When I want to make something hearty, creamy and cheesy, I go with this dish. It's comfort food at its finest.—Rianna Styx, Libertyville, Illinois
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded pepper Jack cheese
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
- 3/4 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
- 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup cheddar french-fried onions, crushed
- Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt, mustard, pepper and Worcestershire sauce until smooth; gradually add milk and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in cheeses until melted. Stir macaroni into cheese mixture.
- Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, bacon, Parmesan cheese and onions. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Pepper Jack Mac in Country Woman October/November 2010, p31
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