Looking for a creamy and cheesy pasta dish that is also healthy? Well this recipe is just that. Enjoy cheddar and Parmesan cheese along with earthy mushrooms and bright and refreshing peas.
- 8 cups cooked whole wheat ziti or penne
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups low-fat milk
- 1-1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups fresh mushrooms
- 2 cups cooked turkey breast, chopped
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
- Using a dish towel, gently wipe mushrooms clean and slice.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in flour. Cook and stir constantly for about 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the milk and chicken broth a little at a time and bring it to a boil.
- Stir in mushrooms and reduce the heat. Cook and stir frequently for about 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the mushrooms are softened.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese, pasta, turkey and peas into the milk mixture. Spoon into lightly greased dish.
- Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top. Cover loosely with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes or until it is bubbling at the edges and heated through. Season with pepper if desired.
Smart Shopping Tips
- When shopping for mushrooms, look for firm ones that are free of mold or soft spots. Do not store them in a plastic bag or packaging, for they need cool air circulating around them.
- If you want fresh peas instead of frozen, look for ones with pods that are intact. Select bright green pods that are free of blemishes or a yellow color. When snapping they should be firm and make a nice crisp sound.
- If you do not like mushrooms, you could use grilled eggplant in its place.
- A great substitution for peas is corn. Corn would give the dish the same bright, fresh pop that the peas provide.
- To add some pizzazz to this recipe, try adding black olives. You could also try adding a pinch of nutmeg, paprika or cayenne.