For many families, finding dinners that are inexpensive but still satisfying is sometimes a challenge. This Rotini with Peas and Cheese is macaroni and cheese, but all grown up! A cheesy pasta meal that everyone loves.
Rotini with Peas and Cheese
The addition of bacon in this recipe gives it just the right amount of added flavor. And there’s something fabulous about rotini. Sauce just clings to it and makes it irresistible.
Serve up a big bowl of this cheesy rotini and you’ll see what I mean when I say it’s grown up mac and cheese. The onion and garlic add great flavor and the bacon pushes it over the top.
You can top it with fresh grated parmesan, but it’s just fine without it. In fact this makes a great lunch or a delicious side dish with burgers or dogs.
My mouth is watering typing up this post, so I think I’ll make another batch for tomorrow!
First you’ll cook a couple slices of bacon then chop or crumble it. For added flavor, leave the bacon grease in the skillet and turn heat up to medium-high. Add the butter and olive oil then stir.
Next, add the onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
Now sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture. Cook for one minute then stir in the mustard. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring it to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened. Take it off the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Add in the cheese and season it to taste. Lastly, whisk until smooth.
Drain your hot cooked pasta and toss with cheese mixture. Add in the bacon and peas. You can add small amounts of pasta water to loosen the mixture if it’s too thick.
This is a really delicious option if you love macaroni and cheese. You could use broccoli instead of peas if you prefer, and pancetta instead of bacon!
More macaroni and cheese recipes
This recipe is similar to my stovetop macaroni and cheese in that it uses a roux to thicken the sauce. A baked macaroni and cheese dish that’s very similar to this is my macaroni and cheese with ham and peas. For the vegetarians out there, I have a butternut squash mac and cheese recipe too! In fact, you can see all my macaroni and cheese recipes here.
Rotini, Peas and Cheese
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces rotini
- 3/4 cup frozen green peas thawed
- Bring pot of water to a boil and add rotini noodles, cooking until al dente. Drain, but reserve one cup of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in skillet over medium heat. Remove bacon and chop or crumble.
- Leaving the bacon grease in the skillet, turn heat up to medium-high. Add butter and oil and stir with a wooden spoon. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in mustard. Gradually add 1 cup milk, whisking continuously; bring mixture to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Add cheese and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
- Drain hot pasta and immediately toss it with the cheese mixture. Add in peas and bacon. If mixture is too sticky or thick, add small amounts of pasta water to loosen.