Double Jack Mac Recipe
This was a recipe that came about when I asked my two sisters what they would like to see added to traditional Mac and Cheese to make it a little special. One said Pepper Jack Cheese and the other said black beans. I liked both of the ideas and this is the result. The black beans add color and nutrition. The Pepper Jack cheese adds zip and fun.—Andrea Johnson, Freeport, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min. YIELD:6 servings
- 1 pound small pasta shells
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded pepper Jack cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Additional minced fresh cilantro
- 1. Cook shells according to package directions.
- 2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, saute onion in butter. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- 3. Add the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, pepper Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, salt, cumin and pepper; cook and stir until cheese is melted.
- 4. Drain pasta. Add the beans, bacon, cilantro and pasta to the cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with Mexican cheese blend.
- 5. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Garnish with additional cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.
1-1/2 cups equals 837 calories, 41 g fat (24 g saturated fat), 123 mg cholesterol, 1,283 mg sodium, 79 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 37 g protein.
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