Three Cheese Spaghetti Nests

by Marla on September 14, 2010 · 63 comments

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Spaghetti and Cheese Nests on FamilyFreshCooking.comHealthy pasta and cheese recipe

Spaghetti and cheese. Yup. Not much more & not anything less. I cannot think of anyone that does not like a comforting bowl of hearty carbs with gooey melted cheese. With these nests I wanted to get a bit playful with presentation. Not only are they in the shape of well, nests-but I added color to the whole wheat pasta with the spice tumeric. I also added a slightly smoky flavor with my handy dandy smoked paprika. Yes, I did say whole wheat pasta & yes as always I share with you a recipe that has a healthier profile than the usual ones. Why, why not?? Dig in!

Spaghetti and Cheese Nests on FamilyFreshCooking.com

These spaghetti nests are great in the kids lunch box. They travel well & can easily be re-heated in the microwave. With a side salad or steamed veggies you have a full meal.

Spaghetti and Cheese Nests on FamilyFreshCooking.com
This pasta is also great for #MeatlessMonday. It is always nice to have some vegetarian options in our recipe line up. If you want to make this a heartier meal you can lay a crispy cooked egg on top. Look at what my friend Louise came up with on her blog 2 be satisfied {Caberneti Spaghetti Nests with Crispy Egg and Golden Garlic.} Gorgeous Louise!

Spaghetti and Cheese Nests on FamilyFreshCooking.com

These spaghetti nests get a bit crispy on top & warm & creamy in the centers after they are baked. You can also add chunks of chicken breast & small bits of diced steamed broccoli to make a more complete meal. Perhaps you use larger ramekins for baking if you want to go a bit bigger in portion size.

Spaghetti and Cheese Nests on FamilyFreshCooking.com

 

Three Cheese Spaghetti Nests

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8-12 servings

Three Cheese Spaghetti Nests

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces dry Whole Wheat Spaghetti (or gluten free option)
  • 1/2 cup grated regular or low fat Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup fat free or low fat Cottage Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • pinch Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • shaved Parmesan for garnish

Method

  • Pre heat oven to 425 F with the rack in the center of the oven. Lightly spray Muffin tins. Cook pasta according to directions, reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Be sure not to break spaghetti while cooking so you can twirl it into nests. Combine cottage cheese and cheddar cheese in a bowl. Toss cooked pasta with a splash of olive oil, all spices and seasonings. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if you need to. Mix with cheese mixture. Reserve a bit of cheese to top each nest.
  • Twirl spaghetti with a fork and add to muffin tins, create nest shapes. Top each nest with a bit of the cottage cheese mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes. The tops of your nests will be lightly browned and a bit crispy. Let cool for a few minutes. Gently loosen spaghetti nests from muffin tins with a spatula and serve. Top with parmesan & dried basil or parsley if desired.
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Variations

  • You can try different spices in your spaghetti nests: chili powder, cayenne, thyme, saffron, nutmeg, cumin, etc…would all be fun & unique flavor twists.
  • You can play around linguine, angel hair and other pasta shapes.
  • Try flavored pasta: Spinach, cabernet, etc.
  • Go gluten free: You can use your favorite rice pasta or gluten free product in this recipe too.
  • Stay on the Meatless Monday kick & up the protein with chunks of tofu or top with an egg.
  • More protein non-veg style? Go with some cubed cooked chicken breast. Toss it in before baking.

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