2/21/12

Healthier Shells & Cheese (Barilla Review and Great Giveaway!)


Since I'm a fan of whole wheat pastas (what a great way to get whole grains into your family's diet!), I was excited when I was chosen to do a review for Barilla® Whole Grain pastas. I've been buying Barilla® brand pastas for quite some time and looked forward to trying their newest product.


Sometimes it's hard to get my family to eat new, healthier foods because they look or taste different. They are used to the darker color of a whole wheat pasta, but sometimes the whole wheat version tastes different too, and they simply don't like it.


That wasn't the case with Barilla® Whole Grain Medium Shells Pasta at all. I made a healthier version of shells and cheese macaroni and they loved it! The noodle texture and taste was just perfect, and no one said a thing about them tasting different than the shells and cheese they are used to. In fact, it got the approval nod from Rich and that nod does NOT come easily!


The part I like is that this new pasta is so good for them. It has 3 times the amount of fiber of regular pastas and is made of 51% whole wheat.


I love that Barilla® is also offering a Try Barilla® Whole Grain Taste Challenge; if you don't like the taste of their whole grain version, they'll give you a free box of your favorite version of Barilla® pasta. They have a dinner kit with recipe ideas and other tools that make it easy to put a healthy meal on your dinner table.


This version of mac and cheese has healthy Barilla® Whole Grain pasta, and a cheese sauce much lower in calories than the usual but still big on taste. I hope your family loves it as much as mine did!



Healthier Shells and Cheese
1- 14.5 oz. box Barilla® Whole Grain Medium Shells
2-1/2c. low sodium, low fat chicken broth
5 c. water
1-1/2 c. skim milk
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
3 T. flour
1.5 c reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

***NOTE: It is best to make an extra half-batch of the cheese sauce to add to the noodles the next day as they tend to soak up the cheese when refrigerated.

1. Heat 2 c. of chicken broth + 5 c. water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and boil for 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. In a small sauce pan, fry the onion in the olive oil until the onion is soft. Add the cooked onion to the cooked pasta. In the same pan melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk quickly to form a soft ball in the pan. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1/2 c. of chicken broth and 1-1/2 c. skim milk. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Add in the shredded cheese and stir to melt. The sauce will be like a thick soup. You don't want it too thick because the pasta will later absorb more of it. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

3. Pour the sauce onto the noodles and mix well. Pour into a sprayed casserole dish. Cover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.


The results should be a thick, cheesy pasta dish no one will realize is so good for them!


Stuff like this gets me pumped up because I LOVE it when good companies focus on nutrition and work to get families to incorporate it into their dinners.


And now a question for you: What do you love about Barilla® Whole Grain? Answer this question in the comments section to be entered to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card, courtesy of Barilla® and BlogHer! There are other ways to enter as well:


SWEEPSTAKES/GIVEAWAY RULES
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion @BarillaUS with the following unique term in your message, #BarillaWG, and link to your Tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to your post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.


This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.



The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 2/21/12-3/30/12.
Be sure to visit the Barilla® Whole Grain round-up page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

154 comments:

AppGal said...

Barilla is my favorite brand of pasta. I always buy the "Plus" line (in the yellow box) but will have to try out the Whole Grain stuff soon! Sounds like it tastes delicious. Thanks for the giveaway!

musingsonmtn@gmailcom

kimberly.krier@att.net said...

My family LOVES pasta. Barilla Whole Grain helps me sneak extra nutrition in to dishes they love.

Nikki Hilgart said...

Thanks for the giveaway, Tanya. The recipe looks delish, and I can't wait to try it. We only eat whole-grain pasta, and Barilla is one of our favorites.

gmann said...

Whole grain always makes me feel a little less guilty about that second serving of mac and cheese! :)

senner2+2 said...

We only buy whole wheat pasta and I lvoe Barilla's because it doesn't seem to have that "gritty" texture. I have picky eaters but my boys love Barilla brand.

amy beth marantino said...

i love the nutty flavor

tinatre said...

I love the amount on nutrients I get from eating Barilla whole grain pasta. Love the healthy choice.

tinatre at msn dot com

Anonymous said...

I love Barilla whole grain pasta! You get the full pasta flavor with added nutrition - can't get much better!

Jyoung9788@gmail.com

Jessica

tinatre said...

