This is macaroni and cheese for the adults! Made with sharp cheese, Colby Jack (or cheddar cheese), and cream cheese plus onions and black olives. The best part? This recipe makes a large batch (approximately 9 cups) so bake one pan of Mac and Cheese tonight and freeze the other and bake it for a later meal! So easy!
Check out more of our OAMC recipes – simplify your life by cooking in bulk.
Recipe: Freezer Baked 3-Cheese Pasta
Summary: Very creamy! If sharp cheese isn’t your thing, you can make it with medium or even mild cheddar.
- 16 oz pasta shells, uncooked
- 4 T butter
- 4 T all-purpose flour
- 1 T dry mustard
- 4 cups milk (warmed for 1 minute in microwave)
- 1 white onion, medium, chopped
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 3 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 cups Colby Jack or mild cheddar, grated
- 1 small can sliced black olives (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions ending the cooking at the al dente stage and even slightly undercooked.
- Drain and set aside
- Meanwhile in a large saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard powder, stirring constantly to keep from burning. Cook 2 minutes.
- Gradually add warm milk , stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Use the side of the pan to smash any lumps that may form.
- Stir in onion, bay leaf, and paprika and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the sauce just to a boil and then reduce to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Stir every few minutes to keep the sauce from burning and to incorporate any skin that forms on the top.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the cream cheese and 5 cups of the grated cheese (keep one cup in reserve).
- Once the cheese is melted and incorporated, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Run the prepared pasta under hot water to separate, drain again, then combine with sauce. Add black olives.
- Spray two 8×8″ pans (or equivalent) with vegetable spray and separate the pasta between pans.
- Top with reserved cheese.
- Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and heated through OR freeze and bake from frozen state for 1hr at 375.
I freeze several 2-person servings instead of family-sized meals.
Use the combination of cheese your family likes. Want to change it up? Use 3 T garlic in place of the bay leaf and paprika and add chopped fresh tomatoes.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: USA (General)