Ranch Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic pepper blend
- 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
- 1/2 cup crushed saltines
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the milk, butter, dressing mix and seasonings; heat through. Stir in Monterey Jack and Colby cheeses until melted. Stir in sour cream.
- 2. Drain macaroni; stir into cheese sauce with the saltines. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 8 servings.
1 cup equals 488 calories, 23 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 66 mg cholesterol, 1,357 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 18 g protein.
Reviews for Ranch Mac & Cheese
"Great recipe. I make plenty for potlucks, and if there are leftovers, I add some sausage for a quick meal. I don't use the saltines, and sometimes I turn it up a notch with jalapeno. That's also what is great...it is easy to tweak to your liking!"
"This was fantastic! Mac and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods, and this is a great new twist on it. I would definitely make it again. Here is my blog post on it: http://heatskitchen.com/2015/12/13/ranch-mac-cheese/"
"I've made this recipe a few times and love it. The only alteration I make is that I use less crushed saltine crackers as I have found that it often soaks up too much of the cheese."
"This recipe has the potential to be great but it definitely needs some tweaking. Half an envelope of ranch, garlic powder, and no lemon pepper would fix nasty taste this dish left in my mouth. Honestly, it was gross. I should have read the reviews before making it."
"YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE UT THIS MACK AND CHEESE ON MY COMPUTER. I LVE THE LIFEOUT OF MACK AND CHEESE. GOD LOVE YA. DOYLE SCOTT"
"I have had this recipe for quite a few years now and am planning to make it for this Friday's dinner. It is different than the usual mac and cheese recipes. We really like the ranch dressing taste of it. Yummy."
"I make this on occasion and we really like it. I use garlic and onion powders instead of garlic salt. I never keep flavored salts on hand, 7/8 salt 1/8 ground celery seed, onion or garlic powder. To the sauce I do add 1 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar, we like a lot of cheese and swap out the 2% milk for half and half for extra richness and comfort factor. The lemon pepper goes so well with the ranch dressing mix. I never add saltines since we rarely eat them and don't have them on hand. Sometimes I'll add some shredded chicken and either small fresh broccoli florets or frozen peas to make it a one dish meal. It always makes enough for the 2 of us to have the next night as a left over."
"It is the package ranch dressing that adds the bulk of sodium. I made this recipe and substituted 3/4 c. Ranch dressing instead of the packet. This made the sauce even creamier! Also used powder instead of salt as suggested. Left out the lemon pepper. Really good!"
"Pleasantly surprised by this recipe. Really fast and easy and great flavor. I would highly recommend starting with about half of the called for ranch packet and then add if you want more. I think I only used about half a packet and it was perfect for us...the whole thing would have been really overwhelming and salty I think. Also, I just used regular pepper (instead of garlic pepper) and garlic powder instead of garlic salt (as others recommended)."
"Made this for a family cookout and everyone loved the "different" flavors. I used the suggestion in other reviews and switched to garlic powder. I used pepper only instead of garlic-pepper, and because I doubled the recipe, used one package of elbow mac and one of small shells."
"Made this for the first time, on a recommendation. We really liked it. It was good as leftovers. To lower the sodium I would use powders instead of salts next time and leave out the saltines. I feel they weren't needed and didn't add any flavor. I used a 8 oz. bag of shredded marble jack blend cheese. I added crab meat to it also. Definitely will be making this again."
"It was alright. My kids did not like this, my husband said it was pretty good. I did one and half the amount of the sauce and it was a good thing I did."
"Really nice flavor. The ranch was a nice twist to a classic dish. The mac and cheese fanatic loved the new dish!"
"After the first bite, I thought - oh wow, waste of time making this. But my family was raving about it. I tried it again and they were right. The taste is kinda a ranch/garlic/alfredo mix. I think my first bite didn't taste like I thought it was going to and it threw me off......but I was told several times this recipe needs to be a keeper - and I agree."
"Is so easy and delicious! We make at ones a week. YumYum."
"It's sooo good!!! Every time I make for party or picnic and I never get to save any leftover for next day!!"
"My family loved this new take on traditional mac & cheese"
"i have made this many times from the magazine and it always turns out great, tonight I used a store brand ranch dressing for the first time and it made it way salty...note to self get the good stuff!"
"Interesting flavor, but pretty salty and not very cheesy."
"This is not the same recipe that was printed in the magazine. The original recipe called for 2 envelopes of ranch salad dressing mix."
"This is an amazing dish. While it definitely doesn't "taste" like a traditional mac n cheese, it's quickly become a favorite side dish in our house. We often use whatever cheese we have and found straight cheddar also yields delicious results. It's also excellent as leftovers the next day."
"So easy and delicious! I love the flavor and texture from the saltine crackers. Yum."
"This recipe is a favorite in my house! I was on the search for a great mac&cheese, and I found it with this one! The best part is that it is different than your everyday mac&cheese. I chose to add crumbled crackers mixed with butter to the top and bake it for 20mins. Awsome recipe... Thanks Michelle!!"
"I get a little frustrated with people who complain about the salt content or fat content, or any other "unhealthy" ingredient. No one ever claimed this was a healthy recipe. If you are looking for that, google. Otherwise please don't complain. It's one thing to prefer less salt, it's another to have expectations that were never intended."
