Recipes

Abt-solutely Delicious: Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwiches

With fall on the horizon and the new school year still fresh in our minds, we’ve been thinking a lot about childhood comfort foods. You know, the kinds of warm, satisfying foods you might have enjoyed in the lunchroom or on a lazy fall Saturday at home. And, let’s be honest, the kinds of foods that got us through college. We’re talking about two of the most classic easy-to-make, kid friendly meals ever: mac and cheese, and the grilled cheese sandwich. This recipe combines them both into one epic, gooey meal. 

We’re upping the ante a little bit, making our mac and cheese from scratch instead of using a store-bought mix. It’s a bit more work, but the gains in flavor and texture more than make up for it. This also lets you fine tune the flavor of your mac’s cheese—go heavy on the sharp cheddar for a more intense flavor, or even throw in some jalapeno jack for a kick of spice. You can also experiment with the bread, but you can never go wrong with a nice crusty sourdough loaf. So fire up that panini press, and let’s get started.

AuthorPete R.

Yields8 Servings

Mac and Cheese
 8 oz elbow or spiral pasta
  cup all-purpose flour
 ¾ tsp dry mustard powder
 ½ tsp garlic powder
 ½ tsp salt
 ½ tsp black pepper
  tsp cayenne pepper
 6 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
 1 ½ cups whole milk
 1 cup heavy cream
 1 lb shredded cheese (combination of Monterrey jack, Cheddar, Colby, or whatever is your favorite)
Grilled Cheese
 4 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
 16 slices sourdough bread
 8 slices mild Cheddar cheese

Mac and Cheese
1

Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and set aside.

2

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Once whisked, set aside.

3

In a medium saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour mixture, whisking often until mixture is beginning to brown (about 1 minute). It can quickly burn, so watch carefully.

4

Slowly whisk in the milk and cream until well combined. Cook while whisking constantly, until sauce is heated through and begins to thicken. This should take about 2 minutes.

5

Once thickened, remove from heat and gradually add the shredded cheese while stirring continuously. Once the cheese has melted, stir in the cooked pasta.

6

Line a 9"x13" baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil-lined sheet with cooking spray, then pour the mac and cheese onto the prepared sheet and spread evenly with a spatula. Place another piece of foil on top of the mac and cheese, remember to spray with cooking spray before laying on top. Refrigerator until cool and firm, at least an hour.

Grilled Cheese
7

Preheat your sandwich maker or panini press.

8

Remove your mac and cheese from the refrigerator and cut it into eight equal pieces.

9

Spread the room temperature butter on one side of each bread slice. Place the bread slice, butter side down, on a cutting board. Place a slice of cheese on top of the bread, then place a piece of mac and cheese. Place another slice of cheese on top of the mac and cheese, then add another slice of bread butter side up

10

Place the sandwiches onto the hot panini press. Lower the top and let cook until the cheese gets melty.

11

Cut into halves and enjoy!

Ingredients

Mac and Cheese
 8 oz elbow or spiral pasta
  cup all-purpose flour
 ¾ tsp dry mustard powder
 ½ tsp garlic powder
 ½ tsp salt
 ½ tsp black pepper
  tsp cayenne pepper
 6 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
 1 ½ cups whole milk
 1 cup heavy cream
 1 lb shredded cheese (combination of Monterrey jack, Cheddar, Colby, or whatever is your favorite)
Grilled Cheese
 4 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
 16 slices sourdough bread
 8 slices mild Cheddar cheese

Directions

Mac and Cheese
1

Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and set aside.

2

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Once whisked, set aside.

3

In a medium saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour mixture, whisking often until mixture is beginning to brown (about 1 minute). It can quickly burn, so watch carefully.

4

Slowly whisk in the milk and cream until well combined. Cook while whisking constantly, until sauce is heated through and begins to thicken. This should take about 2 minutes.

5

Once thickened, remove from heat and gradually add the shredded cheese while stirring continuously. Once the cheese has melted, stir in the cooked pasta.

6

Line a 9"x13" baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil-lined sheet with cooking spray, then pour the mac and cheese onto the prepared sheet and spread evenly with a spatula. Place another piece of foil on top of the mac and cheese, remember to spray with cooking spray before laying on top. Refrigerator until cool and firm, at least an hour.

Grilled Cheese
7

Preheat your sandwich maker or panini press.

8

Remove your mac and cheese from the refrigerator and cut it into eight equal pieces.

9

Spread the room temperature butter on one side of each bread slice. Place the bread slice, butter side down, on a cutting board. Place a slice of cheese on top of the bread, then place a piece of mac and cheese. Place another slice of cheese on top of the mac and cheese, then add another slice of bread butter side up

10

Place the sandwiches onto the hot panini press. Lower the top and let cook until the cheese gets melty.

11

Cut into halves and enjoy!

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