Cheesy Baked Pasta

I don’t make that many pasta dishes at our house. I grew up eating rice at most meals so when I think about dinner I cook things that pares well with rice.

My son however loves creamy pasta dishes and I do have some great ones that I make often. They are pretty easy to put together and taste amazing. I make this one for special occasions as it’s pretty rich.

You can use any type of pasta in this recipe, but my favorite is fusilli, rotini, and penne pasta.

This recipe uses three types of cheese and they all are crucial to get the flavor right. I would also recommend grating your own block of cheese instead of buying the grated version. I think that grating makes the cheese sauce extra smooth and creamy.

Another great thing about this recipe is the crumb topping, which adds a nice contrasting texture. You can add some blanched broccoli to this to make it healthier.

Any leftovers from this dish can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. We usually reheat it in the microwave (or on the stovetop).

This can be its own meal but I also served this as a side dish at a barbecue party, since most everyone loves cheesy pasta. The next time you are looking for a side to take to a party, make this one. You won’t be disappointed!

Advertisements

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz. pkg. uncooked fusilli, rotini, or penne pasta
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chives, thinly sliced
Advertisements

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an large baking dish with cooking spray, then set aside.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Save 1/2 cup pasta water to use later in the cooking. Make sure to salt and oil pasta water while cooking the pasta. Adding oil to the pasta water will prevent pasta from sticking together when drained. Once the pasta is cooked, drain well, and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Carefully add heavy cream and pasta water. Bring to a simmer, then add salt, black pepper, red pepper, onion, and garlic powder. Stir well and turn the heat down to low.

Add the Velveeta cubes in batches and stirring occasionally, until well blended.

Advertisements

Slowly add the cheddar cheese, stirring, until the cheese melts.

Next add the mozzarella cheese, stirring well, until the cheese melts, and sauce becomes smooth. Turn off the heat, and taste for seasoning.

Add the cooked pasta to cheese sauce and mix well.

Advertisements

Transfer the pasta mixture to prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the microwave. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, and chives to melted butter. Use a clean hand to mix everything together.

Advertisements

Spread the crumb mixture evenly over the pasta. Transfer the pasta to preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes or until breadcrumbs are lightly brown. Cool few minutes before serving.

This is a great side dish to serve with any types of protein, fish, or vegetarian meal.

Serves 8-10

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram. If you would like to be notified of upcoming posts, please consider subscribing to my blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s