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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add 3 cups grated cheese & stir until melted & smooth. Add nutmeg, salt & pepper.
- Stir together pasta, broccoli & cheese sauce - toss to combine. Transfer to a broiler-proof (or oven safe) 9x13" or 3 quart baking dish.
- 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.