Zesty Mac & Cheese

by Megan on May 31, 2011

My new little casserole dish came with a caddy to keep it from ever needing a pot holder. It’s as if it’s saying, “I don’t want to meet your daddy, I just want mac & cheese in my caddy.” … when it sings along with Outkast, that is.

If you are at a loss as to what to pair with BBQ-ed goodness, this is the stuff. Put this on a plate with ribs/pulled pork/BBQ chicken/vegetarian BBQ-anything and nobody will cry if the foods intermingle. Trust me.

Because the truth is, this stuff goes super-well with BBQ sauce. It’s as if they met on match.com and are now on the commercial proving their love.

P.S. This is zesty instead of hot and spicy.

Zesty Macaroni & Cheese {I made a recipe and a half to fit in my new dish}
Recipe adapted from my mom’s love for mac & cheese

  • 2 cups uncooked medium shell, pasta (to keep it real like Slows)
  • 4 T butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cheddar + more if you’re feeling cheesy
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1 t dry mustard
  • 1 t dried minced onions
  • 1/2-1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2-1 t chipotle smoked hot pepper
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 T olive oil


  1. Cook your noodles; drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 1 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Using the same pan, on a low heat, melt the butter. Add flour and stir until combined. Stir in milk. When thickened add the sour cream, parmesan salt, pepper, and spices.
  3. When blended and thickened a bit more, add the cheddar. Turn the burner off and stir until all of the cheese is melted. Add the noodles to the pan and stir until until evenly distributed. Taste it and see if you want to add any more spice.
  4. Pour mac and cheese into the prepared dish. In a small bowl drizzle olive oil over panko. Toss to coat the crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheesy goodness and bake for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and starting to get crunchy and golden on top.

Have a pretty cocktail with your BBQ-ed goodness, ok?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie May 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Looks so good! Could you make this without the zesty?


Megan (megabite) May 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm

You totally could! Just leave out all the spices except the dry mustard and enjoy. 🙂


Jacy May 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Looking at that is making my mouth water… 😀


Megan (megabite) June 1, 2011 at 6:54 am

Thanks, Jacy! I bet you’d love it. 🙂


Bakerbynature June 1, 2011 at 9:00 am

I could live on Mac&cheese; love that you zested this one up with spicy goodness.


Megan (megabite) June 1, 2011 at 9:05 am

Oh, I could too. I’m trying to pretend this is a side dish, when we all know it could be dinner!

Thanks lady!


Dana June 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Panko breadcrumbs are the trick to a really good mac and cheese topping. I like your addition of mustard, it probably really helps with the zesty component.


Megan (megabite) June 2, 2011 at 6:45 am

You’re so right Dana! Panko is where it’s at.


Crepes of Wrath June 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm

That cocktail is calling my name! Your mac and cheese looks absolutely perfect, too.


Megan (megabite) June 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Yes! If only we were neighbors. We could cheers our drinks and eat mac & cheese.

And thanks!


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