Tweeted at tinatre01.
https://twitter.com/#!/tinatre01/status/171970536098902016

tinatre at msn dot com

Scooter said...

Sounds very tasty. Going to try it when I get home!! Thanks!!

Mami2jcn said...

I love the GREAT TASTE of Barilla Whole Grain.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Kat Clark said...

My roommate introduced me to Barilla whole-wheat pasta and I am HOOKED! Barilla pasta allows me to enjoy pasta without feeling guilty!

Mami2jcn said...

tweet:

https://twitter.com/#!/mami2jcn/status/171981701155790848

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Andy & Kellyn said...

We Love Barilla Whole Grain. Great Taste and Texture

Anna said...

Hi Tanya,
I will check these out. I've been switching to whole wheat pastas and tortillas the last few months. It hasn't been a painful transition, although some of the gooey-good white flour products do have a taste that we are very familiar with and have come to love. But, healthy is a far better choice!
Have a great week!

MANDY83 said...

i love that its good for you but tastes great. we have it every saturday for dinner.

pokergrl8 at gmail.com

MANDY83 said...

https://twitter.com/#!/aes529/status/172001444046700544

pokergrl8 at gmail.com

Elena said...

I love Barilla Whole Grain pasta.

elena150980@yahoo.com

Elena said...

https://twitter.com/#!/ElenaIstomina/status/172002606556786688

elena150980@yahoo.com

Cindy B. said...

I love Barilla Whole Grain pasta because it taste great and healthy for you.
cindyskitchen@yahoo.com

Cindy B. said...

I tweeted.
https://twitter.com/Cinbat03

Courtney B said...

i love how it tastes and how healthy it is!

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Courtney B said...

tweet

https://twitter.com/#!/MeandBells/status/172014196492468225

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Avital said...

I love the fact they are wholesome but do not lose any flavor. Vice versa, they have an added nutty flavor that my husband and I love!

Tj And Amy said...

I love that its all natural and great source of fiber. amypugmire@live.com

Tj And Amy said...

tweeted. amypugmire@live.com
https://twitter.com/#!/1amypugmire/status/172028382358409218

Qwendykay said...

We love Barilla at our house!

thestampinglady said...

I use the regular Barilla here at home, but as of yet I have not tried the Whole Grain type. After your review, I'm willing to give it a try. Thanks for the recipe--who doesn't love Mac and Cheese.

Noelle said...

Yay! I love/hate whole wheat pasta. Usually I end up buying regular and whole wheat and mixing them together, but this would be a lot simpler just to use.

KristinKaye said...

I love Barilla Whole Grain Pasta because it allows me to eat my favorite cajun chicken pasta without feeling guilty!

Leslie Kiley said...

I am a Pasta lover! Barilla Is always my first choice and now that I can get a healthy whole grain version I am even happier! Thank you for making it!

Anonymous said...

I just noticed this at Byerlys yesterday and now this recipe! I can't wait to try it.

tmbrennan22 said...

We love homemade Mac & Cheese and are excited to try a HEALTHY version!!!!

Rachel said...

Enter me please! I love Barilla!

Ashley said...

I love that it makes an easy meal.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Jenny said...

I like the nutty flavor.

Cyndi said...

We love Barilla spaghetti and elbows (for mom's homemade mac & cheese). We especially love that we can have some of our favorite comfort foods with less guilt.

Anash said...

i love that it is healthy to give to my kids! Thanks for a super giveaway!
My email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Anash said...

Tweeted:
https://twitter.com/#!/anashct3/status/172295565957271552
Thanks for the chance to win!
email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Charlotteann said...

Good Morning From The Beautiful Chippewa Valley!
I love a good pasta! Barilla has always been a favorite of mine. I love the face that they have a whole wheat pasta!I also love Barilla with a great pesto and light dusting of a good goat cheese! Delicious!

Noelle said...

This pasta tastes better than regular old whole wheat pasta. YUM!

Noelle said...

I tweeted! https://twitter.com/#!/singerinkitchen/status/172334965214818304

Always Wright said...

I love the way Barilla Whole Grain Pasta tastes and cooks up every time I make a recipe with it. I know it is a healty food.

stacief said...

Love to give my family whole wheat pasta and barilla is my favorite!

