July 3, 2010

Turkey Pasta Casserole With Asparagus and Cheddar Cheese

I used mini penne pasta in this hearty casserole, but elbow macaroni or small shells would work just as well.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces mini penne pasta or similar shape
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning blend, or to taste
  • cooked asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces, about 2 cups
  • 3 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 8 ounces shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Preparation:

Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Heat oven to 350°. Cook pasta in boiling water following package directions.
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter; add bell pepper and sauté until tender. Add garlic and green onion; sauté for 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until well blended. Stir in chicken broth, cooking until thickened. Stir in milk; continue cooking, stirring frequently, until thickened and hot. Add seasonings, asparagus, and turkey; heat through. Stir in cheese and cook until melted. Stir in the cooked drained pasta and pour into the prepared baking dish. Toss bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle over top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Serves 6 to 8.

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