Pimento Cheese Mac & Cheese Recipe
For pimento cheese:
- 1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimentos
- 8 oz. mild cheddar cheese, shredded*
- 2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Buffalo Bleu Dip & Dressing
- 1/2 tsp. Salt & Pepper Tableside Seasoning
For mac & cheese:
- 8 oz. small macaroni pasta (like ditalini noodles, conchiglie shells, or elbow macaroni)*
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp. flour*
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Salt & Pepper Tableside Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. Onion & Garlic Tableside Sprinkle
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. Smoked Spanish Sweet Paprika
- 2 tsp. olive oil
*Mild cheddar melts better than sharp cheddar in the mac & cheese; if you want to enjoy the pimento cheese on its own with crackers and such, use a sharp cheddar cheese instead. For a gluten-free version of this recipe, use an all-purpose, gluten-free flour mix, gluten-free pasta noodles, and gluten-free bread crumbs.
For pimento cheese: Mix all ingredients together and set aside.
For mac & cheese: Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat milk over medium heat in a small saucepan until barely at a boil. In a large, ovenproof saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk flour into melted butter and cook, whisking constantly, for about 2 min. Slowly whisk hot milk into flour mixture and cook for about 5 min., stirring constantly, until sauce begins to thicken. Remove sauce from heat and stir in reserved pimento cheese, lemon juice, and the salt & pepper and onion & garlic seasonings. Fold in cooked pasta and serve, or following optional topping directions before serving.
For optional topping: In a small bowl, stir together panko, paprika, and olive oil. Sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs over mac & cheese. Set pan under a broiler for 2 to 3 min. until bread crumbs start to toast. Serve immediately.
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