Karina said...

i love that something so healthy can taste great too

karinaroselee at gmail dot com

Karina said...

tweeted
https://twitter.com/#!/karinaroselee/status/172395417621889025

karinaroselee at gmail dot com

Meryl said...

I love Barilla Whole Grain pasta - great taste and texture.

Ali said...

I'll be giving this a try. Looking for easy ways to increase nutrition around here. Thanks!

Jennifer Harper said...

I love barilla pasta too!! Especially the 'healthier' ones!! I've switched all of my families pasta to whole wheat, but I'll have to try this recipe too!!

AubreyLaine said...

I love the great source of fiber!
family74014 at gmail dot com

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie said...

I love that Barilla Whole Grain pastas allow me to prepare healthier pasta dishes without noticing.

Jackie said...

My favorite thing about Barilla Pasta is the flavor! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

rebeldaisy at aol dot com

Andreana said...

I actually haven't tried Barilla Whole Grain Pasta, but I do buy Barilla Plus and my whole family loves it. I'm sure the Whole Grain is great too. We are also huge fans of the Piccolinis and Barilla pasta sauce in our house. I would love the chance to win the gift card - thanks for the giveaway!

Holly Sims said...

I love that Barilla Whole Wheat pasta tastes so good. Some brands are really bad!

christinefakebook said...

I haven't seen Barilla Whole Grain at my store yet, but I will be sure to look for it. We do love the Barilla Plus at our house, it's all we've eaten for years! And who doesn't love mac n cheese!
We will definitely try this recipe.

Amy Harle said...

I love the taste of the Barilla WHole Grain Pastas and the variety of shapes.

Kelly V. said...

Since my entire family loves pasta of every shape and size Barilla Whole Grain Pasta is a great way to add more while grain and extra nutrition into our diet!

Kristin said...

It's Barilla...what's not to love? :)

Corinna J. said...

I love this whole wheat pasta- recipe looks great!

EllaMinnowPea said...

My family loves Barilla Whole Grain Pasta and the variety available. Barilla Whole Grain tastes much better than other brands.

Becky said...

I love it because we eat pasta at least twice a week and it's good to know that you're getting nutrition as well as flavor. :)

Anonymous said...

I love Barilla pasta because it is such a good value. I can make good dishes that are eaten up with no waste. The meals are healthy and not very expensive, so that's a real plus.

Anonymous said...

It's great to have something healthy to feed my family. I stock up when it's on sale.

Michelle

cubit23571@mypacks.net

Heidi said...

I agree with previous comments, it doesn't have that gritty feel to it and my kids will eat it without any trouble. Plus it tastes great and is not at all cost prohibitive.

Amy M. said...

I'm all for sneaking extra nutrition into mynkids diet!

Kelly Massman said...

I love that I can eat one of my favorite foods without having to feel guilty about it!!!!
thanks for a chance to win!
And, have a GREAT day!
kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

Kate said...

Healthy and tastes great! What's not to like? :)

krcrafts said...

Simply put, I just love that it tastes good and my family enjoys it.

Anonymous said...

Love the Barilla brand and this is healthy. Awesome! My hubby is trying to lower his cholesterol.

savvyhousewife @yahoo.com

Diane N. said...

We eat a lot of Barilla whole wheat pastas and really like them. Hope to try your Mac and cheese recipe with it soon.

dinolan@wildblue.net

Teresa said...

Barilla whole wheat pasta just got added to my shopping list. Thanks for the recipe and great review. I am always looking for healthier options!

Kellee said...

I love Barilla...need to try the whole wheat!

marybug2 said...

Love all the fiber it has.

marybug2 @ yahoo . com

marybug2 said...

Tweeted

https://twitter.com/#!/marybug2/status/173448529111564290

marybug2 @ yahoo . com

cw said...

I love that it has 3 time the amount of fiber of other pastas and made with whole wheat and you can't tell the difference in taste

Anonymous said...

i love that it has more fiber! scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

https://twitter.com/#!/DesMoinesDealin/status/173466419726532608 scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Kristina said...

I love Barilla because for me, when I buy it, it feels like I'm buying local because they is a Barilla plant just 25 miles away from me. My whole family loves pasta so we are embracing the whole grain kind of pasta. My son and I like penne, my husband is thin spaghetti only.

Janice said...

I like that it has lots of fiber, all natural and tasty!
tweety800265(at)yahoo(dot)com

Janice said...

