Well, after sharing two of my very favorite dessert recipes this week, it’s probably time to share something a little healthier, right? This pasta bake is super creamy and delicious! It will totally satisfy your comfort food cravings, but it’s made with healthier ingredients, so it’s good for you too! My whole family loved it and cleaned their plates, even Abigail (I know, so shocking). I didn’t feel the need to tell them that they were eating whole wheat noodles. 🙂
I like, too, that this is just a good basic recipe that you could tweak in any number of ways by adding different vegetables and/or throwing in some protein. I think a southwest pasta bake with chicken, green chilies, corn, and pepper jack would be awesome. Or how about ham, asparagus, and swiss? Yum!
Skinny Broccoli and Cheese Pasta Bake
adapted from Skinnytaste
12 ounces pasta (I used whole wheat egg noodles)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup flour
2 cups skim milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
salt and pepper
12 ounces fresh broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the broccoli for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft and slightly translucent. Add the flour and mix to form a pasta. Gradually add the milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly. Let cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until combined. Toss the cheese sauce with the noodles and broccoli, and spread in a baking dish (I used a 9 x 9 but you could also use a 9 x 13). Top with grated parmesan and breadcrumbs, and spray with cooking spray. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.