My ham and broccoli pasta bake is loved by the whole family. Whole wheat penne pasta, covered in a creamy savoury sauce, big chunks of ham, broccoli florets, a few fresh garden peas topped with bubbling crispy cheese, yum!
This ham and broccoli pasta bake is a great way to use up leftovers. I tend to make this for a warm and filling Monday night dinner using leftover roast gammon ham pieces, but you can easily swap the ham for leftover roast chicken, or with sliced cooked sandwich ham. It also works great with chunks of salmon or tuna.
This is a really versatile pasta bake which can be switched to use vegetables that need using up. Feel free to add green veg such as mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, peppers or courgettes. Sweetcorn and root vegetables will may this pasta dish more difficult to tolerate and so it’s best to stick to lower carb vegetables if possible.
I use whole wheat pasta in this dish, but there are lots of different higher protein and lower carb pastas that you could try instead.
For those that enjoy normal (white) pasta and are worried about making the change to whole wheat (brown) pasta, please don’t worry, it tastes exactly the same as white pasta, so much so I only ever use whole wheat pasta for my family. It just takes slightly longer to cook – 12 minutes.
TOP TIP: Don’t waste your broccoli stalks! I chop all the florets off a head of broccoli and then finely chop the broccoli stalks to add into the pasta bake. This means getting much more flavour and reducing the amount of waste making the dish more economical too!
Reheating cooked pasta helps to lower the glycemic index and may make pasta dishes more tolerable. Therefore if you struggle to tolerate pasta, try making a dish like this, allow it cool, refrigerate it overnight and then try a small portion reheated to see if you can tolerate it better!
- 300 grams whole wheat pasta
- 350 grams broccoli (1 head of broccoli)
- 45 grams peas (1 handful)
- 3 whole spring onions finely chopped
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 350 grams ham cut into large chunks
- 3 tbsp ham stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
- 240 ml double cream
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 pinch black pepper to taste
- 150 grams grated cheddar reserve some for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 180°c (fan)
- Put the whole wheat pasta in a pan of salted water to cook
- Chop the broccoli so that it cut into small florets and finely dice the stalk, then add broccoli and peas into the saucepan with pasta when the pasta has 5 mins left to cook
- Add the olive and butter to a large deep saucepan on medium heat to melt, then add the finely chopped spring onions, cooking until soft
- Add the garlic clove to cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant
- Pour the cream into the saucepan, add the dijon mustard, whisk, then add in the grated cheese (reserving some to sprinkle on top of the pasta bake before baking), stir well and turn up the heat. Continuing stirring until the cheese melts which should create a thick sauce. Add black pepper to taste
- Add in 3 tbsp of stock, stir and add a little extra if you would like a thinner consistency sauce (use a tbsp at a time)
- Drain the pasta and broccoli once cooked, then add into the sauce. Mix well to coat all the pasta and broccoli. The pasta can be eaten at this point, or you can continue to create a pasta bake
- Pour the coated pasta into a large ovenproof dish, sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until golden and the cheese is bubbling