I am not a huge fan of boxed macaroni and cheese - especially when there are so many good and tasty homemade recipes using real cheese out there! However, I typically have a couple boxes for "emergencies" in my pantry - and then they sit there for a really long time and I start thinking I should probably use them or toss them. Macaroni and Cheese Pizza Bake to the rescue! I found this recipe while browsing AllRecipes and thought it looked like something my family would probably enjoy - and they all did! Everyone in the house ate this one up happily.
I thought this was a good, quick meal to serve up - good with a Caesar salad and some cheesy garlic bread on the side too. I love that everyone was happy with this dish, and would definitely make it again - but skip the boxed mac and used a homemade version (unless I had a couple boxes in need of rescuing from the pantry again)! :)
Also, if you want the mixture more heavily seasoned or "Italian flavored" - you can always mix in some Italian seasoning, minced garlic, and / or garlic powder to the macaroni and cheese mixture before pouring into the baking dish.
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Macaroni and Cheese Pizza Bake from Chad on AllRecipes
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (16-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (such as Classico Four Cheese)
1 (4-ounce) package sliced pepperoni, or to taste
Optional: 1/2 lb ground beef cooked with 1/2 small diced onion
Italian seasoning and garlic powder, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and return pasta to pot. Add butter, milk, and powdered cheese mixes to macaroni; stir until evenly mixed.
- Stir the beaten egg into macaroni and cheese until incorporated. Add 1 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese stirring until just combined. (Note: if you are using the cooked ground beef and onion, mix it into the pasta along with the cheeses before moving onto the next step).
- Spread the macaroni and cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish; evenly spread the pizza sauce over the top. Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese over sauce. Cover the cheese layer with pepperoni and season with Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.