Mac and Cheese on Steroids

This is going to be a short post. I am really tired right now because I cooked all day yesterday and today for a fund raiser I was invited to participate in. I will post some pictures tomorrow. But I wanted to post this mac and cheese recipe tonight for Ruth’s blogging event Presto Pasta Night. I am really hooked with that event now :)

I must confess that before yesterday I had never made mac and cheese. I’ve had some really good mac and cheese at Darrin’s place before, though. His roommate, Chrisp, makes some amazing redneck food. He laughs when I tell him that his food is a piece of redneck heaven. Anyway, I decided to make mac and cheese for the first time for lunch yesterday, but it had to add my personal touch, right? What I got was some kind of Mac and Cheese in steroids, sooo delicious!

Mac and cheese is not the healthiest food out there, but I tried to keep the bad ingredients to the minimum. You don’t need a recipe for mac and cheese, do you? This is all I did:

  1. I cooked 1/2 pound macaroni noodles al dente. I preheated the oven to 400ÂșC.
  2. In a large skillet I sauteed 1/2 chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil until translucent. I added 1 pound of ground turkey and spiced it up with salt, ground black pepper, oregano and basil. I cooked it until brown.
  3. I mixed 1/4 cup of spread (the one that claims to be 43% less fat) with 1/4 cup of flour in a saucepan over medium heat. When the spread and the flour where blended I added 2 cups of skim milk, 8 ounces of pepper jack cheese, 1 TBSP mustard, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp crushed red peppers, salt and black ground pepper. I cooked the sauce for 10 minutes stirring constantly.
  4. I mixed the noodles and ground beef in a baking dish, then added the cheese sauce and mixed it all well.
  5. In a small bowl I mixed 1/2 cup of cornmeal, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, some garlic powder, ground basil leaves, ground parsley about 2 tsp of sesame seeds and a pinch of ginger and nutmeg. I sprinkled this mixture over the noodles to serve as crust. I baked it for 20 minutes until the crust was turning brown and the sauce was boiling.

To feel less guilty about this lunch I served it with steamed broccoli and corn kernels. It was so delicious that I had seconds and thirds. I love American comfort food. I just need to find a “healthier” way to cook it. How do you like your mac and cheese?

Buen provecho!


  • I never thought to put cinnamon in mac & cheese. Or a cornmeal topping. I’ll have to try this!

  • A most unusual Mac and Cheese. But it sounds great. I find this varies by cultures. For expample the Black community cooks it diffrent. Here we bake it in a custard,cheese, and butter base. Its really rich and good. Several types of cheese are used but it has that rich custrad base. I like to drizzle black truffle oil on our slices to take it up a notch. CS loves it.

  • I like your twist on mac & cheese Ben. I like mine with broccoli thrown in for good measure:D

  • It does look awesome. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  • Wow amigo! Who needs steroids when you have this! Looks really good Ben. I love the “twists” you’re applying to a lot of your cooking lately. Keep it up!

  • Que rico!!!!

  • BEN…two words….KICK ASS! I love the cheese, onions in the bechamel and pepperjack cheese? Ummmm!

  • I was with you all the way, buddy, until you mentioned the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg….I dunno about that. But maybe I will give it a try..we love mac-n-cheese in this house!

  • Ben, you’re a genius–that looks so good! And very comforting. How do i like mac and cheese? Cheeeeesey.

  • I have not made mac and cheese in a while. This one looks really good.

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