Broccoli Cheddar Pasta – Instant Pot, Stove Top

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Broccoli Cheddar Pasta, rich and cheesy, pasta dish that comes together in under 30 minutes! This recipe is easy, comforting, one-pot meal, which is great for quick weeknight dinner. This recipe can be made VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE

 

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta - Instant Pot, Stove Top

 

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

My family loves anything with broccoli. Yes, we all love broccoli, in any form. From a quick stir fry, or baked, in curries, broccoli soup, and yes, one of my princess favorite dish is this broccoli cheddar pasta.

This broccoli cheddar pasta is inspired by one of our family favorite soup, broccoli cheddar soup. Broccoli cheddar soup, is a thick and creamy soup made with all the goodness of broccoli and cheesy cheddar cheese. Love how well the flavors come together in a bowl. Flavorful and easy to make is one of my family’s favorite soup.

I wanted to create a dish using the same rich, creamy flavors, but at the same time keep it vegetarian. So, when I have my vegetarian friends over for dinner, I have something to share with them as well. This broccoli cheddar pasta, is super easy to make at home and tastes amazing.

I believe that the quality of ingredients matters when it comes to food. I like to use fresh and least processed ingredients whenever possible, it just makes so much difference. The food tastes great and is healthy too.

The two key ingredients, or I must say star of this recipe are broccoli and cheddar cheese. I am using fresh broccoli in this recipe. I love broccoli and like to use plenty in this dish. I am using broccoli florets, for this recipe. Chop the florets into bite-size pieces.

Good quality cheddar cheese is important. I am using extra sharp cheddar cheese. I prefer to grate the cheese at home than store bought pre-shredded cheese, and I must say, there is a huge difference in the taste. The pre-shredded cheese does not blend well.

Again, this is just a personal choice. I know when it comes to convenience we always want things that are ready to use. But please if you can take this extra step of grating your own cheese, trust me you will thank me for this ?

Pic Shown: Broccoli Cheddar Pasta

 

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta - Instant Pot, Stove Top

 

INGREDIENTS FOR BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

PASTA – You can use any pasta of your choice, recipe use medium shells. For cooking pasta on stove top, please follow the package instructions.

For cooking pasta in a Instant pot, look for the recommended cooking time for al dente pasta. In this recipe I have used medium shells, that cook in 10 minutes. I reduced the cooking time by half, which is 5 minutes. Since, I will be cooking the pasta after pressure cooking, to make the sauce, I further reduce this time by 1 minute.

Cooking time 4 minutes in Instant pot yields soft pasta. If you prefer al dente pasta, reduce it to 3 minutes. Followed by 5 minutes of natural pressure release and after 5 minutes, release the remaining pressure manually. It is important to turn OFF keep-warm mode, to avoid any sticky, mushy pasta.

BROCCOLI – You can use fresh or frozen broccoli. If using frozen broccoli,  defrost the broccoli and use as suggested in the recipe.

CHEESE – I like sharp cheddar cheese. I also use about a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, but it is optional. I sometimes even use some habanero cheddar cheese for a change. For vegan option, please refer to – FAQ ABOUT BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

DAIRY – Heavy cream, half and half, milk or evaporated milk can be used in this recipe. The richness in the pasta sauce, comes from the fat used. Heavy cream yields richer taste as compared to milk. For vegan option, please refer to – FAQ ABOUT BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

BROTH – low sodium broth adds an additional layer of flavor. Low sodium broth helps control the sodium intake. You can also use a bouillon, mix it with water as per package instructions and use it.

HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI PASTA

Easy, effortless, delicious meal, that can done in under 30 minutes. With minimum of prep work, you can make this amazing pasta in under 20 minutes from start to finish.

Other than gathering few ingredients and spices, I think this is one of the far easiest and best tasting pasta dish you may have tried before. I love to make this dish in Instant Pot. However, I have also shared stove top version of this recipe. Enjoy this creamy, one-pot Broccoli Cheddar pasta!

INSTANT POT BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

You will need INSTANT POT 

In the inner pot of Instant Pot, add pasta, and broth. Turn ON MANUAL / PRESSURE COOK (high), for 4 minutes, vent sealed. Turn OFF keep-warm mode.
Note: Please refer to the recipe notes on – HOW TO COOK PASTA IN INSTANT POT

 

 

Let pressure release naturally, around 5 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually. Open the IP lid.

