Cast Iron Mac and Cheese
Cast iron mac and cheese allows you to make a classic dish, with a twist. Not only is preparing your macaroni and cheese healthier for you because of the cast-iron, but it is also easier, because there are not as many dishes to do when you’re done.
Plus, it allows the macaroni and cheese to cook evenly with the heat evenly distributed throughout your food. This recipe is so easy and tastes amazing.
Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese
Using a cast-iron skillet to bake your mac and cheese is ideal because you can make your cheese sauce on the stove top, add your noodles, then bake it all in the same pan. This allows you to have less dishes to do.
Another great reason is that the cast iron evenly distributes the heat throughout the pan, it will bake your macaroni and cheese even better and then a traditional dish.
You can use the cast iron pan to bake your mac & cheese in the oven, on your grill, on the smoker, or even on a campfire. No matter how you choose to bake the mac n cheese, using a cast iron pan will allow you to prepare it a variety of ways, all of which taste amazing.
Let’s begin by looking at what ingredients do you need in order to make our delicious cast iron macaroni and cheese recipe. Then we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how you can easily make this delicious food.
Cast Iron Skillet Mac and Cheese
Ingredients for cast iron skillet mac and cheese
Pasta. You can use any type of pasta that has been cooked until it is al dente. The traditional type of pasta used is elbow little noodles, however any type will work for this recipe.
Butter. We recommend using salted butter for the best overall flavor when making your cast iron skillet mac & cheese.
Corn starch. We strongly encourage you to use cornstarch to make your roux rather than flour. We have found that cornstarch turns out much creamier, and less grainy than flour does.
Milk. The creamier the milk you use, the creamier your macaroni and cheese will turn out. Our favorite is to use whole milk when making this recipe, but you can use your favorite type of milk, or a dairy free alternative for milk as well.
Cheese verities. When you’re making homemade macaroni and cheese it’s always hard to determine what type of cheese you should use.
The types of cheese we recommend using for our recipe for cast-iron mac and cheese is cream cheese, a type of melty cheese such as Velveeta, and a block of freshly shredded cheese such as Colby Jack, Colby, or cheddar.
Seasonings. When seasoning your cast iron mac and cheese, we enjoy using garlic that has been freshly minced, or garlic powder. We also enjoy using a little bit of paprika. Then seasoning it to taste with salt and pepper.
How to Make Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese
To make cast-iron mac and cheese, you will want to start off by filling a pan with water, add your dried pasta, and boil it until your pasta noodles are al dente. Once the pasta noodles are cooked, drain the water inside the cooked pasta noodles aside.
Now to make your roux. In your cast-iron skillet, melt the butter and add in garlic. When your butter is melted sprinkle it with cornstarch and stir until your butter and cornstarch are mixed.
Cook the mixture over medium heat for one minute.
Then add your milk, and whisk and mixture, until your cornstarch and butter mixture are combined with the milk.
Mix in the melty cheese that has been cut into cubes, and also mixing your cream cheese that has been cut into cubes as well.
Whisk until the cheese is melted. Continue over medium low heat. Make sure you are stirring the mixture the whole time, so that it does not burn.
Finally, add in your block of freshly shredded cheese, and continue whisking the cheese sauce until your shredded cheese is melted.
Once the shredded cheese is melted, you can pour the pasta into your skillet, and stir until the cheese sauce coats the pasta.
Season the macaroni and cheese with paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Then add your remaining shredded cheese on top of the macaroni and cheese.
Place it into the oven, on a low broil, and broil for 2 to 5 minutes or until the top of your macaroni and cheese is lightly browned. Remove it from the oven, serve, and enjoy!
How To Serve
Your cast-iron macaroni and cheese is best enjoyed when it is fresh from the oven. You can also enjoy it fresh from the stove top, if you want to skip broiling it in the oven. It’s entirely up to you.
You can top your macaroni and cheese with shredded cheese, breadcrumbs, bacon bits, ham cubes, or whatever your favorite toppings are before serving it. Then enjoy your freshly made cast-iron mac and cheese.
Tips For Making The Best Mac and Cheese
Use Cornstarch. To enjoy the best cast-iron mac n’ cheese we strongly recommend that you use cornstarch when making your cheese sauce rather than all-purpose flour. It helps your macaroni and cheese to have a much creamier texture.
Use a Variety of Cheeses. We also recommend, that in order to enjoy the best macaroni and cheese, you use a variety of types of cheese.
The cheeses we recommend you use, are Velveeta, cream cheese, and freshly shredded cheese.
It’s important that when you are using shredded cheese, you freshly shred your own, rather than using a bag of pre-shredded cheese from the store, because the bags of pre-shredded cheese come with a coating on the cheese that makes your food gritty.
Room Temperature. Once your cast iron mac and cheese has been baked, it should be left at room temperature no longer than two hours before it runs the risk of growing unwanted bacteria.
In the Fridge. For longer storage, if you happen to have any leftovers, your mac and cheese can be transferred to an airtight container, or sealed in a plastic storage bag, and placed in the fridge for up to three to four days.
