Recipe: No-Boil Muffin Pan Pasta with Broccoli

updated Nov 20, 2019
Miracle Meal: No-Boil Baked Pasta Cups

This pasta bake requires zero boiling, and results in crispy tops and edges created by the muffin tin.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 35 minutes

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

It recently occurred to me that if I made my pasta bakes smaller, I could skip the boiling pasta business and get to the warm, crispy-edged, cheese-covered pasta faster. Besides saving a step, baking your pasta in a muffin pan also turns a scrappy box of pasta and some frozen broccoli into a dinner that your kids will delight in.

Like all Miracle Meals, this dinner is short on ingredients and time, but delivers big on fun and satisfaction.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Pasta + sauce + broccoli is such a staple in my house that I’ve long been looking for ways to make it easier or tastier — and baking it in a muffin pan does both. By loading up each tin with small, fast-cooking pasta noodles and lots of sauce, these mini pasta “muffins” cook up in less than 20 minutes, and skip the step of boiling water.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Miracle Moment

I love that this pasta bake requires zero boiling, but what I love even more are the crispy tops and edges created by the muffin tin. Let these cool for just five minutes, then pop them out of the pan. My 4-year-old has deemed them “pasta cakes!”

What Is a Miracle Meal?

Miracle meals are the meals we pull off despite the failure of our best-laid plans; the dinners we can get on the table in 10 minutes; the meals made from pantry staples. Miracle meals are just as much about the cooks as they are about the eaters. At Kitchn, a Miracle Meal recipe only uses basic kitchen equipment and no more than five ingredients, with just 40 minutes (or less) of hands-on cooking time.

Miracle Meal: No-Boil Baked Pasta Cups

This pasta bake requires zero boiling, and results in crispy tops and edges created by the muffin tin.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 35 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 8 ounces

    dried small pasta, such as elbow macaroni or small shells

  • 2 cups

    pasta sauce, such as marinara

  • 1 cup

    shredded mozzarella and Parmesan blend cheese

  • 8 ounces

    frozen broccoli florets

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan generously with cooking spray. Divide the pasta evenly between 9 of the cups. Evenly divide the pasta sauce over the pasta, add 1 tablespoon of water to each, and gently stir to combine. Cover the pasta-filled cups with aluminum foil and fill the remaining cups with the frozen broccoli.

  2. Bake the pasta for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle the pasta cups with the cheese. Bake until the pasta is tender, 5 to 8 minutes longer depending on the shape and size of your pasta.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.