February 7, 2013

Creamy Shrimp and Pasta Casserole

I wish you could have smelled this thing coming out of the oven....wow.

Hey all!  Tomorrow is Friday!! But you already are wellll aware of this.  Yay!  And what's even more exciting than that...well, a little?  The fact that I just indulged in something so creamy, so cheesy and soooo delicious!  I had a package of frozen shrimp in my freezer and have been wanting to utilize these little guys for weeks now. The shrimp was already pre-cooked. All I had to do was let them sit in cold water for about  five minutes and thaw out and take their little tails off. 

This recipe is so easy and so comforting.  I thoroughly enjoyed it tonight since today I didn't eat too much. I was pretty busy at work mostly from 9am-1ish.  Small tangent coming...I promise!  I picked up a yummy black bean burrito and kept on working. 

Hit the spot!

I did enjoy a nice walk today.  It was cold, but the sun being out helped a lot. I needed to get some fresh air and take a break.  The place where I bought my burrito is a cute little corner market shop called Old Nelson's.  It reminds me of a Wawa store but much smaller. {non-east coast readers, you may want to ask a friend  who lives on the east coast about Wawa stores or just Google it}.    They are pretty fantastic. :-)

This place has an actual refrigerated sandwich section, so I'm pretty comfortable picking up a 3.50 sandwich quickly and can be on with my day.  I also came across these two fun finds....

I love strawberries and I love chocolate.  Who doesn't?  Can't wait to try that cereal!  The strawberry liquorice?  Holy addicting!  They literally are 'soft eating'.  Whatever that means.  I think it's just more about a beyond soft texture that they have.  I had about 6 of them today.  They are kind of sort of small in size and delish!  I love trying new things, especially food related and in snack form.

Oh right...the main attraction of this post...the shrimp dish!  I did not forget, trust me.  You won't ever forget this dish.

Creamy Shrimp and Pasta Casserole

{you can get a good 8-10 servings out of this; easy}.


1 lb angel hair pasta or egg noodles would work great with this ( The thinner and lighter your pasta, the better for this dish)
2 cups cooked, deveined, and thawed shrimp (tails off)
2 T. Flour
3 T. Butter or margarine
cooking spray
2 cups skim milk
2 cups 2% or whole milk
1 can Campbell's cheddar cheese soup
{Tiny sprinkles of: dry mustard, black pepper, salt}
1 cup and then some of shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
1/2 red onion, cut in long strips
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesean Cheese
1 T. dried  or fresh parsley


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Cook your pasta according to the package. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add in your flour. Whisk well. Once that mixture looks smooth, add in the 2 cups of skim milk first. (I do the two different milks for thickness and for the fact that I think there might be a touch less fat in this dish because of that idea). 

You'll be stirring this  for a good while.  Add the soup in,  keep stirring, then add in the 2 cups of whole milk. Sprinkle your 'dashes' of  the dry mustard, black pepper and salt.  This is just to add some flavour to the cheese mixture. Let this thicken up a bit and get a little bubbly.  Keep on whisking/stirring.  Once thickened, add in your cheese. 

Once this entire mixture becomes really smooth and thick, add in the shrimp. You can now stop stirring so much and let everything combine and thicken really well.  Meanwhile, slice the red onion.  I placed them in the pasta pot once it was cooked and drained. Add a little EVOO to the pot and cook down the onions over medium-high heat until decently soft in texture and lightly browned. I LOVE the onion in this dish.  It adds a nice sweetness to it and a wonderful crunch.

Once the onions are cooked and your cheese sauce mixture is looking amazing and thick and creamy and yum, turn off all the burners and get this baby assembled because by this point, you'll be dying to get it in the oven and eat it!   Spray a 13x9 casserole dish with cooking spray. Lay your pasta in the dish first.  Next, pour all of that amazing cheese sauce over the pasta. Blend well so mostly everything is coated with sauce. Top with the cooked onions, panko bread crumbs, and some parmesean cheese.  Finally, top with dried or fresh chopped parsley.  Sprinkle a little lemon juice on top, too.  If you like that kind of thing.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

This dish was truly divine.  I can't wait for you to make this. Let me know what you think!!  I also have a TON of leftovers!

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