy Curry of Curry Girl's Kitchen to share this recipe.
Keywords: easy dinner, baked pasta recipe, cheesy baked pasta, baked pasta, pasta, 30 minutes or less