Kids—and adults—can't seem to get enough of macaroni and cheese. In fact, I created this recipe for a friend and her family when she was ill. The addition of ham makes it a hearty, one-dish meal. —Jennifer Nystrom, Morrow, Ohio
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 6 slices white bread
- 3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cans (12 ounces each) evaporated milk
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 3 cups cubed fully cooked ham (1/2-in. cubes)
- Grease a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish: set aside.
- For bread crumbs, pulse bread and cold butter in a food processor until crumbs are fine, about 20-25 pulses; set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the garlic, water, mustard and cayenne for 30 seconds. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Gradually whisk in broth and milk. Cook and stir 4-5 minutes longer or until mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from the heat; stir in the cheeses, salt and pepper. Drain pasta; add to cheese mixture. Fold in ham. Pour into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Hearty Ham Mac and Cheese in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2012, p168