February 10, 2014

Baked Ranch Macaroni & Cheese


We've been hammered with snowstorm after snowstorm this winter and, once again, we found ourselves snowed in.  I decided to make some comforting, warming macaroni and cheese for my family with a fun little twist.  The ranch flavor deliciously shines in this dish, but it isn't overpowering.  Definitely give this one a try!  



Ingredients:


  • 8 oz elbow macaroni 
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour 
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste 
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/4 tsp onion salt
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • 1/4 c heavy cream 
  • 1 c Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 
  • 1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 3/4 c Ranch dressing

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the elbow macaroni in a large pot of salted water to al dente, according to package instructions.  Drain and set aside. 

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour, salt pepper, garlic powder, and onion salt, until well combined.  Continue to whisk and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream.  Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.  Stir in the Monterey jack cheese, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese into the sauce pan, until well combined.

Add the cooked elbow macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir well to combine.  Pour in the Ranch dressing and stir well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Pour the mixture into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top begins to brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!


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