Reinvent a Family Favorite
Re-invent a family favorite! Start with this basic mac ‘n cheese recipe, then add unexpected ingredients, like spicy chorizo or wholesome roasted vegetables, to create a truly mouthwatering meal.Basic Mac 'n Cheese
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes INGREDIENTS
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk*
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs**
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste *Tip:
For a rich and creamy sauce, use whole or 2% milk. Substitute skim milk to make a thinner, reduced-fat version. **Tip:
Save money by making your own bread crumbs. If you have stale bread
, start with that, or toast slices until they’re crispy. Then in a food processor, grind bread to desired texture.
Three Ideas for Macaroni 'n Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add milk and whisk gently until smooth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a 9x13” baking dish, toss pasta with sauce. Stir in cheddar and Parmesan, then sprinkle with bread crumbs and parsley. Bake until crust is golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.
For a fresh take on mac ‘n cheese, start with the basic recipe, then switch it up with these ingredient combinations:
Add flavor and flair with zesty ingredients like ground chorizo and jalapeños. Use 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Stir in 2 cups cooked chorizo, 1 can (15 ounces) corn, 1 can (4 ounces) chopped jalapeños and 1 small red onion, chopped. And for an even bigger kick, add chili powder to taste. To make it vegetarian, replace chorizo with 1 can (15 ounces) drained black beans.
With ingredients inspired by Italy, creating an elegant and delicious dish is easy. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté 2 cloves garlic, minced, with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, then add 3 cups fresh spinach and sauté until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Substitute 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, then stir in spinach sauté and 6 ounces prosciutto, coarsely chopped. To finish, sprinkle with fresh chopped basil.
For a healthier meal, incorporate roasted vegetables—they’re wholesome and delicious! Chop
1 red onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 zucchini and 1 cup mushrooms, then combine and spread in a shallow roasting pan. Toss with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 400°F, occasionally tossing, until tender, about 45 minutes. Mix the vegetables in with your pasta, sauce and cheese.
While these are a few great ways to refresh mac ‘n cheese, the possibilities are endless. Experiment with cuisines and ingredients you love—you’re sure to discover a scrumptious combination you adore!