Beecher's World's Best Mac and cheese
My eleven-year-old daughter recently watched the latest episode of Oprah – you know, the one where she lists her favorite things. Never mind the cool electronics and gadgets that Oprah gave away, my daughter wanted to know where she could get the Mac and Cheese.
I found the company's name (Beecher's Cheese) on Oprah.com, and then located their website. It turns out that you can buy a 9×13 pan of their World's Best Mac and Cheese for the very un-frugal price of $70. THAT wasn't happenin' in MY household. In typical money-saving fashion, I embarked plan B: To track down the recipe instead. Making copycat recipes at home is always the frugal solution to eating well.
I found several recipes online (credited below), which were all very similar. Based on studying all of them, I came up with my own frugal copycat recipe version of the Oprah's (Beecher's) Mac and Cheese here.
Beecher's “World's Best” Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 16 oz. penne pasta (a 1 lb. box)
- Beecher's Cheese sauce (recipe below)
- ¼ C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- ¼ C. grated Jarlsberg cheese (the original recipe calls for Gruyere, but at $18.99/lb. vs. $8.99/lb Jarlsberg is an acceptable substitute
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking dish. Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than package directions (it will finish cooking in the oven). Rinse pasta in cold water and set aside.
Combine cooked pasta and Beecher's Cheese Sauce in a medium bowl and mix until the cheese sauce has been completely incorporated. Pour the pasta/cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheeses and then the chile powder. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Beecher's Mac and Cheese Sauce
- 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour or Wondra
- 3 cups milk
- 3 ½ C. sharp Cheddar cheese
- ½ C. grated Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (add up to 1/2 tsp. if you like more heat)
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cooking for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, salt, chile powder, and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated about 3 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to three days.
We loved this recipe. My son thought it was a little spicy, but he still cleaned his plate. We thought for our next mac and cheese go-round, we'd add bacon to the recipe to enhance the smoky flavor.
Other Variations on Beecher's Mac and Cheese Copycat Recipes
Looking to add some variety to your mac and cheese repertoire? Here are a few more tantalizing variations on Beecher's mac and cheese recipes that will take your taste buds on a flavorful journey:
1. Beecher's Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese
Elevate the cheesiness factor by incorporating a blend of four delectable cheeses into your mac and cheese. Combine Beecher's Flagship, Just Jack, Smoky Jack, and Marco Polo for a flavor explosion that will leave you craving more.
2. Beecher's Truffle Mac and Cheese
Indulge in the luxurious flavors of truffle-infused mac and cheese. Add a drizzle of truffle oil and a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan to elevate your dish to gourmet status. It's a decadent twist on the classic that will leave your taste buds begging for more.
3. Beecher's Spicy Jalapeño Mac and Cheese
If you're a fan of a little heat, this spicy variation is for you. Add diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to your mac and cheese for a fiery kick. The combination of creamy cheese and spicy peppers creates a perfect balance of flavors that will ignite your taste buds.
4. Beecher's Lobster Mac and Cheese
Take your mac and cheese to a whole new level of indulgence by adding succulent lobster meat to the mix. The sweetness of the lobster pairs perfectly with the creamy, cheesy goodness, creating a dish fit for special occasions or a decadent weeknight treat.
5. Beecher's Veggie Mac and Cheese
For the vegetable lovers out there, this variation adds a healthy twist to the classic mac and cheese. Incorporate sautéed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, or steamed broccoli into the dish for a burst of color and added nutrients. It's a delicious way to sneak in some veggies while still enjoying your favorite comfort food.
6. Beecher's Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Combine the flavors of spicy buffalo chicken with creamy mac and cheese for a winning combination. Toss shredded cooked chicken in buffalo sauce and mix it into your mac and cheese. Top it off with a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles for an extra tangy twist.
With these creative variations, you can keep your mac and cheese game exciting and satisfy any cravings that come your way. Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make each dish your own masterpiece.
Now that you have a range of options to choose from, it's time to gather your ingredients and start creating your own mouthwatering Beecher's mac and cheese recipes. Whether you stick to the classic or venture into new flavor territories, these recipes are sure to please. Get ready to savor every cheesy bite!