Macaroni and cheese with stuffing on top

A ‘why didn’t I think of this before’ dish!

I adore homemade macaroni and cheese and make it often. I like to add in roasted vegetables or chopped kale or crispy bits of bacon but I usually use the same topping every time: breadcrumbs and garlic butter. A flash of inspiration the other day got me wondering what mac and cheese would taste like with traditional poultry stuffing (or dressing – call it what you like) on top, so of course I had to try it. The verdict: absolutely sensational. If you feel like making a big batch of stuffing, it freezes well. Gluten-free bread and flour work very well in this recipe.

Ingredients

For the stuffing

  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups (750 mL) torn bread, in small pieces (regular or gluten-free)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) dried savory
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each salt and pepper

For the mac and cheese:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) smoked or regular paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups (500 mL) grated cheddar (I use extra-old)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) small pasta (macaroni or shells are great)

Method

  • Start by making the stuffing to go on top of the mac and cheese. In a medium-sized pot, melt the butter and add the chopped onion. Sauté over medium heat, stirring often, for 4 -5 minutes, until onion is softened.
  • While onions cook, combine torn bread and seasonings in a bowl. Drizzle cooked onions and butter over top; toss to blend well and set aside.
  • Make the cheese sauce by melting butter over medium-low heat (use the same pot you cooked the onions in); stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  • Gradually whisk in milk, paprika and a dash of salt & pepper.
  • Simmer, stirring often, for 4 minutes, until smooth and thickened. Stir in the grated cheese until blended. Let simmer on low for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While sauce simmers, preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Cook the macaroni in a pot of boiling, salted water until just tender.
  • Drain cooked macaroni and return it to the pot. Pour cheese sauce over top and stir to blend well.
  • Pour the mac and cheese mixture into a greased 8 inch (20 cm) square casserole dish (or four 2 cup/500 mL oven-safe dishes), then sprinkle the stuffing over top.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the stuffing is browned and the cheese sauce is bubbly.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.

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