Southern Macaroni and Pimiento Cheese
Pimiento cheese livens up this tasty macaroni and cheese recipe. The blend of cheddar cheese, mayo, cream cheese, and pimientos is very Southern.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 1pound elbow macaroni
- 1tbsp. salt (and more to taste)
- ¼cup mayonnaise
- 4ounces cream cheese
- 3cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1jar (4 ounces) diced pimientos* (drained)
- 1teaspoon onion powder (or 2 teaspoons grated onion)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1cup French fried onions (crumbled)
Step 1Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4). Butter a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish.
Step 2Bring a large pot of about 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt to the water. Add the macaroni, reduce the heat to medium, and continue boiling until al dente** following package directions. Drain the macaroni well.
Step 3In a bowl combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, shredded cheese, drained pimientos, and grated onion. Mix the ingredients together until thoroughly blended. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed. Add the hot drained macaroni and mix until well blended.
Step 4Spoon the macaroni and pimiento cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Step 5Sprinkle the French fried onions over the casserole.
Step 6Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese mixture is hot and bubbling around the edges and the topping is lightly browned and crispy.
Step 7Serve with a simple tossed green salad or fresh sliced tomatoes, or serve it along with a holiday meal or Sunday dinner. *Diced pimientos come in small jars, and they're located in the vegetable section of most supermarkets. If you can't find pimientos or need to substitute, use roasted red bell peppers. To roast red bell pepper or fresh red pimiento peppers, place them on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake them in a preheated 500 F oven for about 30 minutes, turning frequently until all sides are charred. Remove the pan to a rack and cover with foil. Let stand for about 30 minutes. Quarter the peppers, remove stems, peels, and seeds. Chop the peeled peppers or slice into strips. Refrigerate roasted red peppers in oil for up to 2 weeks. **Al Dente: From the Italian, it means literally, "to the tooth." In the case of pasta, it means cooking it until it is still somewhat firm, or firm to the bite. You Might Also Like Macaroni and Cheese Croquettes Simple Macaroni and Cheese Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese Sloppy Joe Macaroni and Cheese