Cheesy One-Pot Pasta


Need more convincing other than "cheesy" and "pasta"? How about "one-pot"?

Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
4 serves

This crowd-pleasing, vegetarian pasta dish is begging to be in your weekly roster. It's essentially a stovetop mac and cheese, without the fussy step of making a béchamel to thicken the sauce. Quick-roasted tomatoes add welcome acidity and pops of juicy flavor to contrast the rich cheeses, and a topping of Parmesan-infused panko breadcrumbs take the whole thing to the next level. It's comforting, easy, and delicious—just what weeknight dinners should be.


  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes

  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs

  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces), divided

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small onion)

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (2 small cloves)

  • 2 ½ cups whole milk

  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 12 ounces uncooked penne rigate 

  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet, and then spread in a single layer. Bake until soft and bursting, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium, and then add panko and ¼ cup Parmesan. Toast, stirring constantly, until panko is golden, 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium, and then add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add milk and broth, and then bring to a boil.

  4. Stir in pasta, partially cover, and cook, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente and liquid is mostly absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 3 minutes.

  5. Slowly stir in Cheddar, remaining Parmesan (½ cup), and ½ teaspoon salt. Gently fold in roasted tomatoes and top with toasted panko and several grinds pepper.

    Cheesy One-Pot Pasta Recipe
    Caitlin Bensel

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

795 Calories
35g Fat
87g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 795
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 35g 45%
Cholesterol 56mg 19%
Sodium 1073mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 87g 32%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 31g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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