Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: Ranch Mac

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ranch Mac

I personally have never met someone who doesn't like some version of macaroni and cheese. I guess if you are out there, let me know.

It's a comfort food. A bad food. An I-can't-stop-eating-this-food. We all know it's calorie ridden, but we love it anyway. And in my opinion you can indulge every once in awhile.

I was flipping through my latest Taste of Home magazine and they had an article on various mac-n-cheese recipes. This one jumped out at me. It was different, but most importantly it looked heavenly. I knew we wouldn't (well, shouldn't) eat this whole dish in one sitting, so I purposely, made it in individual ramekins. Therefore our portions were smaller and I automatically had my side dish for the next day's meal (love that!).

Here is my variation of Taste of Home's recipe. I cut out some of the butter, seasonings, and crackers that they used, and opted for whole wheat pasta for a tad healthier version.

Ranch Mac
1 pkg. whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 1/2 c. skim milk
1/8 c. butter
1/2 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1 t. garlic salt
1 t. lemon pepper seasoning
1 c. shredded colby cheese
1 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
1 c. sour cream
panko breadcrumbs
sliced tomatoes

Cook macaroni until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, combine butter, milk, dressing mix and seasonings, heat through. Stir in cheeses and when melted, add in sour cream. Drain macaroni and stir into cheese sauce. Pour into ramekins and sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs.


Bake at 375 degrees for 25 min. or just until bubbly and breadcrumbs start to brown.

*To have some leftovers for the next day's meal (and you will!), simply follow all steps but do not bake. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and place in fridge. Pull out of fridge 30 min. before baking the next night.
See? All wrapped up and ready to go.




My husband LOVED this dish. But I think that is because he is a ranchalcoholic. He'd eat it on anything. I very much liked it and have tucked it away into our "love" pile.

Do you let yourself indulge in mac-n-cheese every once in awhile?

21 comments:

  1. I love the idea of setting aside the leftovers before baking!

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  2. you are right, i love mac and cheese! the best one in my opinion is jamie olivers tomato mac and cheese with rosemary. so full of fresh flavors!

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  3. Ally - I may be the first person that you know that I am NOT a Mac and Cheese fan! In fact not a pasta fan. I know I am wierd :)

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  4. hooooly cow this looks great. i like your substitutions, too! i actually JUST indulged in the most AMAZING mac & cheese on valentine's day. soooo delish!

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  5. This is a fantastic mac & cheese and ofcourse i too love anything that accompanies cheese and if it happens to be MAC...great going....

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  6. I love pretty much every variety of mac and cheese, this looks great, I never would have thought of adding ranch from the packet!

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  7. I love mac n cheese, but I usually splurge on the boxed kind. hahaha Bad, I know!

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  8. Oh my my my! That looks GOOD! It looks very comforting and warm!
    (I commented back about the question you left on my blog) :)

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  9. I love that you used Monterey Jack. That gives a nice punch to pasta dishes.

    Thanks for posting this on my Meatless Mondays.

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  10. Good Lord that looks delicious! I'd love it! There is always room in my life for mac and cheese! Thanks for your comment earlier about grocery budgeting. I'm glad someone else feels like an eighty year old woman sometimes!

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  11. yep look mac and cheese and love that you made it from scratch yep took a snap on the floor better light from window he he

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  12. Actually my new Cooking Light has a bacon ranch mac n cheese I was going to make for my daughter - its pretty similar I think!

    My husband won't touch macaroni and cheese. In his early 20's he was on a VERY tight budget and sustained himself on Kraft mac n cheese (with no butter and milk, just mixed with water) and swore after that week, he'd never touch them again - and he hasn't!

    Not so for me and my daughter - I'll let you know how my CL one turns out! :D

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  13. I just popped over from Hey What's for Dinner Mom? ... and, wow, what a great recipe. Two of my favorite things ... mac 'n cheese and ranch ... yum! Love that you've used the whole wheat pasta too. Great recipe!

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  14. Yum! Sounds delicious. :-) Always looking for new ways to liven up man and cheese.

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  15. YES!! A dreamy combo for sure! Thanks for the idea. I love ranch dressing mix on my popcorn too, mmmm yum!

    Thanks for linking in my kids will love this!

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  16. I just popped over from Hey What's for Dinner Mom? ... and, wow, what a great recipe. Two of my favorite things ... mac 'n cheese and ranch ... yum! Love that you've used the whole wheat pasta too. Great recipe!

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  17. Good Lord that looks delicious! I'd love it! There is always room in my life for mac and cheese! Thanks for your comment earlier about grocery budgeting. I'm glad someone else feels like an eighty year old woman sometimes!

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  18. I love that you used Monterey Jack. That gives a nice punch to pasta dishes.

    Thanks for posting this on my Meatless Mondays.

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  19. I love pretty much every variety of mac and cheese, this looks great, I never would have thought of adding ranch from the packet!

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  20. I love the idea of setting aside the leftovers before baking!

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  21. you are right, i love mac and cheese! the best one in my opinion is jamie olivers tomato mac and cheese with rosemary. so full of fresh flavors!

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