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Macaroni and Cheese with Ham

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If you like, use just one type of cheddar or mix with another melting cheese, such as pepper Jack, Muenster, Swiss, or mozzarella.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Source: Everyday Food, December 2005

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound elbow pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded yellow cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded white cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
  • 8 ounces ham, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain and reserve. Meanwhile, in a 5-quart heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in flour to coat onion. In a slow steady stream, whisk in milk until there are no lumps.

  2. Cook, whisking often, until mixture is thick and bubbly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cayenne, if using, and 1 cup each yellow and white cheddar cheese. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

  3. Toss pasta with cheese mixture; fold in ham. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or individual dishes. Set aside.

  4. In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs form. Toss together with remaining 1/4 cup each white and yellow cheddar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes

This recipe makes enough to fill eight 12-to-16-ounce baking dishes. Divide the macaroni and cheese evenly, sprinkle with topping, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Alicia N
    22 JAN, 2013
    Where is the cheese???? I followed this recipe exactly and it was NOT cheesy all. It was a big disappointment. I will be trying another recipe next time.
    Reply
  • mn111512
    15 NOV, 2012
    I picked this because it gave an actual weight for the cheese, instead of the "x cups grated cheese." The white sauce cooking directions were helpful too. In short, this is a good recipe to get the proportions of the basic ingredients to make simple mac and cheese. I didn't mess with onions/ham/breadcrumbs, etc. Also, it doesn't have to be baked if you are in a hurry.
    Reply
  • MS11965725
    10 FEB, 2012
    Let's face it, there's 10 Zillion. . . recipes out there for Mac & Cheese, made with different concoctions of everything from soup to nut! Each to their own! Everybody has their own version that came from their grandmother, mother, they grew up with OR they just made up ~ it's whatever you're use to! So why rag on this or anyboy else's recipe? Add, delete, redo or just stick to your own recipe. Lucinda Scala-Quinn is a great cook!
    Reply
  • MrsBabs
    1 NOV, 2011
    I could say sooo much about this poor recipe but I won't. What I will say is when did mac and cheese have ham? Why the sauce with the extra's? The bread crumbs with the cheese. I am with someone else this is not the recipe. I imagine Paula D or The Neely's have a much better recipe. OH AND ONIONS! Put them in my mac and cheese and we will have words. Women from the south know better than onions in mac and cheese.
    Reply
  • RaggieAnn
    25 SEP, 2011
    Yummy, but forget the ham, onion and pepper. My grandkids won't eat it with it in.. Made without it and spread extra cheddar on top instead of bread. It is great according to my 5 grandkids....
    Reply
  • Igby
    18 FEB, 2011
    Comfort food at it's finest. I made this according to the recipe with the exception of not adding butter to my breadcrumbs. My breadcrumbs were from cinnamon swirl toasting bread. Very very good. Everyone around my table exclaimed this dish to be quite a treat. It has been years since I made macaroni and cheese. This did not disappoint.
    Reply
  • jlprellop
    19 SEP, 2010
    This recipe is awful. Luckily, I tasted the cheese sauce before ruining the pasta, so it wasn't a complete disaster, just a waste of time and cheese. I recommend finding another recipe.
    Reply
  • IAFoodie
    6 MAY, 2010
    If you use regular or fat free half and half in place of the milk you will not have to worry about the recipe curdling. I learned this 24 years ago in cooking school and have used it in several restaurant kitchens with sucess everytime. At home I use the fat free version and you can not tell the difference. I use the half and half in any recipe that calls for milk. I use it in soups, mashed potatoes, dips, eggs, pastas all with great success. Enjoy. IAfoodie
    Reply
  • sabrina85
    2 MAY, 2010
    did anyone answer janojess on why her mac had curdled? I made a Paula Deen recipe and it also curdled for a party and could not serve it. could it be the milk was not whole milk but 2% and didn't have the fat in it.
    Reply
  • prod_test871
    30 APR, 2010
    you can never go wrong with some good mac and cheese, its everyones favorite.
    Reply