Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wok's For Dinner: Pasta Crab Casserole

Tonight's meal was supposed to be Saturday's dinner, but it got pushed back a day since we had so much going on this week. My friend Selena gave me this recipe 5 years ago. She was doing freezer meals at the time. My son was born 4 weeks early, and out of the kindness of her heart, she brought over several meals for our family to give me a break and recover from preeclampsia and the early arrival of my first-born child. Hubs and I loved this meal, so of course I had to get the recipe. And since it was originally a freezer meal, it made sense to include it with my April Once a Month Mom freezer meal menu.

Pasta Crab Casserole--this is the original recipe from Selena; I halved it when I made this meal.

8 oz uncooked spiral pasta
2 large onions, chopped*
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced*
1/2 cup chopped green pepper, optional (I used orange bell pepper; the kids thought it was carrots!)
2 garlic cloves, minced*
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I used about 1 Tbsp olive oil instead)
2 pkg (8 oz each) imitation crabmeat, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dried basil or Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese (I used about 1/4 cup to keep the meal from being too fattening).
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute' onions, mushrooms, green pepper, and garlic in butter until crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Drain pasta; add to vegetable mixture. Stir in the crab, sour cream, salt and basil or Italian seasoning. Transfer to two greased 8-inch square baking dishes, or use one 13x9-inch pan and add 2-5 minutes of cook time. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 1 month. Cover and bake the 2nd casserole at 350 F for 20 minutes; uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes; uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer.
Since I halved the recipe, I only had one casserole. I did not add the cheese before freezing; instead, I added it before baking.
*Substitutions: You can use minced onion, canned mushrooms and/or garlic powder.
The entire family enjoyed this meal. I served it with fresh pineapple and broccoli & carrots. Doesn't it look scrumptuous?
The kids really ate it all up. I must have done something right because my son didn't complain abut eating the pasta crab casserole AND he requested 2nd & 3rds for the broccoli & carrots!

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