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Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese Recipe

Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food that you can easily make at home.

With its creamy, cheesy goodness, you’ll find yourself returning to this recipe time and time again.

This dish combines Velveeta, Cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmesan cheeses for a rich and flavorful experience.

Make sure you don’t overcook the pasta; you want it al dente to hold up well in the cheese sauce.

I love how versatile this recipe is because you can enjoy it straight from the stovetop or add a crispy topping and bake it for a satisfying crunch.

How to Make Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese

pioneer woman mac and cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Dried Macaroni
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1 lb. Cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, following the package instructions.

Drain and rinse the cooked pasta, then set it aside.

Step 2:

In a small bowl, beat one egg until smooth.

Set the egg aside.

Step 3:

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.

Sprinkle in the flour and whisk together to create a roux.

Continuously whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture turns a golden color.

Step 4:

Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly.

Add the dry mustard and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.

Step 5:

Reduce the heat to low and take a small amount of the sauce.

Add it to the beaten egg to temper it, then add the egg mixture to the pot.

Step 6:

Add in the grated cheese, salt, and black pepper.

Stir until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth.

Step 7:

Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce and stir to combine thoroughly.

Serve hot.

Tips and Tricks for Making This Recipe

pioneer woman mac and cheese in dish

Use Freshly Grated Cheese

Using freshly grated cheese will make your mac and cheese creamier than using pre-shredded cheese, which can have added fillers and preservatives.

Temper the Egg Properly

Temper the egg by adding a small amount of hot sauce to it before combining with the rest of the sauce.

This method prevents the egg from scrambling.

Make-Ahead Convenience

You can prepare the mac and cheese up to the baking step and refrigerate it.

Simply bake when you’re ready to serve.

Customize the Cheese Blend

Feel free to mix different types of cheese to add complexity to the flavor.

Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and mozzarella work well together.

Using a mix of cheeses will give your dish a richer and more nuanced taste.

What to Serve with Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese

Tandoori Fried Chicken

Marinate chicken pieces in tandoori spices for a few hours for maximum flavor.

Fry them until crispy to add a spicy twist to your mac and cheese.

Garlic Bread

A classic choice that never fails.

Use fresh garlic and herbs to make this side dish irresistible.

Grilled Asparagus

Grill the asparagus until they are slightly charred but still crisp.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice on top for a fresh flavor.

Fruit Salad

A refreshing choice that balances the rich flavors of mac and cheese.

Mix seasonal fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and melons for a colorful dish.

Baked Beans

Prepare beans with a touch of brown sugar and bacon.

The sweet and savory taste pairs wonderfully with mac and cheese.

Variations and Substitutions

A rustic kitchen with a bubbling pot of mac and cheese surrounded by assorted ingredients like cheese, pasta, and herbs

Cheese Choices

You can switch up the cheese to customize your mac and cheese.

Try using a mixture of fontina, goat cheese, Parmesan, and Romano for a rich and complex flavor.

Alternatively, cheddar and mozzarella can create a classic and gooey texture.

Pasta Options

Experiment with different types of pasta beyond elbow macaroni.

Shells, penne, or rotini all work well and hold onto the sauce beautifully.

Gluten-free pasta is also a great option if you prefer.

Texture and Crunch

Adding a crunchy topping can make your dish more exciting.

Sprinkle breadcrumbs or crushed crackers on top before baking for a satisfying crunch.

Consider mixing the breadcrumbs with melted butter for an even better texture.

Seasoning Variations

Enhance the flavor by experimenting with various seasonings.

Try adding a dash of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or mustard powder for a subtle kick.

Fresh herbs like thyme or parsley can also bring a fresh aroma to your dish.

How to Store Leftover Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese

You’ll want to keep your leftover Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese as fresh as possible.

Start by letting it cool to room temperature.

Refrigeration

Transfer your mac and cheese to an airtight container.

Store it in the refrigerator where it will last for 3-5 days.

Freezing

For longer storage, you can freeze it.

Place the mac and cheese in a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag.

Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.

Labeling

Label the container with the date you made the mac and cheese.

This will help you keep track of how long it’s been stored.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using the Wrong Pasta

One mistake is using spaghetti or fettuccine instead of shorter pasta shapes.

Long noodles can clump together and result in a gummy mess.

Stick with elbow macaroni or similar shapes for the best results.

Overcooking the Pasta

You don’t want mushy pasta in your mac and cheese.

Only cook the pasta until it is al dente, or just firm to the bite.

Remember, it will cook more when you bake it with the cheese sauce.

Not Seasoning Enough

Skipping the salt can leave your mac and cheese tasting bland.

Make sure to salt the pasta water and taste the cheese sauce before combining everything.

Add salt and pepper as needed to bring out the flavors.

pioneer woman mac and cheese

Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese Recipe

With its creamy, cheesy goodness, you'll find yourself returning to this recipe time and time again.
This dish combines Velveeta, Cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmesan cheeses for a rich and flavorful experience.
Make sure you don’t overcook the pasta; you want it al dente to hold up well in the cheese sauce.
I love how versatile this recipe is because you can enjoy it straight from the stovetop or add a crispy topping and bake it for a satisfying crunch.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 6
Ingredients
  
  • 4 cups Dried Macaroni
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1 lb. Cheese grated
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Instructions
 
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, following the package instructions.
  • Drain and rinse the cooked pasta, then set it aside.
  • In a small bowl, beat one egg until smooth.
  • Set the egg aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle in the flour and whisk together to create a roux.
  • Continuously whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture turns a golden color.
  • Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly.
  • Add the dry mustard and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and take a small amount of the sauce.
  • Add it to the beaten egg to temper it, then add the egg mixture to the pot.
  • Add in the grated cheese, salt, and black pepper.
  • Stir until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce and stir to combine thoroughly.
  • Serve hot.

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Passionate chef, in love with everything related to food and cooking it to perfection!
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