Boyfriend-Approved Buffalo Veggie Pasta Bake

Boyfriend-Approved Buffalo Veggie Pasta Bake | coffeeandquinoa.com

Remember when I didn’t eat cheese for 6 months?

Hah.

Boyfriend-Approved Buffalo Veggie Pasta Bake | coffeeandquinoa.com

Sorry, former vegan self. Sorry but I’m not sorry. I ate a lot of cheese this weekend, and it tasted reeeeally good.

I’ve actually been craving this dish for a few weeks, since a co-worker brought in some buffalo chicken casserole for lunch. As she warmed up her leftovers in the microwave and the smell wafted through the kitchen, it was alllll I wanted.

Boyfriend-Approved Buffalo Veggie Pasta Bake | coffeeandquinoa.com

I had brought a salad.

Major food envy.

Boyfriend-Approved Buffalo Veggie Pasta Bake | coffeeandquinoa.com

I knew I had to recreate it for you guys ASAP. My one hesitation to go out of town last weekend was that I’d have to wait an extra week to bring this dish to life! Such hardships :) Luckily, that gave me an extra week to fantasize and brainstorm… making the end result positively perfect.

Boyfriend-Approved Buffalo Veggie Pasta Bake | coffeeandquinoa.com

Nate agrees. That’s him going back for seconds.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call this dish healthy, but it is vegetarian – come on, aren’t those synonymous?! It’s loaded with veggies, replacing 1/2 the pasta and all of the chicken that would be used in a regular buffalo chicken casserole. It’s just cheesy enough to be indulgent, but still loaded with nutrients.

Boyfriend-Approved Buffalo Veggie Pasta Bake | coffeeandquinoa.com

It’s like a cross between buffalo chicken, mac and cheese, and veggie pasta dish. Also known as…the tastiest thing ever. For real. I don’t think I have to try too hard to convince you on this one.

Guess who’s going to have the jealousy-inducing leftovers for lunch this week?!

Boyfriend-Approved Buffalo Veggie Pasta Bake | coffeeandquinoa.com

Boyfriend-Approved Buffalo Veggie Pasta Bake

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For pasta:

1/2 lb whole wheat pasta

1/2 tsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

sprinkle of ground black pepper

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced (about 5 cups sliced)

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened milk of your choice)

2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided (4-5 oz.)

1/2 cup hot sauce such as Frank’s RedHot

To top:

3-4 green onions, thinly sliced

additional hot sauce

1 recipe lightened up blue cheese dressing

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Cook pasta in a large pot until slightly al dente. Drain and return to pot. Set aside.

Next, saute your vegetables. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add garlic, onion, and carrots, season with ground pepper, and saute until soft, 9-10 minutes. (The carrots will not soften up much in the oven, so you want to get them to your desired softness on the stovetop.) Add the mushrooms and saute 3 minutes more, then add the Brussels sprouts and saute another 2 minutes. Pour vegetables into the pot with the pasta and scrape pan clean.

Now prepare the roux. In the same pan, melt the butter. Stir in flour and let bubble 1-2 minutes. Stir in the milk. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 5-7 minutes. Add 1 cup of the grated cheese and stir to melt. Stir in hot sauce. Pour the mixture over the pasta and vegetables and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining cup of cheddar cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling. (If cheese starts to burn before 25 minutes, cover the top of the dish with tin foil and continue baking.)

Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions. Serve in scoops, topped with additional hot sauce and blue cheese dressing.

Enjoy!

Time:

1 hour

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{ 20 comments }

  • Aparna B. February 25, 2013, 6:05 am

    I had to do a double take because I swore this had meat in it! And then I re-read it to make sure I was reading it right: it doesn’t have any meat in it! GENIUS! I gotta try this! :)

    Reply
    • Erica February 25, 2013, 8:00 am

      Totally vegetarian!

      Reply
  • angela @ another bite please February 25, 2013, 8:47 am

    i have to laugh at your title boyfriend approved…my hubby loves buffalo flavor…so i am sure he will be approving of this one too!

    Reply
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies February 25, 2013, 8:51 am

    Yummmm buffalo sauce! Double yum for cheese! And I always love veggies. This is SO going on the meal plan for next week :)

    Reply
    • Erica February 25, 2013, 10:41 am

      Yay, let me know how you like it!

      Reply
  • Becky @ Olives n Wine February 25, 2013, 9:37 am

    I have been waiting for this post ever since you posted a photo on Facebook yesterday! Holy goodness – I love anything buffalo with cheese. And let’s talk about you going without cheese for SIX MONTHS…. WHAT??!? How did you survive? ;)

    Reply
  • Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} February 25, 2013, 9:52 am

    Yum, buffalo flavor is one of my favorites. I have to admit that cheese is one thing I do miss once in a while. Then I remember how I feel when I accidentally have dairy and I don’t miss cheese anymore. This looks really tasty though!

    Reply
  • a farmer in the dell February 25, 2013, 1:52 pm

    I totally almost licked my computer screen. This has me drooling lady!

    Reply
  • Anna @ ApronHearts February 25, 2013, 3:09 pm

    Looks crazy good!!! So cheesy. I like the green onions sprinkled on a top. If only I could grab that fork…:)

    Reply
  • Natalie February 25, 2013, 3:31 pm

    This looks so good, I love Frank’s but never thought about pairing it with pasta! Yum!

    Reply
    • Erica February 25, 2013, 4:59 pm

      You’ve gotta do it! It’s a good combo :)

      Reply
  • Sarah @ makingthymeforhealth February 25, 2013, 8:45 pm

    This looks so yummy! Your pictures are great too, good job! :)

    Reply
  • a farmer in the dell February 26, 2013, 11:07 pm

    I just showed this recipe to my husband. It’s on!!!!

    Reply
    • Erica February 27, 2013, 7:21 am

      Yesssss!

      Reply
  • Kathryn February 27, 2013, 8:37 am

    WOW… this looks amazing. I’m always looking for at least somewhat healthy comfort food the hubby will like… thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • April March 2, 2014, 2:24 pm

    Hey there! I found you on Pinterest and my husband and I loved this dish! I made my own hot sauce and a few other tweaks, but thanks so much for this idea! I’ve linked you for the original recipe. I would love for you to check it out! http://athomeorganic.com/2014/03/02/buffalo-veggie-pasta-bake/

    Reply

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