Cheesy pasta is considered an ultimate comfort food for many children and adults alike! The warm, creamy texture is irresistible, and it’s an easy meal to prepare on busy school nights. As this week’s Eat Well Wednesday recipe from Sargento® shows us, there are many opportunities to boost the nutrition in your favorite cheesy pasta recipe. The addition of steamed vegetables reduces the meal’s caloric density and increases the fiber as well as the vitamin and mineral content of the meal. Using evaporated skim milk in place of a higher fat milk reduces the amount of fat while maintaining the delicious, creamy texture. Finally, choosing a whole grain pasta variety adds a serving of whole grains to your day. With this Cheddar and Vegetable Pasta Bake you can have your favorite meal and good nutrition too!
Cheddar & Vegetable Pasta Bake
2 Tbsp. Country Crock® with Calcium and Vit. D
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg. (16 oz.) Birdseye® Steamfresh® Mixed Vegetables
1 ½ Tbsp. Essential Everyday all purpose flour
½ tsp. hot pepper sauce or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 can (12 oz.) Carnation® evaporated skim milk
1 ½ cup Sargento® Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese, divided
3 cups (8 oz.) rotini, medium shells, or rotelle pasta, cooked and drained
- Melt margarine in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add flour; cook and stir 1 minute. Add milk and, if using, pepper sauce. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup cheese until melted.
- Add sauce and cooked vegetables to pasta; toss well. Transfer to a greased medium baking dish or oval casserole. Cover with foil; bake in preheated 375°F oven 15 minutes or until hot. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted.