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Insatiable Mac & Cheese

Posted by Peggy on November 8, 2012

Recipe: Insatiable Mac & Cheese


  • Mildly flavored olive oil, as needed (save your pricey, big-bang extra-virgins for other recipes)
  • 1 pound uncooked small elbow macaroni
  • 5 cups shredded or chopped firm cheese*
  • 2 cups whole milk or (unsweetened) evaporated milk
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 panko
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigianno Reggiano


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brush bottom and sides of a shallow 12-cup oven-safe baking dish with olive oil. Cook macaroni according to package instructions, or until just tender (Note: don't overcook pasta as it will continue to cook in the oven.) Drain noodles well, shaking colander, then immediately turn macaroni back into pot and toss with cheese while the pasta is hot, (a flat baking pan gives more crispiness than a loaf pan).
  3. Toss macaroni with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cheese, ham or bacon, if using, and milk, half & half or evaporated milk. Season to taste with kosher salt, if needed, and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Bake on center rack of oven 12 minutes. Remove, close oven door, stir macaroni mixture, then evenly coat top with panko and Parmesan. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes. (Note: If milk remains in the bottom, return to the oven for another 5 to10 minutes. If topping has not browned and crisped, stick it under the broiler (three or four inches away from heat) and brown, watching so it doesn’t burn.

Optional: 1 cup chopped baked ham or snipped crisp bacon *Quote from Greene's recipe: "Needless to say, my mother used Velveeta, but I make this with sharp cheddar and Emmentaler, half and half. Once I threw in some leftover Brie, a triple creme from France, and a half cup of creme fraiche and the result was celestial."

Number of servings (yield): 6

Active Time: 25 minutes

Bake Time: apx. 40 minutes

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