Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cheese, Beef & Noodle Casserole

This is a scrumptious, easy-to-make dinner. Seriously, I was able to make it while listening to my five-year old read aloud from his Aliens book, while my three-year old squirted water all over the kitchen with the kitchen faucet hose, and while I talked on the phone.

My tips are to add some salt to the ground beef as you cook it. It seems quite a few of the Weight Watcher recipes don’t call for any salt. Also, this really isn’t a one-pot meal. The recipe calls for hot cooked penne. How do you get hot cooked penne without cooking it in a pot? Another thing - the recipe calls for a flameproof casserole dish. Raise your hand if you have one of those (*me not raising my hand*). So, I had to sauté the onions and garlic and brown the ground beef in a nonstick skillet then transfer it to my casserole dish. So that makes it a three pot meal, but that’s okay, right? It was worth it.

Cheese, Beef & Noodle Casserole
From Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ pound lean beef (7% fat or less)
4 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne
2 cups fat-free marinara sauce
 ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¾ cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375F.

Heat oil in 2-quart flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add beef and cook, breaking it apart with spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes.

Stir penne, marinara sauce, ½ cup of Monterey Jack, and the parsley into beef mixture and spread evenly; sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese. Transfer casserole to oven and bake until cheese is melted and filling is bubbly around edge, about 20 minutes.

Points Plus value = 7 points for 1 cup serving. Makes 6 servings.

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