Ahhhhh it’s been way too long since I posted my last recipe! But with Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving coming up, I wanted to share with you my latest recipe…and it’s….A MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE!!
I love mac and cheese – to me, it really is the definition of comfort food. Whether you’re sick, hungover, hangry, or anything in between, a mac and cheese will always comfort you. And I have search high and low, tried many, many recipes to find the perfect one! And there are tons and tons of delicious mac and cheese out there…and after lots of trials and errors, I think I finally came up with MY perfect mac and cheese recipe.
Not only is this mac and cheese recipe creamy and delicious – it has a kick to it because we’re adding bacon, jalapeños, and HOT CHEETOS!
Now, I’m going to be making this for Friendsgiving next week – so hopefully pictures will follow, but here’s the recipe so you can make it for your own Friendsgiving – and if you have pictures, please share them with me!
G’s Mac and Cheese recipe
What you need:
- Cooking spray
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup half-and-half
- ½ stick (or ¼ cup) of butter, melted
- 1 tsp of salt
- Dash of pepper
- Dash of paprika
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 ounces of pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 ounces of mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 jalapeños, diced (and seeded, optional)
- ¼ cup green onions, diced
- 1 cup Flamin’ Hot Cheetos®, crushed
TWO WAYS TO COOK!!
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot. Cook elbow macaroni pasta for 6 to 8 minute, or until al dente. Remove from heat, drain pasta, and set aside
- In a large dishwasher sage sauté pan, cook bacon until crispy and all of the fat has been rendered. Remove bacon from pan and place on paper-towel lined plates to drain and once cool, crumble. Remove about half of the rendered fat from the pan
- Add jalapeños and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the flour and fat are combined. Whisk in milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add in cheese, butter, eggs, salt, pepper, paprika, and green onions. Continue cooking until cheese has melted. Remove from heat and add crumbled bacon, and macaroni. Mix to coat
- Pour macaroni and cheese into a medium-sized casserole dish and top with crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos®. Cook in the oven for about 5 minutes. Serve warm
Crockpot/slow cooker way to cook:
- Combine all ingredients (except for ½ cup reserved cheese, hot Cheetos, and green onion) in a large 4-quart slow cooker that has been sprayed with the cooking spray. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the mixture. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 15 minutes. Turn off the slow cooker, stir the mixture, and serve hot with green onion and Cheetos topping.
Tip: you can also mix breadcrumbs and the hot Cheetos together when cooking in the oven! Also, you can adjust cheese, flour, and milk based on how dry/creamy you want it to be.
Tip 2: you can pre-mix the ingredients, minus the green onion and Cheetos. Basically, you mix in the mac and cheese together, refrigerate, bake the next day when ready and serve hot with the toppings – similar to how you would cook in using the crockpot/slow cooker way. The mixture can be refrigerated up to two days! If you prefer, you can also cook it and reheat the leftovers, but the more you reheat it. The quality will go down and it usually gets drier. To prevent over-drying, you can add a touch of milk, a touch of butter, cover and heat slowly, and/or a combination of all the above. You can also add a touch of cheese to the top, or try using an oven instead of microwave and essentially “re-bake” the mac and cheese.
Tip 3: YOU CAN ADD MAYO, CREAM CHEESE, AND SOUR CREAM AS WELL to make it extra creamy!! BUT I don’t think I can take on the calories 🙂