In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch, to make cornstarch slurry.

Turn ON SAUTE (more). Add broccoli, cheese, cream, and cornstarch slurry. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until desired consistency. Turn OFF SAUTE. Cover with lid, and let pasta absorb all the flavors, around 5 minutes.
Note: The pasta sauce will thicken, as it gets cooked.

 

 

 

Broccoli Cheddar pasta is ready to be devoured. Bon-appetit!!

 

 

STOVE TOP BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

Cook pasta as per package directions. Reserve a cup of pasta water, drain the rest of liquid.

In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch, to make cornstarch slurry.

In the same pot, add broccoli, cheese, cream, and cornstarch slurry. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until desired consistency.

Turn OFF heat. Cover with lid, and let pasta absorb all the flavors, around 5 minutes.
Note: The pasta sauce will thicken, as it gets cooked. Use the reserve pasta water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.

Broccoli Cheddar pasta is ready to be devoured. Bon-appetit!!

Pic shown: Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Pasta

 

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta - Instant Pot, Stove Top

 

PRO TIPS FOR BEST BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

Fresh broccoli tastes best in this pasta, but you can substitute with frozen broccoli too. Defrost the broccoli and use as suggested in the recipe.

Using sharp cheddar cheese adds so much flavor to this dish. I prefer extra sharp cheddar cheese for strong flavor, but you could use cheese of your choice. Choose to grate your own cheese verses store bought pre-grated cheese, for best results.

Use a low-sodium vegetable broth, instead of chicken stock. You could use either one, but since cheddar cheese has quite a bit of salt, I prefer low-sodium vegetable stock to balance the sodium level in the soup and also keeping it vegetarian.

You can use heavy cream, half and half or just milk, works absolutely great. Higher the fat content, the creamier the sauce will be.

Garlic adds lots of flavors to this dish. Recipe uses granulated garlic.

For Instant pot cooking, just add enough liquid to cover the pasta. Depending upon the pasta type, the cooking time will vary. Usually the box of pasta comes with 2 cooking time or cooking range. The lower one is for al dente pasta, and the higher is for soft pasta. Look for the lower cook time. Here’s what I do to get perfect pasta in Instant Pot. 

For soft pasta, I reduce the lower cooking time “BY HALF”, as suggested on the box. For al dente pasta, I reduce the cooking time by “BY HALF MINUS ONE”. So for example, for medium shells the recommended time on box is 10-12 minutes. I cook the pasta for 4 minutes, (10/2=5; 5-1=4). 

Let pressure release naturally for around 5 minutes, and after 5 minutes, release the remaining pressure manually. Pasta turns out perfect, never under-cooked or overcooked, just perfect!! Turn OFF the “keep-warm” mode in Instant Pot. 

Add broccoli, cream, cheese, cornstarch slurry, and mix well. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is incorporated well, with the pasta. Do not overcook the pasta after adding the cream. The cheese will melt in the residual heat.

We like broccoli just cooked, and not mushy. If you prefer, you can also add the broccoli along with pasta, and pressure cook it. Alternatively, you can also microwave the broccoli for a minute, before adding it to the pasta.

I like to add some hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat and additional flavor.

Pic Shown: Broccoli Cheddar Pasta

 

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta - Instant Pot, Stove Top

 

VARIATIONS TO BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

PROTEIN – add some tofu or chicken, great way to add some protein into your diet. You can use pre-cooked tofu, available in the grocery stores or simply saute some and add it to your pasta. Got some leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken, add it to your dish. 

VEGGIES – include some veggies such as carrots, beets or beetroots, corn, for some added flavor. Feel free to use veggies of your choice. I like to rotate the veggies in the pasta, thus enjoying the flavors and nutritional values of different veggies.

FAQ ABOUT BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

FOR GLUTEN-FREE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

Use gluten-free pasta instead of regular pasta. Follow the recipe as discussed.

FOR VEGAN BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

Here are some of the vegan alternatives you can use to make this dish vegan. 

VEGAN BUTTER – use any plant based, vegan butter of your choice.

VEGAN CHEESE – use dairy-free cheddar cheese

COCONUT CREAM – use coconut cream or coconut milk.

