Monday, September 5

Mac & Cheese with Diced Ham

This is one of my go to recipes.  It's quick (yes, even as homemade, it's still a quick dinner), it's easy, and I always have the ingredients on hand to make this.  So if Leftovers night rolls around and we've already eaten up the leftovers that week, there's a good chance I'll be making some of this.  While I don't always have ham on hand, it's always a yummy addition to a wonderful comfort food. 

Mac & Cheese with Diced Ham

1 pound of pasta (I prefer the pieces {penne, elbow, shells, etc.} as opposed to noodles {spaghetti, fettuccine, etc.} but that's because I have a three year old and it means no cutting up food--you can use whatever type of pasta you like)

Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain pasta thoroughly when cooked. 

5 Tbsp butter
5 Tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups milk (I use whole)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combo of sharp cheddar, Parmesan, and mozzarella this time, but what you have should work)
Salt and pepper
1 cup diced ham (if adding)

In a large saucepan, melt butter and whisk in flour.  Allow flour to cook for 1-2 minutes and whisk in milk.  As mixture starts to heat through it will start to thicken.  Whisk in mustard and shredded cheese and allow to heat for several minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in diced ham.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in drained pasta and mix sauce and pasta together until pasta is evenly coated.

Now, since this dish is fully ready to eat at this stage, I usually just serve the mac and cheese up.  I rarely take the extra step to bake, because 1. the dish is already ready to serve--I don't see the point in dirtying up another dish I am going to have to wash  2. yes, I am truly am that lazy.  BUT, that said, if you feel so inclined, you may.

Breadcrumb Topping 

1 slice bread, buttered

Place buttered slice of bread in food processor and pulse on high about 10-15 times or until it reaches  breadcrumb consistency.  Isn't that a nifty little trick?  If you don't have a food processor, mix about 2/3 cup prepared breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Spray a casserole dish liberally with non stick spray or coat well with butter.  Pour in mac and cheese and top with breadcrumb mixture.  Broil until top of casserole is nice and golden.  Serve and enjoy!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This recipe is linked to:

Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday
Blessed With Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Designs By Gollum Foodie Friday
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap
Friday Potluck at EKat's Kitchen
Hearth 'n Soul Recipe Swap at Premeditated Leftovers

La Bella Vita's Fresh Clean and Pure Friday 
Miz Helen's Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday


Alea Milham said...

I love adding ham to my scalloped potatoes, but had never thought to add it to Macaroni and cheese. I bet it is a delicious combination - thanks for the inspiration. This post will be come a regular feature on my "how to use up holiday leftovers" posts. :) thanks for sharing your recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

There is nothing like comforting mac and cheese - and I love the addition of the ham. What a great way to use up leftovers, and add great flavour too! Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.

Miz Helen said...

Hi Jackie,
I just love the addition of the ham to your creamy Mac N Cheese. I just know that it would be delicious it is a great recipe! Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come back soon!
Miz Helen


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