Since I bought that cast iron skillet, my kitchen time has felt like I’m making episodes of”WILL IT SKILLET?” So we’re gonna roll with that! Spoiler alert the answer will probably always be yes! We already know that a Dutch Baby will Skillet!
Today on…WILL IT SKILLET? Mac n Cheese!
Last week I had really fantastic Mac n Cheese at this really cute comfort food place place on Main Street, it was awesome. I forgot how much I love Mac n Cheese. Cheese and pasta mixed to make a creamy, hot, comforting, ooey-gooey bowl of homemade love and nostalgia. I figured it was time to bust out this cozy gem at home!
This recipe is made in under 30 minutes. QUICK, RIGHT? Perfect for weeknights? I think so! Only two pots to clean – the pasta pot, and your skillet. NICE. Oh, and honestly how versatile is homemade Mac n Cheese? You can just throw whatever you like in there, clean out the fridge! Meats, veggies, meat alternatives, beans, jalapenos – heck, throw some chorizo or some Yves sausage in there for an extra kick! Trick the kids into eating broccoli – HAVE FUN WITH IT. Honestly, just throw whatever you want in. There is no right or wrong answer with Mac n Cheese. If you have Mac, and you have cheese, then you have Mac n Cheese.
But the real star of this skillet should be the cheese. I love using up whatever cheese I have in the fridge, it makes it so easy. I had cheddar, gouda and gruyere on hand from other recipes, so I used that. But Brie, Mozzarella, Havarti, Montery Jack….they’re all good. Whatever you have on hand – use! Just please don’t use the pre-shredded cheese unless you have to though. It contains a chemical that keeps it from clumping in the bag and it just doesn’t melt as well. Besides, grating isn’t that bad! You can munch on it while you grate!
Let’s talk about the tomatoes. Now some people might think I’m a monster for putting tomatoes in my Mac n Cheese, but Burgoo does it at their restaurant, so why can’t I? I love tomatoes, and they get all roasted and warm and delicious. There’s a good example of just throwin’ whatever you want in the skillet! Tomatoes and banana peppers because that’s what I had in my fridge. YES. Also I’ve seen people literally SMOTHER their delicious homemade Mac n Cheese with ketchup to the point where you may as well just drink the bottle. So who’s the real monster here? Save it for the boxed stuff, guys! Oh, and do you see that delicious, crispy cheese topping on there? Drool worthy, right?
This dish could certainly be made as a side dish to other delicious comfort foods, but I think it makes a great main! And leftovers are DELISH. This dish is so warm, cozy and rich that you might be tempted to take a nap after you eat this, and yes, I am speaking from experience.
This Mac n Cheese is a perfect, comforting, easy winter meal. It’s:
- Quick and easy to make in under 30 minutes;
- Made with ingredients you probably already have;
- Versatile and easy to switch up with different meats, veggies, and cheeses;
- The ultimate comfort food dish;
- Cheesy, hot and ooey-gooey to the maxium;
- Rich and creamy;
- Will make any bad day good;
- Great for kids and adults;
- ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS.
YES – IT DOES SKILLET!
Mac n Cheese
Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a side! Prep/cook time – 30 minutes!
- 1 1/2 cups dried macaroni noodles (or any other short noodle you like)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, or 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 3 tbps. banana peppers, diced (optional)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp grainy mustard
- 2 1/2 cups shredded or chopped cheese of your choice (I used Cheddar, Gruyere and Gouda)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped (optional)
** Remember, you can also add in meats and other veggies if you like! If you’re using meat, add that in at the beginning of the cooking, or add in already cooked meat with the cheese! **
Preheat your oven broiler to low.
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a 10 inch cast iron pan (or other oven safe skillet), add in oil, onion, and banana pepper. Sautée until onion is soft and translucent. Add in garlic, tomatoes and mustard and sautée for another minute or two.
Pour in heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
Add 2 cups of the shredded cheese and mix until melted and smooth. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Mix in the cooked macaroni noodles until they are covered and all gooey. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and broil until the cheese on top is bubbling and brown, around 5 minutes (but keep an eye on it!)
Let rest for a couple minutes (while you get the bowls out!) and serve as a comforting, gooey main or side!