I’ll admit my guilty pleasure of eating box pasta, it is one of the best dinners when travelling alone as I can eat it judgement free!

Adding a couple of simple ingredients to a dried pasta and sauce combo makes for an easy and filling meal. When used as a base, they are a great way to get loads of flavour in a light weight ready to cook portion.

I do tend to steer away from boxed mac n cheese however as I find them to be really overpowering however, grab your favourite and get creative.


1 large packet of pasta and cheese sauce (any brand)

100g pancetta or smoked bacon

4 mushrooms, quartered

1 bunch of baby broccoli

Cherry tomatoes to serve


  1. Heat a large fry pan over medium high heat, add bacon and mushrooms, and for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large pot, add pasta packet contents, along with required water or milk and bring to the boil whilst stirring. Turn heat down to a simmer and stir occasionally. Add more water if too thick and pasta has not cooked through.
  3. Add broccoli to the pot for the final 5 minutes to cook through. Season with black pepper.
  4. Divide between serving plates topped with halved cherry tomatoes if using.

Serves 2


  • Ensure pasta is covered in sauce so it cooks evenly, cover with a lid to prevent the liquid from evaporating and not cooking the pasta and broccoli
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon when serving will liven the dish and cut through the heavy sauce


  • Any green vegetables can be used eg; peas, beans, spinach
  • Bacon can be omitted for a vegetarian alternative
  • Sun-dried tomatoes can also be used as a garnish


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