Tweeted
https://twitter.com/#!/disneyfan40/status/173529154824839168
tweety800265(at)yahoo(dot)com

Shooting Stars Mag said...

i like that it's a healthier alternative!

lauren51990 at aol dot com

Valerie said...

Yum! This recipe looks great! Thanks, too, for sponsoring the
sweepstakes... I'd love to try this product!

Margaret said...

I love the whole wheat pasta. We don't care for regular pasta and I was so excited to find this ww pasta that tastes awesome and doesn't cost more than the white pasta.

JC said...

I like it's whole grain and also taste great.
tcarolinep at gmail dot com

JC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC said...

https://twitter.com/#!/tcarolinep/status/174301288375386112

tristatecruisers said...

i love the taste and it fills you up :)

marci h
tristatecruisers at yahoo dot com

Melanie said...

I love all the awesome fiber!

melduke26 at gmail dot com

Ro said...

I love it because I feel like I am being naughty and nice all at the same time. I cannot eat the regualr pasta anymore, it just doesn't taste good.

debmast said...

I love it because it's a healthier alternative. My kids LOVE pasta, and they can't tell the difference when I use this one. Go Barilla!

debmast@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Just getting the kids switched over to Barilla. I love it. It is my favorite! Thanks for posting the recipe.

mineau@centurytel.net

kellyr78 said...

I love Barilla Whole Grain because I can enjoy pasta without going off my diet, and it is delicious.
KellywcuATyahooDOTcom

kellyr78 said...

tweeted
https://twitter.com/#!/kellydsaver/status/175585726489034752

kellywcuATyahooDOTcom

Michelle said...

I love how Barilla makes it easy to sneak in some good whole grains and my family doesn't even know the difference!

kari jasus said...

i love that it is way more nutritious than plain white pasta

kari jasus said...

https://twitter.com/#!/raggammuffin/status/175617575663837185

tara1965 said...

It is healthy and tastes great

liz mcfletcher said...

Will be trying the Barilla Whole Wheat; already love the other types! Love that it's heart healthy and full of fiber!

The Sunshyn said...

I love that Barilla Whole Grain is healthier and has more flavor.
chainmail (at)iwon dot com

The Sunshyn said...

I tweeted about this
https://twitter.com/#!/The_Sunshyn/status/176122736240898048

the bean said...

Barilla is the star of the show with this mac and cheese!

FreeIndeed said...

i love that it's delicious
thepryfamily@gmail.com

FreeIndeed said...

https://twitter.com/#!/thepryfamily/status/176802586043756545

thepryfamily@gmail.com

susan1215 said...

I love that it's high in fiber and tastes great!

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susan1215 said...

https://twitter.com/#!/susan1215/status/177584789900103683

s2s2 at comcast dot net

Mary Ward mfw511@optonlline.net said...

We always use Barilla pasta and it is always a no fail meal, whether we use our homemade pasta sauce or Barilla pasta sauce! It always turns out awesome!!

wigget said...

i like that it still tastes good

Melissa O. said...

I love the nutty flavor of Barilla whole grain and hope to train my husband to feel the same soon!

wolverina401 at gmail dot com

Terri said...

I love the fact that it delivers three times the fiber of regular pasta and still tastes delicious!
dahbou at gmail dot com

Terri said...

Tweet
https://twitter.com/#!/didyouyarnthat/status/178088746711920642

Deb said...

I have to admit that I prefer white pasta, but we've made the switch and I love that Barilla is a really great source of fiber for our family's diet....especially for my sons who eat a lot of the wrong foods when left to their own devices.

Sarah Cruze Designs said...

I love Barilla whole grain pasta because it is packed with vital nutrients without sacrificing flavor :)

countrychicchronicles said...

I love that it is easy find in most stores and it is tasty.

meredith m said...

i love the health benefits- and it tastes good too!
mermont84 at yahoo.com

meredith m said...

https://twitter.com/#!/mermont84/status/179661187246600192
mermont84 at yahoo.com

Laura said...

We love the whole grain pasta! My kids are small, 3 and 5, so they have never known any difference in taste! I love using the Barilla whole wheat because added with 93% lean beef and tomato sauce with extra tomatoes, I feel that it is a healthy, quick weeknight meal that everyone loves! Thanks!
letters4laura at gmail dot com

purplelover04 said...

