Do you know what’s better than macaroni made with a nice cheese? Macaroni made with five different kinds of cheese! If you are a cheese lover (and like pasta), this could be the recipe. This copycat Patti LaBelle’s macaroni and cheese recipe is easy to make, filling, and super tasty. Today we are going to show you how to do it.
How to Make Patti LaBelle’s Macaroni and Cheese
As you’d expect, this recipe doesn’t require any fancy equipment (or technical know-how either). Provided you’ve got a pan, a spoon, and an ovenproof baking dish, you should be good to go.
For this recipe, we find the perfect pasta is elbow macaroni, but regular old macaroni works just as well.
We start by getting the pasta cooked to perfection. It will go into the oven toward the end of the recipe, so we don’t boil it within an inch of its life. Just long enough to make it al dente… If you are interested, that’s Italian for ‘on tooth’. Essentially it means that the pasta has just a little bit of ‘bite’ to it.
From there, we create a blend of cheeses. In our homemade Patti LaBelle macaroni and cheese recipe, you’ll find a mix of cheddars, Monterey Jack, and even some Velveeta cheese! We have a two-stage cheese process, where half is combined with the pasta to make a sauce, and the other half goes over the top before baking to give a golden brown and bubbly top!
We love to serve this in thick squares on each plate, with a slice of nice crusty buttered bread to mop up all of that delicious cheese sauce.
Hungry? You won’t be after this.
Tips and Tricks
When cooking your pasta, you must get things the right way round as it can make a difference to the dish’s quality. Get your water in the pan boiling first, then add the pasta.
Be sure to give your pasta a stir after you add it to the boiling water. Often pasta has a thin layer of starch clinging to the outside, which acts as a sort of ‘glue’. If you don’t stir your pasta when it is first added to the pan, you’ll end up with the macaroni sticking together.
If you are all out of macaroni, don’t worry. You can still make this recipe with different types of pasta. Try using penne, fusilli, or even spaghetti. It will taste just the same! It’s just that you won’t get those little tubes full of cheese sauce.
Here’s a tip that you don’t want to miss. When dairy products are heated to high temperatures (like in the oven), they can ‘split’, leaving you with lumps of cheese curds and a lot of oil instead of a lovely smooth sauce. The answer? Add a pinch of baking powder to your dish before baking. Due to some clever chemistry, it stops cheese sauce from splitting! Clever eh?
This is a great make-ahead dish for the coming days. Store it covered in the fridge. To reheat, just give it a ping for two minutes in the microwave! It will keep fresh for around 2 days.
If you want to add another element, you can add fresh herbs to your Mac and Cheese. Occasionally we like to add a clove of crushed garlic and some freshly chopped oregano.
Be careful not to overbake your mac and cheese. Just oozy and melting is fine. If you overdo it, you may find that it turns dry… Nobody wants dry pasta.
This is also referred to as over the rainbow mac and cheese.
This is a great midweek dish as it is super easy to prepare and is pretty low maintenance. Just boil your pasta, get your cheeses ready, and you are pretty much good to go. Patti Labelle’s mac and cheese recipe is a firm favorite in our house, and once you’ve tried it, you’ll see why. What’s your favorite mac and cheese combo? Let me know in the comments.