Creamy Garlic Shells

April 17, 2014 · 9 comments

in healthy,pasta,quick and easy,vegetarian

There was a (long) period in my life where I was basically keeping Lipton in business. And I’m not just talking about my iced tea addiction (which I still have, thankyouverymuch) but those flavored “pasta sides” packets. Except in my world they weren’t really sides so much as a meal and, man, did I love them. Sure, one package allowed me to reach my sodium limit for a month, but I’m sure that’s what made them so tasty.

Those types of things got kicked to the curb when I started doing more from-scratch cooking and more clean eating. I haven’t had them in a number of years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have cravings for something similar from time to time.  This is, of course, why things like creamy taco mac and skillet ground beef stroganoff are very popular dishes in our house.

This dish is simple. You cook the pasta and then you saute a couple of garlic cloves in a little butter and oil, and make a roux which thickens the sauce. Then, everything is combined, along with some cheese. Garlic powder is added, too, and though I normally don’t use it for anything other than rubs, it works well here because it makes the garlic flavor more robust—something I remember from the packets. It’s all on the table quickly and makes for a great side to pretty much anything. Although I haven’t tried it yet, I see no reason why you couldn’t make this all in one pot, a la the revolutionary mac and cheese, increasing the liquid by a bit, so I’ll probably try that next time.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen @ The Food Charlatan April 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

Double the garlic, double the fun :) Creamy cheesy pasta + garlic? You’re speaking my language.

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Courtney April 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I lived off those things in college. They were my dinner pretty much every night for most of my first two years in school. This looks way better.

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I love this so much! Such an easy weeknight meal.

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Christina @ but i'm hungry April 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm

If you kept Lipton in business with the pasta, I did my part with onion soup mix. ;) That one took me a while to phase out, but I did it! I love recreating stuff like this with real food- and this looks so yummy. Comfort food at its best!

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Joanne April 18, 2014 at 5:45 am

Oh, those packets. So tasty and yet so not that great for you. I’d much rather make it myself! And all that garlic flavor plus creamy comfort…yum.

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nancy April 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm

I clicked on the creamy taco mac link (don’t know how I missed that) and was sold. I made it today: used ground chicken and fresh tomatoes instead of canned, cause I had some I wanted to use up. Wow – delicious! Between the cream cheese, sour cream and cheddar, it lived up to its name. And the taco seasoning made it more interesting than plain mac ‘n cheese. This is going into my rotation. Thanks.

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elly April 25, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Glad you liked it, Nancy! I will have to try it with chicken some time; I’m not sure why I never have!

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Misty September 24, 2014 at 11:52 pm

These were delicious, thanks! I’m not a big fan of olive oil, so next time I will probably just use extra butter in place of it. Olive oil is healthier though, so maybe not! Anyway, my whole family of picky eaters really liked this and that pretty much never happens.

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elly September 25, 2014 at 8:01 am

Happy to hear they were a hit, Misty.

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