Broccoli Rabe and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Bake

This cheesy broccoli rabe pasta bake comes together quickly for a hearty and yet healthy meal everyone will love. It’s filled with sun-dried tomatoes and chickpeas.

This was the first weekend in exactly 3 months that I didn’t have to worry about cross training, tempo runs and preparing for a Monday long run. I ate pancakes topped with cookie butter twice, I decorated the house, I cleaned, I cooked and I fit in some low key exercise when I wanted to.


Broccoli Rabe and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Bake

9 times out of 10 I live for a schedule, but after 12 weeks of training and “have to do” workouts, this was a very welcomed change. Cheesy pasta seemed like a good thing to celebrate with.

Broccoli Rabe Pasta Bake

It was one of those days where I woke up knowing I wanted to make a hearty meal that would go great with a bottle glass of wine. It was freezing outside, (which I found out first hand by breaking my own rule and running outdoors under 40 degrees) so I decided there was no better way to spend a lazy Sunday indoors than eating a stick to your ribs meal while getting a little tipsy.

Broccoli Rabe and Tomato Pasta BakeIMG_3641 (533x800)IMG_3644 (800x533)

I got out the pans, blasted some Christmas music, got to chopping and then had a momentary freak out because I thought Ginger had disappeared. The garlic was sautéing and I looked up, expecting her to be in the family room on her bed but didn’t see her. I called her…silence. No click clacking of her nails on the hard wood coming to me. I ran upstairs thinking maybe she got stuck behind the door in a room…nothing. Then I convinced myself I must’ve let her out and not remembered. So, I ran outside in my slippers and starting calling her, whistling, clapping, the whole shebang. Nothing. On the verge of a panic attack, I ran back inside, grabbed my phone and started searching for Ulysses in my contacts. And then it hit me. He took her with him.

Stu to the pid.

Guess who burnt the first batch of garlic?

Broccoli Rabe Tomato Pasta Bake

Besides the realization that I was out of cannellini beans, it was smooth sailing from there. Garlic can be sautéed again and chickpeas work just as well. Crisis averted.

Broccoli Rabe and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Bake

Ulysses (and Ginger) came home, my parents came over and we dug in. Glass of wine in hand.

Broccoli Rabe and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Bake3

2.5 glasses later it was gone and dad had drank enough that he even ate the spinach and kale salad I made as a side without complaint.

Broccoli Rabe and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Bake

Get ‘em tipsy enough and they eat healthy!

Broccoli Rabe Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Bake

Broccoli Rabe Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Bake

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This cheesy broccoli rabe pasta bake comes together quickly for a hearty and yet healthy meal everyone will love. It's filled with sun-dried tomatoes and chickpeas.


  • 1 pound whole wheat penne
  • 1 large head broccoli rabe, cleaned, ends removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. In a large saute pan with sides saute garlic and onion in 3 tablespoons olive oil until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  4. Once water comes to a boil, drop in broccoli rabe and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Remove, drain and set aside.
  5. Add red pepper flakes and sundried tomatoes to onions & garlic and cook another minute.
  6. Add broccoli rabe to saute pan and season generously with salt & pepper.
  7. Once water has come back to a boil, add pasta and cook for 8 minutes (slightly under done)
  8. While pasta is cooking, add chickpeas to broccoli rabe mixture and reduce heat to medium-low. Add a bit more olive oil if the mixture becomes too dry.
  9. Once pasta is done, drain into a colander and return to the pot. Add the broccoli rabe mixture to the pasta pot and stir to combine. Season generously again to taste. Add another tablespoon or so of olive oil to keep pasta from sticking. Add 1 1/2 cup of the grated parmesan and toss to combine the pasta mixture.
  10. Pour pasta into a greased oven safe bowl and top with remaining parmesan cheese.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes, broiling the last couple minutes to brown the cheese if desired.
  12. Serve hot.


You can substitute any white bean for chickpeas. For a more "cheesy" consistency, consider adding ricotta cheese to the mixture.


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Catching up from the weekend? Here’s what you missed:

Have a good Monday!


  1. Julie @ Table for Two

    oh my heavens..I’ve been waiting for this and the pictures I’m sure don’t do this dish justice! i can’t wait to make this..broccoli rabe is one of my favorite veggies but i never cook enough with it..mmm and my ultimate favorite sundried tomatoes — such a well rounded dish :) yay!

  2. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau

    I have those “ohmigod where’s the dog???” moments regularly. There’s three dogs in my house, which could be a viable excuse, but I always find the dog I’m looking for under a bed or something equally as inane.

    But, is there anything better in this world than cheesy baked pasta? COMFORT to the max!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      They CAN be so hard to photograph. The light yesterday was just perfect. I love when that happens. :)

  3. Kati Mora, MS, RD, Kellogg's FiberPlus(R) Wellness Advocate

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! It looks amazing and so perfect for mid-December. YUM!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      That would be equally delicious! I just bought some goat’s milk cheddar from TJ’s last week :) Love that stuff!

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