Friday, February 8, 2019

Cheesy Meatballs and Shells Casserole

I decided that I wanted to make casseroles for the next week. I wasn't sure how my family would react to that, since they are pretty set in their ways, even though I don't cater to them. For the first of the casserole dishes I chose Cheesy Meatballs and Shells Casserole from Judith Hannemann over at The Midnight Baker. Normally I tweak recipes, but I didn't see anything that needed to be adjusted. I'm glad I didn't. This recipe was perfect. My family absolutely loved it!

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups medium shells
  • 2 lbs small cooked meatballs 
  • 1 cup process cheese (like Velveeta), cubed
  • ½ sleeve buttery crackers (like Ritz), crushed
  • 1 tbs butter, melted

  • Sauce:
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 cups rich beef stock, don't cheap out on this one
  • 1 can (10.75 oz) cream of mushroom soup

  • Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Spray a 1½-2 quart baking dish or casserole.
  3. Cook shells per package instructions.
  4. To make sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tbs butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour making sure there are no lumps. Cook over medium heat until the flour/butter mixture bubbles.
  5. Gradually add the beef stock, stirring constantly so mixture remains smooth. Cook, stirring frequently over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Add the cubed process cheese and cook over low heat until cheese is melted; about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Place the mushroom soup in a large bowl. Gradually stir in the cheese sauce until well blended and smooth.
  7. Fold in the cooked shells and meatballs. Turn into prepared baking dish.
  8. Mix the 1 tbs melted butter with the crushed cracker crumbs; toss to coat. Sprinkle over top of casserole.
  9. Bake for 35-30 minutes or until heated through and crumbs are golden brown.

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