If you've been looking for a hearty yet simple main dish that's perfect for family gatherings, you can't go wrong with a homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. Plus, you can take this simple meal to the next level with just a few simple ingredients for even more mouthwatering results.
Read on as we take you through the art of bringing baked mac and cheese with ham, peas and shallots to life, from sauteing golden shallots to crafting a flavorful cheese sauce.
Make mac and cheese with a twist for the whole family
When it comes to comforting classics, mac and cheese has stood the test of time for household chefs looking for both simplicity and satisfaction. Our Hatfield® recipe for mac and cheese with ham, peas and shallots elevates this beloved dish with carefully chosen ingredients, transforming an ordinary meal into an unforgettable dining experience for the whole family.
This dish, with savory depth and delightful textures, is not only appetizing but also a quick and easy solution for busy weeknights. And, baked macaroni and cheese is sure to become a versatile family favorite, considering how effortlessly you can cater the recipe to your household's taste and preferences. Embrace an easy process, relish flavors and make family dinner a breeze with a mac and cheese rendition that will leave a lasting impression.
A step-by-step guide to making mac and cheese with ham, peas and shallots
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 8 oz. pack of Hatfield® Hot & Spicy Ham Steak, diced into small cubes.
- 1-pound elbow pasta (cook according to the instructions on the box).
- 4 Tbsp. butter.
- 4 Tbsp. flour.
- ¼ tsp. paprika.
- 1 tsp. salt.
- ¼ tsp. pepper.
- 2 cups of milk.
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese.
- ½ cup shredded American cheese.
- 2 large shallots, minced.
- 8 oz. pack of Hot and Spicy Ham, small dice.
- ¼ cup chicken broth.
- 1 cup petite frozen peas.
Directions for making this mac and cheese recipe
- Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350.
- Step 2: Lightly spray a 13x9in baking dish.
- Step 3: Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box.
- Step 4: In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil and saute the shallots until they're golden brown. Next, add the diced ham and sauté until brown (about two minutes).
- Step 5: Now, add the chicken broth and cook until almost evaporated. Then, add the peas and cook for an additional two minutes.
- Step 6: In a saucepan over low heat, melt your butter, then add the flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Combine to make a roux. Continue whisking then start to add milk slowly, turning up the heat until the mixture thickens. Once the roux has thickened, remove your saucepan from the heat and add the American and sharp cheddar cheese. Whisk until this has melted into a cheese mixture.
- Step 7: Once the pasta is cooked, drain but don't rinse (the starch from the noodles will help the melted cheese sauce coat the noodles).
- Step 8: Now, stir in the shallot mixture with the pasta in the saucepan and pour into your prepared baking pan.
- Step 9: Finally, bake for 20 minutes until your creamy mac and cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let rest for five to 10 minutes before serving.
If you're ready to get started, you can head to your local grocery store to pick up your favorite Hatfield® pork products today!
Top tips for perfecting the recipe and elevating your mealtime
Before getting started, there are a few key things to keep in mind for the most delectable results:
Recipe variations to consider for this main dish
- Add bread crumbs: If you or your loved ones like a crispy topping that adds a delightful texture contrast to creamy mac and cheese, you can sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the dish before baking.
- Use different cheeses: While our recipe calls for American and cheddar cheese, there are virtually endless options you can consider using — from Monterey Jack and gouda to parmesan cheese. Feel free to make a cheese mixture that suits your household's preferences.
- Cook the pasta to your preference: For a personalized touch, cook the pasta just how your family likes it, whether it's al dente for a firm bite or softer for extra indulgence.
- Try different types of ham: Our Hot & Spicy Ham Steak is the perfect way to add a tasty kick to your dinner, but you can always opt for a different ham to help you achieve your family's ideal flavor profile. Consider something milder like Hatfield's Hardwood Smoked Ham Steak or Hatfield's Sweet Brown Sugar Ham Steak for a candied taste.
Using leftover ham for this recipe
Already have leftover Hatfield® ham in the fridge? No problem! Using excess ham from a recent meal not only minimizes food waste but also adds a rich, smokey essence to the dish. Keep in mind that leftover ham, when stored properly, remains safe and flavorful for three to four days in the refrigerator — or up to two months in the freezer.
Before incorporating leftover ham into this mac and cheese recipe, it's important to do a quick check for any off-putting odors or color changes. Whether this is a result of spoilage or improper storage, these are indicative signs that the meat is no longer safe to eat.
How to store leftovers properly
If you find yourself with leftover mac and cheese, you can save it for a quick and easy meal later in the week. To store properly, refrigerate the dish in an airtight container and keep it for up to three to five days. Or, for longer storage, consider freezing individual portions. Simply wrap each section in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. This should stay good for one to two months.
Reheating your leftovers
To reheat, sprinkle a few drops of water on top of the dish to help it maintain moisture. Then, warm it in the oven on medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature. Properly storing and reheating your leftovers ensures that your mac and cheese maintains a freshly baked taste.
What can you serve with baked mac and cheese?
When it comes to finding the perfect sides for this mac and cheese with ham recipe, there's no shortage of options to choose from. Here are some of the most popular side dishes for a well-rounded family dinner:
- Crispy Caesar salad.
- Roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts.
- Cheesy garlic bread.
- Tomato basil soup.
- Classic coleslaw.
- Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- Fruit salad.
Cooking with care: The importance of high-quality ingredients
Our recipe for mac and cheese with ham, peas and shallots stands out as an easy and delicious dinner choice throughout the year. While offering a twist on a classic comfort dish, the versatility of this recipe makes it a go-to option when you're looking for your next mealtime adventure. However, it's important to remember that prioritizing quality ingredients when preparing meals for your loved ones is essential.
With high-grade pork products from Hatfield®, you can not only ensure safety and quality but also elevate the overall dining experience for your household. Explore a variety of flavored, pre-seasoned ham that fits your family's preferences, like Hatfield® Hickory Ham Steak or Hatfield® Honey Ham Steak.
Ready to get started? Use our store locator to find your Hatfield® flavor at a supermarket or grocery store near you!