I like it’s whole grain and also taste great plus is all natural
purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

purplelover04 said...

https://twitter.com/#!/purplelover04/status/180901538850545664

jwfong said...

I love that Barilla Whole Grain has way more fiber than regular pasta!

jfong1130 at yahoo dot com

jwfong said...

tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/jfong1130/status/181964417771114497

jfong1130 at yahoo dot com

Christina said...

I love Barilla® Whole Grain Pasta because it provides more fiber, it is nutritious and delicious. I have been buying the Barilla’s regular pasta for many years and switched to this whole grain once I tried and love it’s texture.
ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

Christina said...

I tweeted about this giveaway:
https://twitter.com/#!/ctong2/status/182725325308952577

ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

sy said...

I like the variety of their noodles and fast cook time. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
songyueyu at gmail

sy said...

tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/syytta/status/183100520838348800
songyueyu at gmail

Lewis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay said...

That deleted comment was from me. It commented under my husband's name, and I wanted to change that!

I switched over to using whole or multi-grain pasta in meals for my family about 5 years ago. We all love it! If I have "regular" pasta now, I actually don't like the taste of it! I prefer whole grain! Since I already use Barilla Plus, I'm excited to try out their whole grain pasta. I love that they have the try it taste challenge, just in case... but I know it will be just as delicious as all of their other pastas!

Momma Mary Perez said...

Barilla is our favorite pasta & whole grain is even better!

Romi said...

Braille whole wheat pasta is the only brand my family will eat. It is delicious!

Romi said...

Barilla! Not auto-corrects version, Braille!

Jammie said...

I love it being healthier, we have switched to almost everything whole grain. sweepmorey at gmail dot com

Jammie said...

tweeted https://twitter.com/#!/mommysdizzy/status/183617446110965760

Anonymous said...

I love that Barilla Whole Grain is all natural and is a great source of fiber. Thanks for the chance to win!
gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Gina M Maddox said...

https://twitter.com/#!/CrazyItalian0/status/184046533140955138

Kerry said...

I love that it's healthy and still tastes great!
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Kerry said...

tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/KerryBishop/status/184077684282892288
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Julie said...

We already use this pasta-love the flavor thanks
aunteegem@yahoo.com

angie lilly said...

I love that its a very well known name brand offering whole grains to the masses. I am a huge proponent of eating whole foods, especially whole grains and have noticed that lots of people have a negative opinion of "health foods." With the Barilla name comes a guarantee that its going to taste great and hopefully that will get more people to try it and see that eating healthy tastes great!
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

angie lilly said...

I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/#!/MsTofuFairy/status/184656694075334656
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

MCantu1019 said...

I love that it has three times more fiber than regular pasta.
MCantu1019 at aol dot com

Carmen said...

We've recently discovered a great mac n cheese recipe we like and Barilla makes it even healthier!

Carmen said...

https://twitter.com/#!/cmouse01/status/185182570928013313

ewhatley said...

I use Barilla but haven't tried the whole grain yet. Guess it's time to get on that train.

mybeachylife at gmail dot com

Angel Jacklyn said...

IT TASTES JUST AS GOOD AS REGULAR PASTA & I GET MY WHOLE GRAINS! WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?!

kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

2ND ENTRY TWEET https://twitter.com/#!/kytah00/status/185502384485703680

Betty C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty C said...

I haven't tried the whole grains versions yet but I trust Barilla and the taste guarantee is winning me over. I'm going to try some soon.
willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

Betty C said...

Tweet - https://twitter.com/#!/willitara/status/185752942769487872

willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

slehan said...

I like that it tastes good.
Thanks for the contest.

slehan at juno dot com

slehan said...

Blogged:
http://slehan.blogspot.com/2012/03/win-100-amazon-gc-from-barilla-blogher.html


slehan at juno dot com

Mari said...

I like that it contains three times more fiber than regular pasta.

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Mari said...

https://twitter.com/#!/LuckyDuckyToo/status/185869048016420865

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Anne K said...

Barilla is definitely my brand of choice. I feel like their whole grain is the tastiest!

Anne K said...

Link to my Tweet:

https://twitter.com/#!/mrs_puddle/status/185912605985095680

Little Mommy Kim said...

I featured this on my Friday Finds! Love it and can't wait to try it!