Pierogi Casserole

PierogiCasseroleVertbfLOI get recipes via email from a lot of sources; friends, Rich’s mom, and, of course, large, multinational food conglomerates and appliance manufacturer/defense contractors looking to sell me more of their stuff.

Ermmm, not that there’s anything wrong with that…

No, REALLY. Some of my favorite new recipes have come from (or been inspired by) emails I’ve received due to signing up for the extended warranty on my fridge, or a friend doing some temp work in marketing at that huge cheez and more company not too, too far down the street and putting my name on a list.

This is one of those recipes.

The (very) nice folk at Kraft sent me an email featuring “easy pierogi casserole” – highlighting their new ‘cheese with cream cheese’ cheese, among other stuff; and I thought it interesting looking enough that I’d take a whack at it – potatoes, pasta, cheese, and bacon; what’s not to love? I did, of course, need to make a few (minor) adjustments: much as I love (and use, a lot) Philadelphia cream cheese, I see no real need to buy my cheddar with ‘a touch’ of cream cheese added to it. Likewise, while I am certain that precooked bacon pieces are a lovely thing, I will stick with my uncured bacon, roasted in spices and brushed with maple syrup, thank you very much.

PotatoesScallionCheesesbfLOAll that said, this is a wicked tasty dish, and one that would brighten any fall or winter table. Check it out.

•9 lasagna noodles, uncooked – I used Barilla ‘no boiling required’ flat noodles – their smaller size fits my baking pan of choice perfectly
PotatoesScallionCheesesMixedbfLO•4 cups mashed potatoes – I used some leftover buttermilk mashed red potatoes
•1/2 cup (1/2 of 8 oz tub) chive & onion cream cheese spread
•6 scallions, thinly sliced
•1 pkg bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled – I used maple roasted bacon
•2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
•1/2 cup (the other 1/2 of that 8 oz tub, if you like) cream cheese with chive (tho’ garden vegetable would be nice here as well)
•Butter – about 1 tbsp

PierogiCassPotatoesNoodlesbfLOHeat oven to 375°.

Warm your leftover mashed potatoes in the ‘wave and combine with 1/2 cup (about 4 strips) of the crumbled bacon, the scallions, cream cheese and 1 cup of the shredded cheddar.

Use the tablespoon of butter to grease your baking pan – mine was 11-3/4 x 8-3/4 x 2-3/4 inch.

PierogiCassTopPotatoesSpreadbfLOPlace a layer of the uncooked pasta on the bottom of the pan and spread 1/3 of the potato-scallioon-bacon-cheese mixture on top, being careful not to push the pasta out of position.

Repeat two more times, pressing down lightly on each layer of pasta as you add to help even out the potato mixture below.

Top with one more layer of noodles and set aside.

PCReadyToBakebfLONow that you’ve used up you potato mixture, toss the remaining crumbled bacon, that last cup of shredded cheddar, and the rest of that tub o’ cream cheese in the mixing bowl and stir together (I used my hand mixer) until well combined and creamy.

Spread this mixture evenly over the top layer of the noodles and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake, covered, for 50 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.

PCCasserolePlatebfLORemove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Like I said earlier; pasta, potatoes, cheese, and bacon, what’s not to love?

The nice folk at Kraft recommend serving with a tossed salad – we had ours with Carrots Vichy and some Pot Roast of Love and were most pleased.

You do what you like.


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