This freezes well either in a baking pan or in a freezer bag. UPDATED 6-09: CORRECTED DIRECTIONS TO SHOW WHEN TO ADD MILK.
- 1 (8 ounce) box elbow macaroni
- 1 1⁄2 cups cooked ham, diced
- 1⁄2 small onion, chopped
- vegetable oil cooking spray
- 1 cup frozen green pea, thawed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
- Saute ham and onion in a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 5 minutes; stir in peas and next 3 ingredients. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.
- Whisk in flour until smooth.
- Add milk, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat.
- Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese, stirring until melted.
- Stir in cooked pasta and ham mixture.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Serve immediately.
This is very good mac n cheese! I am giving this a five for how good it turns out, but really a three for the directions. I didn't use onions (personal preference) but put the macaroni on to boil and while it was cooking melted the butter, added the flour, milk, salt, pepper, and red peppers, once it was boiling I added in the ham and peas, brought it back up to a boil and added the cheese to melt. I then put the two mixes, macaroni and cheese mix together and baked it for about 20 minutes at 425 uncovered. This also works out well as an OAMC by freezing it in a disposable tin, thawing it the day you want to cook it, cook it at 425 for 20 mins and voila! Dinner is served!
I make this Mac & Cheese every time I have some leftover ham (and sometimes I buy cooked ham just to make this dish because it is that good!). I like to have a little mustard kick in it so I'll usually add some ground mustard powder. Or, if I'm using leftoever ham I'll also add the leftover sweet mustard sauce that I serve with my ham. This gives the dish a nice sweet & savory taste which I love. I also like to add some bacon because everything is better with bacon! I've never had a problem making this recipe. Mix the butter with the flour until a paste forms, then add the milk and whisk until it thickens (it will become noticeably thicker), then I add the cheese until it melts, then I add everything else. I don't remove it from the heat as the recipe calls for...I leave it cooking until it is all mixed together and that 1/2 c. of cheese has melted on the top. I don't practice OAMC, but leftovers keep well, and they certainly freeze well.
Made this as a OAMC meal that I made and froze before the school year began. Baked it at 425 with some extra cheese on top. It took a really long time to bake for us and was just a tad dry. It was good classic mac & cheese. I left out the peas and use chopped ham. Thanks for an easy dinner.