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Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese Recipe

Wagon Wheel mac and cheese is a delicious twist on a classic comfort food.

In this recipe, I’ll guide you through making a creamy cheddar cheese sauce that perfectly complements the wagon wheel pasta.

Additional ingredients like smoked mozzarella and tangy barbecue sauce can be included for a more flavorful Western BBQ touch.

With just a few simple steps, you’ll be able to prepare this savory dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side to any meal.

Wagon wheel mac and cheese is a versatile and satisfying recipe, perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or cozy nights.

How to Make Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese

Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients List

  • 8 ounces Wagon wheel pasta
  • Pot of water
  • 2 cups shredded mild or sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cheese sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 Cups of milk
  • Cooked pasta
  • 4 tablespoons flour

Step-by-step process

Step 1

First, boil a large pot of water and season it with a teaspoon of salt.

Once the water is boiling, add your wagon wheel pasta to the pot.

Cook the pasta until it is al dente, which should take about 1-2 minutes.

Step 2

After it is cooked, drain the pasta well.

Melt 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

When the butter starts to foam, add an equal amount of flour.

Step 3

Cook the mixture, whisking continuously, for about a minute.

This will create a roux, which will help thicken your cheese sauce.

Gradually whisk in 2 cups of milk into the roux mixture, ensuring there are no lumps.

Continue cooking the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened, usually 2-3 minutes.

Step 4

Once your sauce has reached the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and stir in your grated cheddar cheese.

Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper to season the sauce.

Combine your cooked pasta with the cheese sauce, making sure the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce.

Step 5

To make your Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese extra creamy, add a couple of tablespoons of milk to the pasta mixture, stirring it quickly.

If necessary, microwave the dish for 30 seconds to 1 minute to reheat and ensure all the cheese is melted and the pasta is heated through.

Follow these simple steps for a delicious and comforting Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese.

Enjoy your warm and gooey dish!

Side Dishes for Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese

One of the key elements that elevate a meal is complementary side dishes.

Pairing Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese with the appropriate side dishes can make your meal enjoyable for the entire family.

Here is a list of side dishes that you may consider serving alongside Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese.

Garlic Bread

If you’re craving something with a bit more substance, opt for a side of garlic bread.

The warm, buttery, garlicky bread complements the creamy cheese sauce in the mac and cheese, and you can even use it to scoop up any leftover sauce on your plate.

Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a classic side known for its crunch and tanginess.

Its cool, slightly sour flavor adds a refreshing note to the rich mac and cheese.

You can either prepare a homemade coleslaw with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a creamy or vinegar-based dressing or pick up a store-bought variety.

Grilled or Steamed Asparagus

A simple side dish of grilled or steamed asparagus adds color to your plate and contributes a distinct taste.

You can season it with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, or go for a more robust flavor by sprinkling some grated Parmesan cheese or a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

With these side dishes, you can make the Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese even more delightful.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and tastes to find the perfect combination for you and your family.

Ingredients Substitutes

When you are making Wagon Wheels Mac and Cheese, certain ingredients might not be readily available, or you may prefer to change the ingredients based on personal preference.

Here is an ingredient substitute you can use to prepare this delicious meal:

Cheddar Cheese substitutes

If you don’t have cheddar cheese or want to switch it up, you can opt for 1½ cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, Monterey Jack, or Colby-Jack for a similar flavor and texture.

These cheeses still provide a rich and creamy flavor to your Wagon Wheels Mac and Cheese.

How to Store Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese

Storing your wagon wheel mac and cheese properly will help ensure that it stays fresh and delicious for future enjoyment.

Here are some key points to consider when preserving your dish at the right temperature:

Refrigeration

After allowing the wagon wheel mac and cheese to cool down to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container.

Make sure it is sealed tightly to prevent moisture loss and to keep any unwanted odors from entering the dish.

Store the container in the refrigerator at a temperature between 35-40°F (2-4°C).

Remember that it will typically last 3-5 days when stored in the refrigerator.

Freezing

If you plan to store the wagon wheel mac and cheese for extended periods, freezing is an ideal option.

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

Label the container or bag with the date so you can keep track of how long it’s been in the freezer.

Store it at 0°F (-18°C) or below. It can maintain its quality in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To reheat your wagon wheel mac and cheese, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or use a microwave on the defrost setting.

Then, reheat it in the oven, stovetop, or microwave, stirring occasionally until it reaches a proper internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the most common mistakes to avoid when preparing Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese:

Not Checking Internal Temperature

While preparing wagon wheel mac and cheese, ensure that you check the dish’s internal temperature.

Achieving the correct temperature helps in melting the cheese to its desired gooey consistency.

Use a food thermometer to monitor the temperature while cooking.

Skimping on Cheese

Remember, mac and cheese should be all about that gooey, cheesy goodness.

Do not hold back on using the recommended amount of cheese, as it is an essential component of the dish.

The proper ratio of cheese contributes to a rich and creamy texture.

Ignoring Servings per Container

When preparing your recipe, pay close attention to the servings per container.

This will help you determine the correct amount of ingredients to use, which in turn leads to a well-balanced dish that does not become dry or overly dense.

Choosing the Wrong Pasta Shape

The pasta shape plays a crucial role in holding the cheese sauce in your mac and cheese.

Preferably, use wagon wheels or similar shapes that provide robust surfaces for the sauce to grip.

Avoid long, thin noodles that may become clumped or gummy during cooking.

Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese Recipe

Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese Recipe

Wagon Wheel mac and cheese is a delicious twist on a classic comfort food.
Utilizing wagon wheel pasta, which features a round shape with ridges and numerous regions for trapping cheese sauce, this dish is perfect for cheese enthusiasts who crave variety in their mac and cheese experience.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Equipment
  • 1 large pot of water
Ingredients
  
  • 8 ounces Wagon wheel pasta
  • Pot of water
  • 2 cups shredded mild or sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cheese sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 Cups of milk
  • Cooked pasta
  • 4 tablespoons flour
Instructions
 
  • First, boil a large pot of water and season it with a teaspoon of salt.
    Once the water is boiling, add your wagon wheel pasta to the pot.
    Cook the pasta until it is al dente, which should take about 1-2 minutes.
  • After it is cooked, drain the pasta well.
    Melt 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
    When the butter starts to foam, add an equal amount of flour.
  • Cook the mixture, whisking continuously, for about a minute.
    This will create a roux, which will help thicken your cheese sauce.
    Gradually whisk in 2 cups of milk into the roux mixture, ensuring there are no lumps.
    Continue cooking the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened, usually 2-3 minutes.
  • Once your sauce has reached the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and stir in your grated cheddar cheese.
    Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper to season the sauce.
    Combine your cooked pasta with the cheese sauce, making sure the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce.
  • To make your Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese extra creamy, add a couple of tablespoons of milk to the pasta mixture, stirring it quickly.
    If necessary, microwave the dish for 30 seconds to 1 minute to reheat and ensure all the cheese is melted and the pasta is heated through.
    Follow these simple steps for a delicious and comforting Wagon Wheel Mac and Cheese.
    Enjoy your warm and gooey dish!

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