Monday, April 27, 2015

Ham and Garlic Cheddar Pasta Bake

Raise your hand if you had ham leftover after Easter. 

Does anyone not have their hand up? If so, please teach me your ways of perfect portion planning. 

Actually, on second thought, I’m glad I ended up with left over ham. It made it easy to make this Ham and Garlic Cheddar Pasta Bake.

The recipe rests squarely in the comfort food camp and at only 550 calories per serving you can take comfort in knowing it is pretty healthy too. 

Not only is this healthy, it is ridiculously easy to throw together and the leftovers taste great the next few days for lunches. 

Typing this has made me excited thinking about the (even more) left over ham I have in my freezer waiting for a rainy day. No really, the next time it rains here in LA I’m making this again. 

This is the kind of dish that tricks your tummy into thinking you haven’t changed your habits to be healthy or makes you realize that eating healthier doesn’t mean you can’t have old favorites like mac and cheese.

I’m gonna go hope for rain, you should bookmark this recipe so you’re ready as soon as it does. 

From: Petit Jean Eats
Time: about 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

1 pound of ham, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound medium shell pasta
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 Tsp garlic, minced (I used about 5 cloves, but we’re garlic lovers)
1 Tsp salt
½ Tsp black pepper
2 cups 2% milk
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta until slightly undone, about 5 minutes. (It will cook the rest of the way in the oven.)

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt 1 Tbsp of the butter in the pan. Add the onion and cook until soft and just starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside.

Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and melt the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter in that pot. And the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, then whisk in the salt and flour. Let that cook for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly then whisk in the milk.

Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Once the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is starting to thicken stir in the shredded cheddar until everything is melted and well combined.

Combine the pasta, onions, cheese sauce, and ham together and pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated all the way through.

Serve while warm and bubbly. Yum!

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 550, Total Fat 19g, Saturated Fat 11g, Cholesterol 56mg, Sodium 551mg, Total Carbohydrates 49g, Fiber 4g, Sugars 8g, Protein 17g.


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