Mac And Cheese With A Twist!

Nov 09, 2018 | Food | 13 Comments
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Flashback this Friday with one of my favorite sides. Perfect for the upcoming holiday. Mac And Cheese With A Twist! Mac and cheese lovers unite. Now nothing is more comforting than a delicious bowl of ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese. I grew up eating this in so many different ways as a child. Does anyone still eat mac and cheese mixed with hotdogs?! These days I can elevate it a little more. My kids love seafood so making lobster or crab mac and cheese is such a treat for them. This particular dish is loaded with yummy veggies and crispy pancetta. I like to use shallots because they are not as sharp as onions, their taste and texture mellow out nicely. You also get some smoky and sweet in this dish from the paprika and tomatoes! Share some of your favorite nostalgic mac and cheese memories with me below in the comments.


Mac And Cheese With A Twist


Mac And Cheese With A Twist

1 lb Elbow Macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons shallot, minced.
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (half and half works too.)
3 cups white cheddar
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained well and chopped.
1/2 cup mushrooms
,2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup crispy pancetta
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to instructions. Set aside.

Add pancetta to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy and remove to drain and set aside.

Using the same pan add garlic and shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Now add in mushroom and cook for about three minutes more. (This allows the moisture in the mushrooms to release) Add your spinach and cook until wilted. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Carefully wipe out the pan and return to heat. Heat butter over medium-low heat.

Now whisk in flour gradually until smooth. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and cream stirring until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Add spices and two cups of cheese.

Stir in the pancetta, spinach, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes. Remove from heat.

Add pasta to the skillet and evenly spoon the cheese sauce over it.

Pour the pasta into a lightly greased baking dish or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheeses.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

A perfect dish to serve this holiday.


Xo Ayesha

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13 thoughts on “Mac And Cheese With A Twist!

  1. Sounds tasty, thank you for sharing. I may have to try this for Christmas. Have you ever combined other cheeses for a distinctive cheese flavor? I have used small amounts of bleu cheese in the past but the flavor is way too overpowering.

  2. This looks delicious! I’m gonna try it!

    When I first got married (10+ years ago) I tried making individual mac n cheese servings (in a muffin pan) topped with panko crumbs. Looking back, it was probably a bit dry and not the ooey gooey goodness you want with this dish. I was young and just figuring out how to cook back then, so it was probably mediocre at best. But my ever-supportive husband told me it was GREAT. I felt so good about myself! That mac n cheese memory makes me smile because it’s a reminder of how he’s always been so encouraging, giving me the confidence to keep trying and improving my skills :). I’ll let you know what he thinks about this version!

    1. You have such sweet comments about your husband. I went to culinary school in high school but as an adult developed several debilitating chronic illnesses. That doesn’t allow me the freedom to work my magic in the kitchen and the cognitive damage from one makes following recipes very difficult but my husband is always so appreciative even when I make something as simple as my SPAM fried rice. When they started calling spouses the other half they really meant it! He lifts me up so much! Enjoy marriage. We just celebrated 18 years.

  3. Yummm! I love Mac and Cheese… can’t wait to try this. My first memories of Mac & Cheese is of course from that blue and yellow box. Hahaha Lately though, I’ve been making it from scratch with half heavy cream and half buttermilk to give it some extra sharpness! I also like to add a little Dijon along with all the cheese. I will be trying your recipe this weekend. Thanks for sharing with us, Ayesha! Love all your cookware. 🙂

  4. Just made this for Christmas Eve and it is wonderful!! Thank you for the recipe, I am hoping I get your cookbook for Christmas from my family! ???

  5. I’ve always loved my mom’s macaroni and cheese from scratch. Now that I’m a grownup, I experiment with my own mac and cheese. My twist: Smoked salmon and several different cheeses (sharp cheddar, pepperoni jack, and Monterrey or Swiss). Yum! Now, I’m on my way to the store to buy the ingredients in your mac and cheese recipe, which sounds very yummy.

  6. I have up until now used a recipe for Mac-and-cheese from the weight watcher’s website, which is very good, but I will absolutely try yours. Your recipe looks like a keeper to me and I will definitely make it next time I make it. .

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