3 ratings

Cheesy pasta with caramelized onions and corned beef

The tastiest use for leftovers
Cheesy pasta with caramelized onions and corned beef
Abel Uribe

This pasta dish is worth making for dinner tonight. Take some leftover corned beef and combine your favorite pasta noodle with a mix of gooey cheeses and caramelized onions to create this filling meal. Of course, you can also omit the meat to make it vegetarian.


Ready in
45 m
25 m
(prepare time)
20 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


I prefer not to use pre-shredded cheese here because the added anti-caking ingredients interfere with a creamy melt. It’s easy to shred chunks of cheese on the large holes of a four-sided grater. If desired, transfer the finished dish to a buttered baking dish and top with buttered bread crumbs; bake until crumbs are crisp and golden.


  • 8 Ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) mezzi rigatoni or fusilli pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or bacon fat
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/3 Cup flour
  • 2 Cups nonfat milk
  • 1/2 Cup half-and-half or heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 Cup (3 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 Cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cup (4 to 5 ounces) small dice corned beef (or smoky ham)
  • Chopped parsley and green onions, for garnish


Step 1: Have all ingredients ready and set near the cooking surface.

Step 2: Heat a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add 8 ounces pasta. Cook, stirring often, until al dente (nearly tender but not soft when tasted), 8 to 10 minutes. Scoop out 1 cup of the cooking liquid and reserve it. Drain the pasta well and let stand while you make the sauce.

Step 3: While the pasta cooks, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter or bacon fat in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add ½ large sweet onion, thinly sliced; cook and stir until onion is golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 4: Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over onions; cook and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in 2 cups nonfat milk and ½ cup half-and-half (or whipping cream) and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, whisking constantly until milk thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with 1 teaspoon red pepper hot sauce.

Step 5: When pasta is done, stir both cheeses into the hot white sauce. Add drained pasta and corned beef; mix gently. Taste for salt. Gently stir in enough of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to loosen up the mixture. Serve right away sprinkled with parsley and onions.