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AKA “Frozen Mac & Cheese on Steroids!”

Interestingly, my roommate and myself just invented this recipe the other night when we looked at the frozen Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese in the freezer and felt inspired to make it into a dish that’s not just edible, but delectable! This Mac & Cheese recipe takes a large frozen Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese and turns it into an ‘artisan style’ homemade mac & cheese dish. While it requires a lot of chopping/shredding/etc, this is a much healthier version of a family quick dinner night classic. Serve this with a small mixed greens salad. Makes 4-8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 LARGE frozen Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese
  • 1 Large pan (Turkey size; Look at the pan size in picture as guide)
  • 1 1/2 lbs of bacon (Smoked tastes better)
  • 8 oz of ham, chopped small
  • 6 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lb green onions, sliced
  • 3/4 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3/4 lb sharp mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 3/4 lb sharp monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 2 cups regular panko crumbs
  • 1 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter
  • Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper for taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, or whatever temperature it says on the frozen mac & cheese box.
  2. Defrost Mac & Cheese completely. Should be around fridge temp(35-40 degrees), but completely unfrozen for transfer.
  3. Transfer Mac & Cheese from the pan it comes in, into the large pan.
  4. Cook bacon until it’s browned and is nice and crispy.
  5. Mix into Mac & Cheese the tomatoes, green onions, bacon, ham and all three types of cheeses.
  6. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.
  7. While mac & cheese is cooking, melt butter in a pan. Once melted, mix in panko crumbs. Cook until some of the liquid burns off.
  8. After 15 mins, take out Mac & Cheese and spread panko crumbs all over top of mac & cheese as a thin layer. Put back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
  9. Move pan from the oven to the broiler and broil for 5-10 minutes until top has a light brown crust.
  10. Take out of oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  11. Add salt & pepper to taste.

*To Serve, scoop out onto large plate and serve with side mixed greens salad.
**Wine Recommendation: Definitely a white wine, I would suggest a dry wine like a Chardonnay.

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