Potatoes, corn, and cajun spices combine perfectly to make this delicious and hearty Cheesy Baked Potato Mac and Cheese Recipe.
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!)
Baked Potato Mac and Cheese
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 shortcuts when I can.
What’s my most frequently used shortcut? Pre-shredded cheeses- not having to shred the cheese is such a time saver!
For today’s recipe, I used the Artisan Blend Parmesan and the Off the Block Sharp Cheddar from Sargento. I really like the punch of flavor these two kinds of cheese provided to the dish.
There are so many ways to make this recipe your own.
- Change up the cheeses. Gruyere, Monterey jack, mild cheddar. Just about anything would work.
- Use a different pasta. Penne, rigatoni, or farfalle would all work.
- Add a protein to make the baked potato mac and cheese a full meal. Chicken or ham would be great.
Potatoes, corn, and cajun spices combine to make this delicious and hearty Extra Cheesy Baked Potato Mac and Cheese Recipe.
- 12 oz Cavatappi pasta, also known as Cellentani. (rigatoni or penne can also work.) Cavatappi is a short, tubular, corkscrew-shaped pasta.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups peeled, diced potato
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes (set aside a tablespoon or two for garnish)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1/4 cup frozen sweet corn, defrosted
- 1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s cajun seasoning (1/4 for the potatoes and 1/4 for the sauce)
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons 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
- 1/4 cup bacon bits (or the equivalent of freshly cooked and diced)
- Make the pasta: Cook pasta in a large pot, according to package directions. After cooking is complete, drain, return to pot and keep warm.
- Cook the potatoes: While the pasta is cooking, add oil to the pan and brown the potatoes for about 5 minutes.
- Add corn, red pepper, onion, garlic, 1/4 tsp of the Tony Chachere seasoning, and salt and pepper to the potatoes. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Make the cheese sauce: Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium-sized 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.
- Combine everything and broil: Add the corn-potato mixture and the white sauce to the pasta in the pot and stir together.
- Transfer to a casserole dish, and top with the cheddar cheese, bacon, and reserved red bell pepper. Broil until brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Keywords: Baked Potato Mac and Cheese
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About the Author
Jamie Sanders is a wife and mom of 2, located in the heart of Texas. She founded Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom in 2011 as a place to share creative ideas and family friendly recipes. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart, Woman’s World, HuffPost, TODAY, Pioneer Woman, HGTV, CNET, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, Oprah Daily, and Redbook, plus many other publications. To date, she had given away just under a million free pdf sewing patterns.