Mac and Cheese with Ham

4.5
(2)

Nothing tastes more like childhood than mac and cheese. If your toddlers (or teens… or significant other...) request this cheesy pasta all the time, your everyday Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe might be working overtime. Although your go-to recipe is that way for a reason, why not switch things up by adding a bit of ham?In our Mac and Cheese with Ham recipe, chopped, smoked ham rounds out the dish, making it a heartier main dish than its meatless counterparts. The creamy mixture of meat, pasta, and cheese – including Gouda and sharp Cheddar cheese – is topped off with crushed cornflakes and melted butter, making a second serving inescapable.Better yet, you can keep the pasta variety alive even on the umpteenth request for mac and cheese with easy variations to this recipe. We've included adaptations for a Pepper Jack Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Pea-and-Prosciutto Macaroni and Cheese, Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese, and Ham-and-Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese as well.

Total Time:
1 hrs
Yield:
8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound uncooked cellentani (corkscrew) pasta

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups fat-free milk

  • 1 (12-oz.) can fat-free evaporated milk

  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese

  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded 1.5% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

  • 3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, divided

  • 1 (8-oz.) package chopped smoked ham

  • Vegetable cooking spray

  • 1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare cellentani pasta according to package directions.

  2. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and evaporated milk until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in Gouda cheese, next 3 ingredients, and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in ham and pasta.

  3. Pour pasta mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stir together crushed cereal, 1 Tbsp. melted butter, and remaining 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper; sprinkle over pasta mixture.

  4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

    Baked Smokin’ Macaroni and Cheese
    Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

Chef's Notes

We tested with Barilla Cellentani pasta and Cabot 5% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese.

VARIATIONS:

Ham-and-Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese: Stir 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed and coarsely chopped, into pasta mixture.

Sweet Pea-and-Prosciutto Macaroni and Cheese: Omit ham. Saute 2 oz. thin prosciutto slices, cut into thin strips, in a small skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until slightly browned. Stir prosciutto and 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed, into pasta mixture.

Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese: Substitute 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese for Gouda and Cheddar cheeses. Stir 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained, into pasta mixture.

Pepper Jack Macaroni and Cheese: Substitute 1 1/2 cups 5% reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese for Gouda and Cheddar cheeses. Omit ground red pepper, if desired. Stir 1 (5-oz.) can chopped green chiles into pasta mixture.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

453 Calories
12g Fat
60g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 453
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 846mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 27g
Calcium 398mg 31%
Iron 3mg 17%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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