Pepperoni Mac And Cheese
When you think of comfort food, what comes to mind? Pasta? Cheese? Pizza?
If these are some of your favorite foods, then this pepperoni mac and cheese recipe is for you! It’s cheesy, hearty, crowd-pleasing, and easy to make.
About The Recipe
If you’ve never made homemade macaroni and cheese before, it’s time to give it a try. The process is simple:
- Cook the pasta
- Make the cheese sauce
- Mix it all up, add a crunchy topping
- Bake until topping is golden brown and sauce is bubbling
If you have leftovers, you can heat them up in the microwave. Add a splash of half-and-half or heavy cream to the pasta if it’s dry.
Customizing Your Mac and Cheese
You can customize mac and cheese any way you’d like. Here are some ideas:
- Vegetables: Add extra vegetables to this recipe, like mushrooms, green peppers, spinach, fresh garlic, onions or olives. Any topping you put on your pepperoni pizza is fair game in this recipe.
- Cheese: Use a different kind of cheese or mix different types of cheese: Cheddar, gouda, fontina, pepper jack, mozzarella, etc.
- Pasta: Virtually any type of pasta will work. Remember to cook to al dente, as the pasta will continue to cook while baking. Use whatever pasta you have on hand to save money.
- Meat: In addition to pepperoni, add extra meat such as sausage or bacon.
- Topping: Instead of bread crumbs, use crushed Ritz crackers or crushed Cheez-It crackers.
I used Sugardale Pepperoni for this mac and cheese. Sugardale Foods is a family-owned company and has been in business for nearly a century (since 1920). The pepperoni has a nice bite to it – just the way I like it.
It adds just the right amount of zip to this recipe. Feel free to add EVEN MORE pepperoni to the recipe. Because, why not? This is comfort food, after all.
Are you looking for another macaroni and cheese recipe? Try this one: Lightened-up stovetop mac & cheese.
What is your favorite mac & cheese recipe? Share it with me in the comments for your chance to win this Le Creuset casserole dish!
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- 1-pound box cavatappi pasta
- 7 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups shredded pepper jack or mozzarella cheese (or a mix of both)
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 ounces Sugardale Pepperoni (1/2 of 8-ounce package) sliced (reserve some whole slices for topping dish)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta to al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.
- In a large heavy-bottom pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour and mix well. Add milk and heavy cream. Continue to heat until mixture reaches a simmer. Add cheese and mix well.
- Pour sauce over pasta. Add red pepper and pepperoni. Place in a large ovenproof baking dish. Top with extra pepperoni slices and mozzarella cheese.
- Mix 3 tablespoons melted butter with panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle on top of dish.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until breadcrumbs are golden brown and sauce is bubbling.