broccoli and cheese penne


My daughter dances jazz, tap and hip-hop competitively.  Sometimes I can’t believe I’m a dance mom. I wonder to myself – how did I get here? Oh yes! Because she LOVES it. She started dancing as a tiny 3 year old with her BFF and they just never stopped!  That’s right! Funny thing is, I am not really a girly girl.  I never really learned to do my hair and I have been doing my eyeliner the same way since I was 13 or something.  My hair is usually pulled up in a ponytail or just down, after air drying it.  No frills.  My daughter?  Girly girl! Pink, lace, shoes, makeup, accessories – she loves it all!  I like that she forges her own path and honestly, we’ve let her pick out her own clothes since she was 3 because she would fight my husband in the mornings and he couldn’t handle it anymore. I hang a few pieces that are off limits but otherwise, she can wear whatever she wants to school.  But that also means that there have been days that I’ve picked her up at school and she’s wearing pajamas or thick tights with no pants (what the heck??)!  Oh well, she definitely knows what she likes…

So why all this as an intro to broccoli and cheese penne? My daughter works really hard. She dances 3 days a week and plays softball twice a week. She’s also 6.  She can do chin-ups, flips and monkey bars. She’s just a really strong and athletic girl and I love that about her. But I have noticed that her diet has been changing.  She used to be a carb monster – rice, pasta, more rice, tortillas and more rice. Of course she’d have protein and veggies but she really loved her carbs.  Lately though, she has been a veggie eating monster!  She can’t get enough of cauliflower, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant and yes, even broccoli. She’s been eating a lot more protein too. I think her body needs the healthy fuel and she feels better eating it.  And I’m more than happy to have another veggie lover in the house.  While the boys groan over a dish full of veggies, my daughter cried happily when she saw that there was broccoli! She literally ate all the broccoli from her brother’s and dad’s plate as well. I’ve found that broccoli seems to be a pretty well liked veggie for kids. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as my daughter did!

Our family just got back from Chicago but we are heading to Southern California for dance nationals.  Seriously, the things we do for our kids!!!  Her jazz team won 1st place in Regionals last month so we’re hoping they will do well at Nationals.

Here’s my pretty jazz girl and following that ,the recipe!


Broccoli And Cheese Penne Recipe

recipe from Food Republic

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Serving Size: 6


  • 6 1/2 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil a deep 8-cup ovenproof dish.
  2. Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling water until tender. Add broccoli for last 5 minutes of pasta cooking time; drain. Rinse pasta and broccoli under cold water; drain, cool.
  3. Combine pasta, broccoli, eggs, cream, milk and cheddar in large bowl; season.
  4. Spoon mixture into dish; sprinkle with combined breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, rind and parsley.
  5. Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until browned lightly and set.
  6. Stand 10 minutes before serving.

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