Now I love Shrimp. And Pasta. All pasta. And cheese.
I pretty much use Pinterest every night right around dinner time to find something to satisfy my pasta and cheese needs. A couple months back I was searching for dinner inspiration when I came across this gem posted by DamnDelicious.net and oh my god y’all. This is a game changer.
Now, of course, I had to go and put my own twist to an intentionally healthier version of one of my favorite pasta dishes. Let’s just say there is cheese involved…lots and lots of cheese. I’m not usually one to go through all the trouble of making up my own pasta sauce and all that jazz but guys, it is SO worth it. This dish is now one of our favorite comfort foods, and Alden requests it at least every other week. It’s super easy to make and tastes absolutely DELICIOUS.
Note: The original recipe calls for a can of petite tomatoes, but for Alden’s sake I completely voided them out of this recipe. Instead, I substituted them with our favorite, red bell pepper. I also doubled the sauce from the original recipe for this recipe. Grilled chicken can also be substituted for the shrimp. One thing I love about pasta recipes is that they can be so versatile and easily adjusted to fit your family’s tastes.
Red Pepper Shrimp Alfredo Bake
Here’s a list of all the ingredients you’ll need
- 12 oz bag of medium shrimp (make sure you peel the shrimp prior to baking!)
- 1 Tbs of olive oil
- ½ a box of penne pasta (we like the mini penne, but any pasta will do)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 C of red bell pepper (chopped (I like to pre-cut and freeze my peppers + then thaw them out in the microwave on a plate and a paper towel))
- 1 C of Mozzarella cheese
- ½ C of Parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning or Italian bread crumbs for garnish
For the sauce:
- 4 Tbs of butter
- 2 Tbs of minced garlic (I use pre-minced garlic out of the jar, it saves so much time)
- 2 Tbs of all-purpose flour
- 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
- 4 Tbs of cream cheese (about half a block)
- ¾ C of chicken broth
- Salt & Pepper
The first thing you want to do is start on the alfredo sauce. That is right everybody, we are making our own garlic alfredo sauce. It is the most time consuming out of the whole recipe, so you really want to start this first. Also, the longer it sits the thicker the sauce.
Melt your butter in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add your minced garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
Next, whisk in your flour to the garlic and butter mixture. Whisk frequently for about 1 minute until the flour has browned. Slowly mix in the evaporated milk, and keep cooking while whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened, anywhere from 2-4 minutes. Feel free to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. while you work on the sauce.
Once the sauce is slightly thickened, stir in your cream cheese and chicken broth. Keep stirring until the sauce is smooth, this will take some time. Anywhere from 6-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the sauce is smooth, remove from heat and set aside.
Once the oven is up to temp, take a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil. Toss shrimp with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread out onto the baking sheet. Place the shrimp in the oven and cook for about 6-8 minutes.
Cook pasta in a large pot as per box directions. Remember to salt your water before boiling!
Take the oven temp down to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.
Using the same pot you cooked your pasta in, mix together the sauce, red peppers, mozzarella cheese, and shrimp. Spread the pasta into the baking dish and top with parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake in the oven until the cheese has melted and the top is a golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Serve & enjoy with garlic bread (:
Adapted from DamnDelicious.net