"I didn't have saltines, so i used Ritz crackers instead & also I didn't have the 2 cheeses listed so i used shredded cheddar cheese. Very different & very delicious! I can't imagine going back to the boxed mac & cheese after having this. I love it!"
"Wonderful robust flavor! I made several substitutions to suit our tastes and what we had on-hand, but this seems fool-proof! I omitted the garlic salt and garlic pepper and instead used 1/2tsp garlic powder and 1/2tsp of Kosher salt. I kept the 1tsp lemon-pepper as-is. I used mild cheddar and mozzarella and omitted both the saltines and parmesan. My 21/2 year old who will not sit through a meal kept his seat and devoured this one!"
"A little salty for my taste, so I used garlic powder as well. Otherwise, it was totally delicious and well worth serving again :)"
"this recipe is excellent, also i used the recipe to make cheesey ranch potatoes, the same recipe just sub potatoes for the noodles and its delicious."
"My family really loved this! I have made it twice and will probably substitute some garlic powder for the garlic salt next time. I also made it this last time with a substitution for the ranch dressing ( 2 t dried onion, 1 T dried parsley, 1/8 t garlic powder, and 1/2 t salt) which doesn't have quite the same flavor but is still good and much cheaper. Appreciate all the previous suggestions for cutting the salt down: it tastes good the way it is, but that IS a lot of salt! :)"
"p.s. i did not used the garlic salt either just used garlic powder"
"the first time i made this as is and it came out salty so the second time i left out the crackers and used bread crumbs. I also double the sauce my family loved it"
"This was a hit at my house, and I also took some to my 2 1/2 year old's play date. It was a hit with all of the kids as well. I will be making this regularly!"
"I loved this recipe. My sister and I couldn't get enough of it! It was a little too salty for my liking so next time I think I'll use about half the garlic salt to see if that does the trick. It was so yummy that I will be making this again."
"This was the most excellent mac n cheese I have ever had! My kids like the boxed stuff and I have never been able to get them to eat a homemade mac n cheese. They LOVED this! It has great flavor and is so cheesy. LOVE IT!"
"I followed the advice of other reviewers and cut down on the salt content by using garlic powder. I also cut out the garlic pepper blend and the lemon-pepper seasoning (we don't keep them on hand) but did use some black pepper and it was still full of wonderful flavor. I halved the butter and sour cream to make it a bit lighter, and the texture was perfect."
"This was a big hit with everyone in my house. I added chopped ham and frozen peas after mixing and popped it in the oven for about 10 minutes. Super easy and so yummy! I didn't think it was too salty at all."
"1,357 mg Sodium?????"
"We make this all the time and it's a great way to use up cheeses in the fridge. Also, to clear up the 1 pack/2 pack confusion... This recipe has recently been changed. It WAS 2 packs, and it also had CUBED Mont. and Colby cheese, but now it says shredded."
"This makes a good sauce, and is not too salty if you use 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp salt-free lemon peper seasoning. I did not have any colby, so I used cheddar instead."
"I made it with provalone cheese and cheddar and sub the saltines for planko bits on top with the parmesan mixed in and the family went nuts over this. It is an awsome recipe either way."
"I loved this mac and cheese! :)"
"I love this recipe! I follow the instructions exactly except for substituting garlic powder for the garlic salt, and it comes out great every time. It's a wonderful side dish to go with a ham."
"I don't understand where some people are seeing it calls for 2 pkgs ranch dressing mix. The recipe clearly says 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix."
"Good, used garlic power, skim milk, low fat cheese, whole wheat pasta, lower fat sour cream. Recipe only calls for 1 envelope of ranch, others are saying 2 that's not correct, recipe says 1."
"This is soo easy & so good! Everyone ask for it again & again!"
"This recicpe needs a major makeover - too much fat & salt! 1 cup would be side dish portion, not a meal.You could easily cut the calories & fat by using skim milk, low fat cheese, low or fat free sour cream, and eliminating or cutting the amount of butter in half. The saltines are not necessary.And it was very salty - 1,357 mg of sodium is more than 1/2 the recommended daily amount of salt for an adult (2,300 mg)."
"This was a very good recipe. However, my husband does not like sour cream. i solved this by substituting greek yogurt for the sour cream. It was delicious."
"THE RECIPE ONLY CALLS FOR ONE PACKAGE OF RANCH DRESSING"
"this recipe is a good twist on regular mack & cheese but next time I'll only use one packet of the ranch mix, two was a bit overwhelming."
"I usually dont like mac 'n cheese at all, but I loved this recipe! However, I left the garlic salt out. Maybe it didnt work out for you for that reason and also that you didnt use 2 env of the ranch dressing and the saltines. Also, I usually shred block cheese rather than buy the pre-shredded, as I have noticed the latter seem much saltier than the former. Try it again that way, because I thought it was terrific. Also, it makes enough to take to a potluck."
"I love this recipe! not too salty or anything. make it all the time and it goes well at family functions!"
"Hi, found this recipe in a new booklet from T of H.My kids wanted to try it. I only used one enevelope of Ranch, no salt, no saltines and with still way too salty. My kids didn't like it at all.Will not make it again."
"MAYBE TRY USING GARLIC POWDER INSTEAD OF GARLIC SALT."
"This recipe was easy to make, but once I tried it, the sauce was VERY salty for me and my family. 2 packages of ranch mix, all the salty seasonings, and Parmesan cheese...I should have known by the recipe that it would not turn out well. I will not make this recipe again."
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.