Can You Freeze Leftovers? Yes, your leftover mac and cheese can also be frozen if you wish. Be sure to allow it to cool first, then transfer it to a plastic storage bag and place in the freezer for up to three months.
In the Oven. One of the best ways to reheat your leftover skillet mac and cheese is in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Then transfer your leftovers to an oven safe dish and cover it with a lid or with aluminum foil.
Place the dish into the oven and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes, or until your mac and cheese is warmed through. Then remove the leftovers and enjoy!
In the Air Fryer. Another way to reheat leftover mac and cheese is to reheat it in the air fryer.
Begin by transferring your leftovers to a container that is safe for your air fryer and can fit. Then preheat your air fryer to 325°F.
Once preheated, add your mac and cheese, and heat for approximately 5 to 8 minutes, or until your macaroni and cheese is warmed through.
Please note, the amount of time may vary depending on the size and type of your air fryer.
In the Microwave. The final way you can reheat your leftovers is in the microwave. Place your mac and cheese into a microwave safe dish, and cover with a slightly damp paper towel.
Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, or until your leftovers are warmed, then enjoy.
Variations to Skillet Mac and Cheese
Add Ins For Mac And Cheese
There are many different add-ins you can enjoy with your cast iron skillet macaroni and cheese. Some of the more common ones are to top your mac and cheese with breadcrumbs. You can also add in broccoli florets, bacon bits, ham slices, or even shrimp.
Best Style of Pasta To Use
The most common type of pasta to use when making homemade mac and cheese is to use elbow noodles.
However, you can use shells, any type of twisted noodles, penne, regatta, farfalle, and rotini. Really, any type of pasta can be used to make mac and cheese.
Make it Gluten Free and Just as Good
This recipe is a great one because it can easily be made so that it is gluten free.
If this is a dietary concern to you, because the cheese sauce already does not include any gluten in it, all you have to do is use a gluten free pasta, and you are good to enjoy a delicious gluten free cast iron mac and cheese.
Stovetop vs Baked Mac and Cheese
This recipe is great to enjoy fresh from the stovetop or after it has been baked or broiled in the oven.
Some people enjoy it fresh from the stovetop because it is a bit saucier and creamier, while others prefer to have the baked mac and cheese because it creates a little bit of a crunchy top.
You can enjoy this recipe however you prefer!
Regular vs. Cast Iron Skillet Mac and Cheese
There are pros and cons to both regular or cast-iron skillet macaroni and cheese.
One of the best things about making macaroni and cheese in a cast iron skillet is first that it reduces the number of dishes you have to do, and second in allows your macaroni and cheese to cook evenly both on the stove top, and however you choose to bake it, because the cast-iron distributes heat evenly throughout the pan.
Serve it With
Macaroni and cheese make a great main dish, or even a side dish if you want.
Usually, most kids really enjoy macaroni and cheese, and this is a recipe that adults can also enjoy as well. Here are a few of our favorite side dishes to serve along with your macaroni and cheese.
Why use a cast iron skillet?
There are many reasons why we enjoy using a cast iron skillet. Most of all, it reduces the number of dishes you have to do, and it’s evenly distributed to heat so that your macaroni and cheese cooks well.
What kind of cheese is best for a delicious mac n cheese?
You can use any type of cheese. We recommend using a variety of cheeses that include a melty cheese such as Velveeta, cream cheese, and a block of freshly shredded cheese.
How do I dress up a classic skillet macaroni and cheese?
Some of the easiest ways to dress up classic cast-iron mac n cheese is to add a topping, or meat, or even vegetable into your dish.
You can simply add a bread crumb topping on top of your skillet before it is baked, or you can add additional ingredients such as bacon bits, ham, or broccoli florets.
What is the best way to cook the pasta?
We recommend that you boil the pasta with water, in a pot before adding it into your cast iron skillet. This will allow you to cook the pasta so that it is done perfectly, apart from your cheese sauce.
Can you make Mac and cheese without milk?
Yes, actually you can make macaroni and cheese without using milk. Check out these substitutes for more ideas.
Can I make this mac and cheese in a casserole dish instead of cast iron?
Yes, if you do not have cast-iron, or simply prefer to use a casserole dish instead, your macaroni and cheese can be baked in a casserole dish instead of cast-iron.
Can easy skillet mac and cheese be made ahead of time?
Yes, this easy cast-iron mac & cheese recipe can be made in advance if you wish. It can be kept in the fridge for a few days, or even stored in the freezer for a longer amount of time if needed.
Cast Iron Mac and Cheese Takeaways
Making skillet macaroni and cheese is easy, allows you to have less dishes to clean up, and even tastes better than when you make macaroni and cheese another way. The southern style macaroni and cheese is one that can easily be made, and the whole family will enjoy.
Cast Iron Mac and Cheese: A Mouth-Watering Classic
Cast iron macaroni and cheese is surprisingly easy to make, tastes rich and creamy, and is oh so good. We hope that you will give this recipe a try, and we hope you enjoy it.
Be sure to try out this recipe, then, below and let us know what you think about it! We hope you love it!
For more posts like this one, follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.