We love casseroles in our house, and an old stand-by was tuna-noodle casserole. But not anymore! This salmon and broccoli bake is one of our favorites. The pink salmon cooks under a rich cheese sauce and the bright green of the broccoli adds a nice pop of color, texture, and flavor. As a bonus, this comfort food meal is super easy to prepare, then pop it in the oven for a quick and tasty weeknight dinner.
The trick to the creamy cheese sauce in this recipe is a good roux. We like to cook our flour in melted butter and oil until it browns and smells a bit nutty, which creates a savory and rich base for our sauce. A rich cheesy sauce hides the fact that we’ve snuck in some broccoli because a veggie covered in cheese is always a good idea! This dish is soooo comforting, and one that we know will satisfy our hungry bunch. We’ve grown out of our tuna-noodle casserole phase and moved on to something a little richer.
Salmon Pasta Bake
- 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon, skin removed and cut into 1" chunks
- 1 (8 oz) package mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 9x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place salmon in bottom of pan and season with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning. Set aside.
- Boil pasta in a large pot over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add broccoli and cook until pasta is al dente. Drain and pour on top of salmon.
- Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour and cook 1-2 minutes or until browned.
- Whisk in half-and-half and heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add mascarpone and Italian cheese blend; add salt and pepper, to taste. Stir until smooth and creamy.
- Pour cheese sauce over salmon and pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned, cheese is bubbly and salmon is cooked through.
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food