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Mac ‘N Cheese 3 Ways

Mac Cheese Three Way Recipe

Level: Easy

Cook time: 15 min

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
Serves 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Three Ideas for Macaroni 'n Cheese
For a fresh take on mac ‘n cheese, start with the basic recipe, then switch it up with these ingredient combinations:

•    Southwest: 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.

•    Florentine: 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.

•    Rustic: 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!
Clean-Up Tip

Clean-Up Tip Whether you’re feeding two or ten, don’t worry about using too many dishes. Cascade ActionPacs™ with the Grease Fighting Power of Dawn® are designed to clean a fully loaded dishwasher the first time around. So go head, invite as many guests as you please! Cleanup’s no big deal with Cascade on your side.

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