3 Cheese Ham & Broccoli Penne – 30 Minutes Or Less

Sep 30, 2019 | Pasta, Quick Meals, Recipes

Happy Monday everybody! Being that it is Monday, we all know that means it is 30 Minutes or Less Day. The day when I show you how to make a meal from start to finish in under 30 minutes. Today, will not disappoint. We are making 3 Cheese, Ham & Broccoli Penne and oh is it delicious! Now, don’t confuse this with the Chicken and Ham Penne we did a few months back. Though these dishes seem very similar, they are very different in flavour.

With that, let’s get cooking. This is…

3 Cheese Ham & Broccoli Penne – 30 Minutes Or Less

2:50 pm – Getting Started

I actually made this fairly early yesterday afternoon. It was a busy day, I had a lot going on, and I need to get dinner done fast. That always seems to be the way.

I started cooking at 2:50 pm and the first step was to turn the oven on to 425°F. Then I filled a medium pot with hot salted water and put it on high.

2:51 pm – Ham & Onions

With the oven and the pasta water heating up I moved on to prepping my ingredients. The first of the two ingredients I prepared were onions and ham. I diced 1 medium to large onion and about 1 cup of ham.

Once these were done, I set them aside and turned a medium-sized frying pan on to medium heat. I let the pan sit for a few minutes to heat up while I moved on to my next ingredient.

2:55 pm – Broccoli

At 2:55 pm I started cutting up a head of broccoli. First, I cut the stem off, then started cutting the florets into small pieces. When cutting up broccoli, or cauliflower, cut from the bottom up. Cut through the small stems, not through the florets. Cutting through the florets will just make a big mess.

Once all the florets were separated I cut the bottom inch off the broccoli stem, peeled away the outer bark, then diced the tender inner stem. I used the inner stem in the pasta, but it is also really great for broccoli soup, stir-fries, and salads.

2:58 pm – Get Cooking

It took me about 3 minutes to cut my broccoli up and this was the perfect amount of time to heat up the pan. So, I added about 1 tsp of olive oil to the pan along with the ham and onion. You may take a little longer to cut the broccoli. If that is the case, just add the ham and onion to the pan while you are still cutting.

2:59 pm – Garlic

With the ham and onion cooking away and the broccoli set aside it was time to cut some garlic. I used 3 cloves, though 2 of them were fairly small, so 2 medium to large garlic cloves would be fine.

I cut the ends off of the garlic, gently crushed them with the flat edge of my knife, removed the peel, and thinly sliced them.

3:01 pm – Ham, Broccoli, Pasta

At this point, the pasta water had started to boil. I poured the box of penne into the water and stirred it for a minute or so to make sure it didn’t all stick together.

After putting the pasta in the pot I added the broccoli and garlic into the pan with the ham and onion. I waited to do this until the onions started to soften.

3:02 pm – Cheese

The vegetables and ham were cooking away, the pasta was boiling, and that meant it was time to cut the cheese. (7 years old me laughs out loud)

I grated a 1/2 cup each of parmesan and Jarlsberg Cheddar Cheese. Jarlsberg Cheddar is a Norweigan Cheese with a similar flavour to Swiss Cheese. If you can’t find it, you can substitute it with Swiss, Emmenthal or aged or smoked cheddar.

3:05 pm – Thyme

With the cheese grated and set aside, and the vegetables mostly cooked, I added 1 big sprig of thyme into the pan. I tossed this around for 1 minute. This was just enough time to heat the thyme sprig and for it to become aromatic. That just means I could smell it.

3:06 pm – Cream

After the thyme had heated enough to start flavouring the sauce (about 1 minute after adding it into the pan) I add in 1 cup of whipping cream. Don’t skimp here. Use whipping cream. Any other dairy will split because of the lower fat content. Also, this dish already has about 1 cup of cheese in it, and we are going to be adding more. Low fat, went out the window a while ago. Just embrace it, you will be happy you did.

3:07 pm – Cheese

Once I added the cream into the pan, it was time to drain the pasta. I drained it, then put it in a large mixing bowl. When that was done I added the cheese to the sauce and cooked it just long enough to melt the cheese.

3:10 pm – Sauce, meet pasta.

When all the cheese was melted and mixed into the cream I added it to the pasta and seasoned well with salt and pepper. I mixed this altogether.

3:11 pm – Casserole

I poured the pasta and sauce into a casserole dish and covered it with about 1/2 a cup of grated mozzarella cheese.

3:12 pm – Into the oven

Finally, I put the pasta in the oven for 5-10 minutes. I actually did 7 minutes in the oven. All I really wanted was to melt the cheese on top. With that, dinner was ready.

3:19 pm – Done Like Dinner

With one minute to spare, the pasta was plated and ready to serve.


It seems like there really isn’t too much to this dish and that’s because there isn’t. It is a few ingredients, tossed with pasta, cheese, and cream. That’s it. What’s more than that, everyone is going to love it.

I suggest serving this with a salad to add some greens and a few more vegetables into the meal. It can be thrown together while the pasta is in the oven.

And that just about does it. Thank you as always for reading and remember to subscribe so you never miss a post and also share this with anyone who you think would like it. Have a great Monday everyone.

3 Cheese Ham and Broccoli Penne

A quick and delicious weeknight meal. 27 minutes from start to finish.
Total Time: 27 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30 minute meals, 30 Minutes or less, Ham and Broccoli, pasta, pasta recipes
Servings: 6


  • 1 cup Diced Ham
  • 1 Diced Onion medium-sized
  • 2 cups Diced Broccoli
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Peeled and Sliced
  • 1 cup Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Jarlsberg Cheese or Swiss Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Mozzarella
  • 1 ea Sprig Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 box Penne Pasta


  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Fill a pot with hot salted water and put on high and bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.
  • Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add the olive oil to the pan along with the onions and ham.
  • Cook the onions and ham for 4 minutes before adding the garlic and broccoli.
  • After another 3 minutes of cooking add in the thyme sprig, cook for 1 minute and then add in the cream.
  • As soon as the cream comes to a boil add in the Parmesan and Jarlsberg cheeses and cook just until the cheese is melted.
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well. Pour the pasta into a casserole dish, top with the mozzarella.
  • Bake the pasta for 5-10 minutes or just until the mozzarella is melted.
  • Serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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