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One-Pot Broccoli Shells & Cheese

  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, lightly chopped
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • 3 cups medium shell pasta (or other short pasta)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (or you can use all cheddar)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. To a large skillet or shallow pot, add the olive oil and butter and place over medium-high heat. Add the onions, pepper, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add in the broccoli, red pepper flakes (if using), and baby spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted.
  3. Add the milk and broth and stir well to combine. Add the pasta and another pinch of salt and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through and the mixture is thickened.
  5. Add in the cheeses, stirring well to combine. The mixture should be creamy and cheesy. Add another splash of milk if it gets too thick. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Garnish with a little chopped parsley and serve.