We remember mac and cheese as being our favorite dish when we were growing up and things really haven’t changed that much all these years later. While our palates have evolved and our list of favorites has expanded, there’s really nothing like a creamy, cheesy plate of pasta that brings back a wave of memories and makes us feel great no matter what.
Here, we’ve spruced up our go-to macaroni and cheese recipe and thrown in some ham and peas, and finished everything off with a yummy, buttery and cheesy breadcrumb topping. We’re telling you, this dish is perfect for a family dinner, but we’d absolutely whip this up for nights when we’re entertaining…it’s just so good!
Ham-Stuffed Macaroni And Cheese
- 1 pound butterfly pasta or elbow macaroni
- 8 oz. cooked ham, cubed
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
- 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to packaging directions, or until al dente, then drain and set aside.
- Heat 1/2 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until roux is smooth and paste-like.
- Slowly whisk in heavy cream and whole milk, then mix in cheddar cheese and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened.
- Season with salt, pepper, dried mustard powder and nutmeg.
- Stir pasta, peas and ham into the sauce and stir together until coated, then transfer to baking dish.
- In a small dish, stir parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs together, then melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and mix everything together.
- Spread breadcrumb mixture over the pasta, then place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and pasta is heated through.
- Remove from oven and serve hot.
Recipe adapted from 12 Tomatoes