See how easy this leftover mac and cheese recipe is to make by using bits of cheese blocks that are left at the end of the party.
This leftover mac & cheese recipe is super simple and a great way to use up the expensive cheese you buy for entertaining your guests.
We always serve a few nice cheese wedges and crackers when we entertain. Often we set out an antipasto tray aka charcuterie board, for everyone to enjoy with a drink before dinner. There are always a few pieces left before dinner, so I wrap them up and put them in the fridge for another day.
Then my sister once shared the idea of making pasta with the bits and pieces that are leftover, and I just had to try it.
Not that we have trouble finishing cheese in my house since everyone loves it. However, if we don't, it seems like such a shame to waste them, especially because they are usually pricey premium varieties. Why not make the ultimate comfort food with fancy cheese?
Making Mac and Cheese with Leftovers
All you have to do is make a roux with equal parts of butter and flour. Add in milk and the cheeses to create the sauce.
It's a great one-pot meal. However, you could serve it as a side dish to something off the grill. Or add something like grilled chicken directly into the dish.
Type of Cheeses to Use for this Recipe
For this particular batch, we had leftover manchego, habanero cheddar, and Jarlsberg cheese. The habanero cheddar was the perfect amount of heat and added a great flavor to the dish.
You may not like spicy food. That's why this is a great idea. Since you will probably be serving cheeses that you like, using your favorite combinations of cheeses in this recipe should automatically work well with your taste. However, a good cheddar cheese will always do in a pinch.
What Type of Milk Should You Use?
I usually use 2% because that's what we have on hand. However, you can use whole milk or cream to make this dish even richer. If you want to try skim milk you may need to add more cheese to make it thick enough but the choice is yours.
Finish by adding cooked pasta. I used traditional elbow macaroni, but any small pasta will work.
Though I did not do it this time, I thought it might be nice to add some panko bread crumbs or additional shredded cheese on top. Then pop it in the oven for a few minutes until it turns golden brown for added texture and presentation.
Everyone loved it, though we thought it might be better with more sauce.
Next time I'll cut back on the amount of pasta, or make sure I have enough leftover cheese to make plenty of sauce.
Leftover Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheeses
- 1 box elbow macaroni cooked and drained well. Use only 1/2 for a saucier version. 1 lb
- salt & pepper to taste
- Make a roux in a large pot or pan with the butter and flour, stirring constantly to make sure it does not burn.
- Add milk and stir.
- Add cheeses, salt & pepper, and stir well.
- Once the cheese has melted add in the cooked pasta.
- Stir well and transfer to a baking dish.
- Serve or keep warm in the oven
- Add a few bread crumbs or additional grated cheese on top and bake in the oven until browned.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts have been made to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.