Tag Archives: cheese

Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake

Happy Friday everyone! Wow did this week go flying by, or is it just me? I’ve been so busy with back to school stuff that it just seems like it flew by! Can you believe it’s time for back to school already?! I managed to get all of the school supplies, sports physicals are done, we’re working on clothes, and more paperwork for the schools. It hardly leaves time for anything else it would seem.

However, if you are a planner like I am, you probably plan ahead your meals. Or at least your dinners. One thing I have been doing lately is planning budget friendly meals, mostly because of the expenses of back to school. With budget friendly meals, it always helps to have at least 1 meatless dish a week, and lets not forget to keep it healthy! Budget friendly doesn’t have to mean “bad for you”.

So, I’ve got a great meatless casserole for you today! Originally I found this casserole over on Krystin’s blog, Lil Luna. Her recipe is phenomenal! Don’t get me wrong! In fact I love it so much, I really wanted to make it a bit healthier so I can enjoy it more often. Plus I made a few other minor changes to make it more of a meal. By the way, if you don’t want this to be a meatless dish, you can always add some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham to it as well.

So here’s what I came up with to lighten it up, and twist it a smidge. First of all, you want to get your ziti pasta cooking. Cook that according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. While that’s boiling away, heat your broccoli cuts according to package directions. Now I bought frozen steamable broccoli cuts, so I just had to plop the package down in the microwave and nuke it according to what the package said. Drain  your pasta, put it back in the same pot, add your broccoli.

Now, take your Alfredo sauce and sour cream and mix that together real good.

Then dump that sauce into the pot with your ziti and broccoli. Toss that together until it’s all evenly coated.

Spread half of the noodle mixture into a lightly greased 13×9 dish.

Now combine together your ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt & pepper.

Spread that evenly over the pasta mixture in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top of the ricotta mixture.

Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake it at 350 degrees F. until bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Just look at that cheese! Using light roasted garlic Alfredo sauce, light sour cream, ricotta cheese made with part skim, and reduced fat mozzarella cheese, you’re still left with a rich, creamy, delicious pasta casserole. By the way, no one in this house had a clue I used light or reduced fat anything in this recipe. Now I can enjoy this casserole more often with reduced guilt!

One last note, to make it a bit more healthier, and if you wish, you can replace regular ziti pasta with whole grain or whole wheat ziti. We are just not fans of whole wheat pasta, but that doesn’t mean  you aren’t! Enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare ziti according to package directions until al dente; drain and return to pot.
  2. While ziti is cooking, heat broccoli cuts according to package directions. I used steamable, so just used my microwave.
  3. Once ziti is drained and returned to the pot, add the broccoli
  4. Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with ziti and broccoli until evenly coated. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
  5. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over pasta mixture in baking dish. Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta cheese layer; sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to add meat to this dish if you want! Just throw in some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham with your pasta and broccoli.

Substitute whole grain or whole wheat pasta if you like.

Adapted from lilluna.com

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Cheesy Garlic Crescents

I’ve got a real treat for you folks today! You’re gonna love these! I was fixing some kind of tortellini skillet for my family for dinner one night, and I had decided I wanted to serve some kind of bread to go with it. I really really didn’t want to do the standard Texas Toast Garlic Toast. You know, the box buy in the freezer section? Not to poo poo on the product, we love the stuff, but I really wanted something different. Something my family would oooooh and aaaahhh over. So naturally, I visited one of my very favorite food blogs, plainchicken.com. Stephanie has a lot of recipes that will make anyone oooooh and aaaahhh over, and the cool thing is, is that they’re easy! Here’s where I found her recipe for Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls. So I set out to make that. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find Garlic Bread Seasoning. So, I ended up changing her recipe a little bit to fit what I had on hand. I shouldn’t really say “unfortunately” because this turned out so flippin’ flantastic! You’re really going to want to try this! It’s a great accompaniment to any Italian meal, or it would even be an awesome app to serve while watching the game. Serve it up with some heated marinara sauce for dipping. Your fans will love you! This is insanely easy, here’s what you do….

Gather up all of your ingredients. I really did use 4 tbsp of butter, so, never mind that little stack there in the picture. You’ll want your can of crescent dough, your mozzarella string cheese, butter, oregano, and what I’m starting to call my house seasoning, Garlic & Wine Seasoning from The Melting Pot. I swear, everyone should have some in their kitchen. I always make sure I have at least two bottles of it. I don’t want to run out! It’s good on veggies, baked potatoes, I’ve used it for seasonings in salad and casseroles. Heck we’ve even used it for popcorn seasoning. Anyway, on with the recipe… So you got your stuff. Lets move on.

Separate your dough into 8 triangles. Combine your melted butter and seasonings, then heavily brush that on top of the dough. Don’t be shy about it. I mean paint it on there good! We want flavor! Now, take half of a mozzarella stick, and place that on the long end of your triangle dough, and roll it up. Repeat with the rest.

Place them on a baking sheet. I foil lined mine for easy clean up, and I also gave the foil a little spray of cooking spray. I am not sure if they would stick otherwise, and didn’t want to take the chance. A little cooking spray won’t hurt them! Now, take the rest of your butter mixture, and pain the tops of your rolls. Pop them in the oven at 375 and bake until golden brown. Then sit back and enjoy the praises from your loved ones. Oh by the way, I’ve been told I need to double the batch next time. These flew off the plate so fast, I was lucky to get a picture, and they still wanted more! Eeesh! Next time, I will double it. 😂😂😂😂

 

 

 

Print Recipe
Cheesy Garlic Crescents Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Breads
Cuisine Italian
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Course Breads
Cuisine Italian
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine melted butter, garlic & wine seasoning, and oregano.
  3. Separate crescent dough into 8 rolls. Cut string cheese in half.
  4. Heavily brush half of the butter on top of crescent rolls. Place one half of string cheese on the long end of each crescent roll. Roll up and place on baking sheet. Heavily brush rolls with remaining butter mixture.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until rolls are golden brown.
Recipe Notes

slightly adapted from plainchicken.com

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