The weather has been so warm lately, I feel like Thanksgiving has completely snuck up on me! Can you believe the Holidays are just around the corner?
I am definitely not ready for Thanksgiving. (Not looking forward to the hours of housecleaning I have to do!)
One of my favorite ways to kick the Holiday season off (other than decorating of course) is to invite family over for a warm and hearty home-cooked meal.
The weather has finally turned and I thought a home-style Mac and Cheese dish would be perfect for the family dinner. I’m all for homemade, from scratch, foods- but since I’m usually pressed for time, I always incorporate short cuts when I can. Thank you to Sargento for partnering with me in sharing this hearty Cheesy Baked Potato Mac and Cheese Recipe!
What’s my most frequently used shortcut? Pre-shredded cheeses- not having to shred the cheese is such a time saver! (Sargento has a great selection of shredded cheese, btw.)
For today’s recipe, I used the Artisan Blend Parmesan and the Off the Block Sharp Cheddar. I really like the punch of flavor these two cheeses provided to the dish.
Cheesy Baked Potato Mac & Cheese
Potatoes, corn and cajun spices come together to make this delicious and hearty Cheesy Baked Potato Mac and Cheese Recipe.
Recipe by Jamie Sanders, Adapted from Rachael Ray Everyday Magazine
Prep time: 10
Cook time: 30 to 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8
- 12 oz penne or cavatappi pasta (I used Cavatappi pasta)
- 1 1/4 cup frozen sweet corn, defrosted
- olive oil
- 1/4 cup bacon bits (or the equivalent of freshly cooked and diced)
- 2 cups peeled, diced potato
- 1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s cajun seasoning (1/4 for the potatoes and 1/4 for the sauce)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes (set aside a couple tbs for garnish)
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tbs butter
- 3 tbs flour
- 2 1/4 cups milk
- 1 tsp dry mustard (I used a squirt of yellow mustard- it’s all I had)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup grated Parmesan blend cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
- Cook pasta in large pot, according to package directions. After cooking is complete, drain, return to pot and keep warm.
- While the pasta is cooking, add oil to pan and brown potatoes for about 5 minutes.
- Add corn, red pepper, onion and garlic, 1/4 tsp of the Tony Chachere seasoning and salt and pepper to the potatoes. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Add milk and whisk til smooth. Add mustard, 1/4 Tony Chachere seasoning, (Careful- this stuff has kick!) nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce thickens.
- Lower the heat and stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Add the corn-potato mixture and the white sauce to the pasta in the pot and stir together.
- Transfer to a casserole dish, top with the cheddar cheese, bacon and reserved red bell pepper. Broil until brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
My photography assistant could not stand it one more minute! She had to have that first bite!
Looking for more yummy pasta dishes? You might also like these:
Looking for more dinner ideas? Sargento has over a hundred recipes on their site- be sure to take a moment and browse around, you might find a new family fave!