Made with sauteed, sweet Vidalia onions, peppers, tender pasta, and hand-grated cheese, this Crab Pasta Casserole is a budget-friendly dinner meal idea. Jam-packed with flavor, this casserole is a perfect dinner for the entire family. Thank you, to the Vidalia Onion Committee for sponsoring today’s delicious recipe creation.
One of my favorite recipe ingredients are onions. I just love the flavor and versatility onions provide many of my recipes with. But, Vidalia Onions are my all-time favorite onion to cook with. They are sweet, mild, and delicious in sandwich melts, stir frys, and pasta dishes.
Vidalia onion crops are now ready across the country. This hand-planted crop is only available from April through August making them a highly coveted recipe addition.
Vidalia onions make this recipe
I always buy Vidalia onions because I am all about sweet & savory pairings. I love how Vidalia onions provide the perfect balance of sweetness to any dish. They are especially a key star in my Cheesy Crab Pasta Casserole which I concocted this week.
We used one large Vidalia onion and 1 large red sweet pepper in this recipe for a nice sweetness to add flavor to the crab meat and pasta.
Pasta – We used a a 16 ounce box of mini shell pasta which holds the flavor well.
Cheeses- 4 ounces of hand-grated mild cheddar and Swiss cheese were used. I love to hand-grate my cheeses so they melt evenly.
Red pepper – One large red pepper was sliced thinly to add sweetness to this dish.
Vidalia onion– One large onion sliced into thin rings worked perfectly to balance the sweet and savory of this pasta casserole.
Butter- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter was used to saute the onion and pepper.
Spices- salt, fresh ground black pepper, oregano, onion, and garlic powder gave this dish a nice flavor.
Immitation Crab Meat – We used a large 14-ounce package for this recipe of flake style crab meat.
Sour Cream- I used 12 ounces of light sour cream, but you could go with a full fat version if you choose.
Green onion- a nice garnish for when the casserole is done being baked.
Making crab pasta casserole
Making this recipe was really easy. I boiled the pasta until al dente with a little salt as I sauteed the veggies.
Once the pasta was done, I drained it, added the immitation crab flakes, sour cream and veggies. I mixed them together and added them to a casserole dish.
I topped it with cheese and then baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
This crab pasta casserole was best when eaten fresh, and warm. You can refrigerate it or freeze it, but it does slightly change the creaminess of the dish. The sour cream is not as creamy when reheated, but it still equally good.
To freeze do not bake the casserole. Assemble it as if you were going to bake it, but do not. Store it in a freezer/cook safe aluminum pan covered tightly for up to one month.
To bake from frozen, double the time. I would also probably recommend grating the cheese the day before you freeze for best results.
Why this recipe is a keeper
We love this recipe because it is easy to make. I time commitment of about 30 minutes is all you need to get this meal on the table.
This dish is also a nice change from meat-based dishes. If you love sweet and savory pasta dishes, this is perfect because the veggies are sweeter and pair so well with the sour cream, pasta, crab, and cheese.
My kids gave this two thumbs up and so did I. I was pleasantly surprised that this meal which I tested as I went turned out to be so flavorful and delicious! I feel like the addition of hand-grated cheese really made this a perfect casserole.
Be sure to pick up some Vidalia onions this season to enjoy on the grill, in a salad, melt, or casserole! They are just so sweet, fresh, and delicious!
Cheesy Crab Meat Pasta Casserole
- 3.5+ quart baking dish
- 14 ounces imitation crab meat flaked
- 16 ounces shell pasta boiled, drained
- 12 ounces sour cream light or full-fat
- 1 bell pepper seeded, sliced thinly
- 1 Vidalia onion jumbo, sliced thinly
- 4 tbsps. unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces Swiss cheese freshly grated
- 4 ounces mild cheddar freshly grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water (add 1 tablespoon of salt to 4 quarts of water) to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside
- In a medium skillet, add butter, onions and pepper strips. Pan fry until tender.
- Add flaked crab meat, pasta, veggies, spices, and sour cream to a large bowl and mix.
- Place mixture in a 3.5-4-quart casserole dish and add hand-grated cheeses.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add green onion when done and serve warm.