Lightened up Creamy Cheesy Pasta Bake

March 09, 2012

Sometimes I wrack my brain to come up with the perfect recipe.  We were having 10 family members over for dinner, so that makes 15 including mine. I had already planned on a simple caeser salad and grilled skirt steaks.  I must have looked through dozens and dozens of cookbooks, blogs, magazines etc. and I was just having one of those days when nothing sounded good.  I started filing through my cabinets to see what I had.  If your anything like me, you could probably go months without even going to the grocery store and be able to put something together.  This is what I gathered, and I LOVED IT!  Yay for me!  This one is a keeper.

Lightened up Creamy Cheesy Pasta Bake
  • 2 boxes of whole wheat pasta use smaller varieties like shells, penne, cavatappi)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups 2 % milk
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth ( MAY SUBSTITUTE VEGETABLE BROTH)
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste Topping
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Boil noodles until al dente, drain, and put back in pot and toss in a couple tablespoons of olive oil to keep from sticking.
  3. Set large skillet or sauce pan over medium high heat. Melt butter and oil. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add flour and stir for just about a minute until incorporated, and then slowly pour the milk and chicken broth in while stirring constantly with a whisk. Simmer for a good 20 minutes, whisking until the sauce thickens. Add sun-dried tomatoes halfway through this process. When sauce has thickened, take off heat and add cheeses, spinach, and salt and peeper to taste. Pour over noodles, mix, and transfer to a large baking dish. Top with cheeses and bake for 45 minutes.

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