Monday, September 26, 2011

Broccoli Casserole

If you're a casserole lover like me, like broccoli and don't turn your nose up at Campbell's condensed soup recipes, this is a dish you should put in your repertoire. I began making this recipe about 40 years ago when my ex mother-in-law Marion, who is a fabulous cook shared it with me. She originally called the dish broccoli souffle. And if you leave out the penne pasta that I've added, I would still call it a souffle even though you don't have to separate any eggs. It puffs up like the real thing. How impressive is that?

I wanted to add some depth to the dish because I live alone and don't always want to make something that accompanies a main course. Sometimes I don't want a main course and the sides are all I need. Anyway, the pasta seems to do the trick.

Broccoli Casserole with Penne Pasta
Inspired by Marion MacGregor

3 cups cooked broccoli florets

1 can Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup (98% fat free)

2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (I've been using Fontina-best melting cheese ever, but very rich and not so figure friendly)

1/2 cup lite mayonnaise- I think you could even use no-fat mayo here

2 T chopped onion or scallion

2 beaten eggs

1/2 cup uncooked penne pasta (I use Dreamfields low carb)

1 T hot sauce (my addition)

black pepper to taste

1 cup homemade garlic croutons or toasted bread crumbs

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and cool. In large bowl combine all ingredients except croutons or bread crumbs. Pour pasta/broccoli mixture in prepared dish (glass 9" x 12" would work fine or a soufflet dish misted with cooking spray) and add toasted croutons or bread crumbs to the top. Sometimes I mix a few of the croutons or crumbs into the casserole and it adds an extra crunch. Your choice. Bake 45 minutes uncovered. Let cool a bit and serve. Yummy dish and microwaves like a dream the next day.

Re-Mix: I've made this with the addition of chopped turkey bacon slices and even cooked chicken, and then it really becomes a meal. I haven't added any other veggies because the broccoli is really the star. If you don't have cream of celery soup, use cream of mushroom. I've done that and it's perfectly acceptable. I have not yet tried it with cream of chicken, but I bet that would be pretty good too.

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