Friday, March 19, 2010

Cheesy Baked Shells with Polska & Broccoli

We doubled this recipe last night & had this much left over. But we've found the leftovers are often better!

We can make this much healthier by using non-fat milk, reduced-fat cheese, turkey polska kielbasa & leaving off the French's fried onions. You could also use whole wheat pasta. You won't miss the fat at all! It's very flavorful & rich. ENJOY!

Cheesy Baked Shells with Polska & Broccoli
Total prep time: 25 mins Serves 8

2 1/2 cups dry macaroni or shells pasta

4 T butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups milk (I use non-fat powdered milk - you can't even taste the difference!)

4 cups coarsely grated Cheddar or Gruyere cheese

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 16 oz pkgs frozen broccoli florets, thawed or cooked with pasta

2 turkey polska kielbasa, cut into bite-sized slices

1 cup French's fried onions

  1. Heat broiler (or oven to 350*). Cook pasta according to package directions. (You can add the frozen broccoli in with the pasta & add 3-4 mins cooking time) Heat milk in microwave-safe measuring cup or pitcher, 3 minutes. Set milk aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add flour & cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in warm milk & cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add 3 cups grated cheese & stir until melted & smooth. Add nutmeg, salt & pepper.
  4. Stir together pasta, broccoli & cheese sauce - toss to combine. Transfer to a broiler-proof (or oven safe) 9x13" or 3 quart baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese & French's onions. Broil until golden, 3-4 minutes OR bake until warmed through, about 15 minutes.


Replace polska with 2 cups cooked, bite-sized chicken chunks. Also replace nutmeg with garlic powder and use Monterey Jack cheese.

Recipe was adapted from one I found in Real Simple Magazine.

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