Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Cheesy Rotini Casserole

A cheesy pasta casserole made with a cream soup and sour cream base and rotini pasta.
A cheesy pasta casserole made with a cream soup and sour cream base and rotini pasta.

Cheesy Rotini Casserole

This recipe is based on one that was popular back in the early 1980s among The Telephone Pioneers of America and was featured in their community cookbooks, Bell's Best and Calling All Cooks.

It was called Macaroni Casserole back then, because it was generally made with elbow macaroni. I used rotini pasta for my version because I had an opened box I needed to use up. Waste not, want not! 
 
My first question to myself was, wait... since I used rotini, can I still call it Macaroni Casserole? Hmmm... probably not. Or, maybe I could, but I thought that might be a tad confusing, even though it is a type of macaroni and cheese.

So, I renamed it Cheesy Rotini Casserole.

Second, though it may sound odd for a dish that closely resembles said mac and cheese, but, yes, cream soup has always been a main ingredient.

Well y'all, it is a casserole and cream soup is the classic southern béchamel after all, especially for casseroles, though, as always, you can certainly make a homemade sauce instead - if you object to the use of that shortcut.

Either way, it's a delicious pasta and cheese casserole. Try it!

The ingredients are amazingly simple!
Pasta - Any shortcut pasta is fine. Macaroni is typical. I used rotini.

Seasoning Vegetables - Onion (I used sweet) and sweet bell pepper. Use green, red, yellow or orange, whatever happens to be your favorite, or like me, what you had in the produce drawer.

The Base - In this case, rather than a homemade white sauce, we're using southern béchamel, aka, cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream. I prefer and tested this recipe with the original "Great for Cooking" condensed soup for casseroles because the other versions are typically watery. For sour cream, I also prefer using the original full fat version.

and,

Cheese! I'm using a Colby Jack blend of pre-shredded cheese I needed to use up also but use whatever cheese you like. I generally prefer to shred my own cheeses for macaroni and cheese, but it seems like the base used here helped to counteract any starchy fillers in the pre-shredded stuff.
Y'all that's it!

I guess you can say that this casserole came out of a lot of bits and pieces of things I needed to use up too!

Here's how to make my Cheesy Rotini Casserole, and as always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below.

First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9 x 9-inch square dish. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions; drain and set aside. I used my Fasta Pasta to cook the pasta about 10 minutes for the rotini.


In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. You can use any color bell pepper here, so use your preference.


Stir in the cream soup and sour cream until fully incorporated. 


Add 2 cups of cheese. I'm using a Colby Jack blend of pre-shredded cheese I needed to use up. You can use your favorite cheeses.


Stir mixture over low heat until cheese has melted and blended in.


Add the cooked and well drained pasta.


Stir to blend in.


Transfer to the prepared pan and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.


Remove, top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and return to oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.


Until bubbly and the cheese has lightly browned.


Dig in. This is sooooo good y'all - hope you enjoy it!


Unable to view the printable below with your device? Click here.



Posted by on March 30, 2022
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