NUTS – In order to make this dairy-free I use nuts such as almonds or cashews.

Soak 1/4 cup cashews for couple of hours or until soft (to speed up the process soak cashews in hot water, works just fine). Blend the cashews to a fine paste, using the water the cashews are soaked in and add it to the dish.

Bring it to a gentle boil and you have delicious, creamiest, dairy-free, Broccoli pasta! If using almonds, remove the skin of the almonds before blending.

CAN I MAKE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA WITHOUT ANY CREAM 

Skip the cream entirely, and use some extra broth and some extra cheese, for a creamy pasta.

HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA KID FRIENDLY

Add more cheese, cream, for more creamier pasta. If you have a picky eater, you can blend the broccoli and add it to the sauce, instead of florets. 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA 

Serve this Broccoli Cheddar pasta with some salad, and/or some roasted veggies. 

HOW TO STORE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

The pasta stays good for 2-3 days in refrigerator. Reheat well in a microwave or on a low heat on a stove top.

 

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CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

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Broccoli Cheddar Pasta - Instant Pot, Stove Top

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta, rich and cheesy, pasta dish that comes together in under 30 minutes!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword pasta,broccoli pasta,broccoli cheddar pasta,creamy broccoli pasta, instant pot pasta,instant pot broccoli cheddar pasta,vegan,gluten-free,dairy-free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jyoti Behrani

Ingredients

  • 8 oz medium shells pasta
  • 3 cups Broth (or water)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon granualed garlic
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese block, grated, adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream, or half n half, or milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

FOR CORNSTARCH SLURRY

  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

INSTANT POT BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

  • You will need INSTANT POT
    In the inner pot of Instant pot, add pasta, and broth, close lid with vent sealed. Turn ON MANUAL / PRESSURE COOK (high), for 4 minutes. Turn OFF keep-warm mode.
    Note: Please refer to the recipe notes on – HOW TO COOK PASTA IN INSTANT POT
  • Let pressure release naturally, around 5 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually. Open the IP lid.
  • In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch, to make cornstarch slurry.
  • Turn ON SAUTE (more). Add broccoli, cheese, cream and cornstarch slurry. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until desired consistency.
  • Turn OFF SAUTE. Cover with lid, and let pasta absorb all the flavors, around 5 minutes.
    Note: The pasta sauce will thicken, as it gets cooked. Use some broth (or milk) to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
  • Broccoli Cheddar pasta is ready to be devoured. Bon-appetit!!

STOVE TOP BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

  • Cook pasta as per package directions. Reserve a cup of pasta water, drain rest of the liquid, and return the pasta back to the pot.
  • In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch, to make cornstarch slurry.
  • In the same pot, add broccoli, cheese, cream, and cornstarch slurry. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until desired consistency.
  • Turn OFF heat. Cover with lid, and let pasta absorb all the flavors, around 5 minutes.
    Note: The pasta sauce will thicken, as it gets cooked. Use the reserve pasta water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
  • Broccoli Cheddar pasta is ready to be devoured. Bon-appetit!!

Notes

HOW TO COOK PASTA IN INSTANT POT - For Instant pot cooking, just add enough liquid to cover the pasta. Reduce the lower cooking time “BY HALF” what is recommend on the box of the pasta.
Turn OFF "keep-warm" mode. Let pressure release naturally for around 5 minutes, and after 5 minutes, release the remaining pressure manually. 
FOR GLUTEN-FREE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA - Use gluten-free pasta instead of regular pasta. Follow the recipe as discussed.
FOR VEGAN BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA - Use plant based, vegan butter, oil. For cream use coconut cream or any nut cream (almonds or cashew). For details please refer to the post earlier.
PLEASE REFER TO THE POST FOR THE FOLLOWING:
  1. PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA
  2. VARIATIONS TO BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA
  3. FAQ ABOUT BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA - For gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, kid friendly, how to serve and store.  

 

Jyoti Behrani

Hello!! Welcome to my blog, my journey Living Smart and Healthy! Cook with me easy and authentic Indian food and around the globe. Will be sharing tips and tricks on easy authentic cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen or comprising on authentic flavors. Keeping things simple and healthy is what I am all about. Life is simple, so lets keep cooking simple too!!

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