Overall the concept is good, and didn't taste bad - but 16 oz brick of cheese shredded with parm on top of that, the uncooked mix was very stiff. I prepared the dish pretty much as written (only 1% milk instead of whole milk). Will try it again with maybe 1 C shredded cheese. Would maybe also look for herbs or pimento to give it more visual interest.
Upgrade to canned soup recipes for casseroles. Getting the roux ratios right can be tricky. I made half of the recipe for my husband and I. Cooked it in a 8x8 casserole. I made a few adjustments based on what I had. I used rigatoni pasta which worked well. I used Progresso Italian Bread crumbs and butter for the topping, and I added only 5 oz of shredded Swiss cheese that I bought in a bag. It was a high quality cheese that melted very nicely. The sauce did not pop with flavor until I mixed in the ham and baked it. Then it all melded together. The bread crumbs added a nice texture after they were toasted.
Absolutely delish!!! I thought this was one of the best meals I have ever made. My husband and both kids ate it up. I altered a few things to make it a little healthier (low fat milk, ff half and half, less butter) and it was still plenty creamy, cheesy, and rich in flavor, but not too rich. I also used Club Cracker crumbs as the topping since I didn't have croutons on hand. I will definitely be making this dish again.
This dish is mediocre at best. I added salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the listed amounts and it was still very bland. It also was too cheesy for the dish. Add the fact that it is not the cheapest side dish either, I would look elsewhere for a side pasta dish