Cheesetastic

Last week, we made pasta with a cheese sauce that was delicious.  It was ooey, it was gooey, it was cheesy.  But I wanted to go for the er.  Ooey-er, gooey-er, cheesier.  It had to be done.  I needed to make a cheesetastic mac and cheese.

We included red onion and green chilies to add a bit of flavor, but overall this was cheese on top of cheese.  Awesome.

Cheesetastic Mac and Cheese, serves 4

  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 oz can diced green chilies, drained
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 heaping Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 2 and 2/3 cup prepared short-cut pasta  (we used gemelli)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare an 8×8 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt to pan and cook 7-10 minutes, until softened and beginning to brown. Stir in green chilies during last minute of cooking. Remove to a large bowl to cool.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and melt butter in pan. Whisk in flour to form a roux.
  3. Raise heat to medium-high and carefully whisk in milk, working in 1/2 cup batches. Add all but a medium-sized handful of cheese and stir until melted.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together peppers and onions, cooked pasta, and cheese sauce. Carefully pour into casserole dish. Top with panko and remaining handful of cheese. Drizzle remaining 2 tsp of oil over the top.
  5. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until bubbly and browned.

pro tips

  • cook pasta just to al dente because it will continue to cook in the oven
  • don’t burn your roux, but don’t pull it off the heat too early either; the browning gives it flavor
  • want more kick? whisk a few tsp of hot sauce into your cheese sauce

What are your tips for really good mac and cheese?

3 thoughts on “Cheesetastic

  1. Holy freakin’ delicious! That looks seriously amazing. I love the crunchy-looking top. I don’t cook very much (honestly), but I’m going to try this one out! Oh…and because I don’t cook very much, I really don’t have any tips for you. 😦 But I bake like Betty Crocker, so I’m here for you if you ever need a baking tip!

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