Mac 'n' cheese gets a main dish makeover with the addition of chopped ham and frozen peas. Add a green salad to round out your meal and enjoy!
1 pound uncooked medium elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups chopped lean ham
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extrasharp cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 (1-ounce) slices white bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cook pasta in boiling water 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Combine pasta, ham, and peas in a large bowl.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add milk; bring to simmer. Remove from heat; stir in cheeses, salt, and peppers. Pour cheese mixture over pasta mixture; stir to coat. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 1/4 cups. Combine breadcrumbs and butter in a bowl. Arrange breadcrumb mixture evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Recipe directions are incorrect. Do this for step 3: Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in saucepan and saute the chopped onion as the recipe says. Then stir in 1/3 cup of flour. Using a whisk, add preheated 3 cups of milk. Bring to a simmer and allow to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and add cheeses - stir until melted. The only other change I made was to use packaged bread crumbs over the top without adding the butter to that step. So this reduces the recipe's total fat as well.
The recipe fails to mention that your making a non traditional roux and if you're not careful it will all clump together like mine did!!! I tried twice and neither time would it cream together. I had cut the recipe in half maybe that was the problem. Good luck.
ps, then I read all of the other reviews...seems I'm not the only one!!
I made my cheese mixture twice!!!! I can make home made mac and cheese all day long and it turns out fine. Cheese should melt and be very creamy. Did that happen with this ....NO. Waste of a weekday evening. DO NOT MAKE according to instructions if your going to do it. I wouldn't make this again. Waste of money :(
I did not read the reviews before I made...found it in the magazine and thought it looks great. The first time I made it, it was excellent...second time turned out more like the rest.
The first time, I must not have used enough milk? I also substituted white elbow macaroni with whole wheat macaroni & used whole wheat bread crumbs I made instead of from a can. That seemed to give it a better flavor than the second time...which was good, but not great like the first.
I wanted to call this dish "awful", but it isn't. Something with no flavor needs a different adjective. I made this early on in my transition from eating bacon and cheese on everything to lighter fare to lose a few extra pounds. I was lured into making this by the prospect of a brief rendezvous with my beloved cheese, but OMG, to experience less flavor, one would have to laminate his tongue before dinner. I experiment with a lot of recipes, but I made this one as-is. I'm not sure what my magic dried shallots, roasted garlic slices or chili garlic sauce could do to this, but in the unlikely event I would make this again, I'm going in with everything in the cupboard.
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