Thursday, January 1, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

If you're visiting my new blog from Gayle's Recipe Swap, WELCOME! I'm hoping to post lots of creative recipes to use up leftover food over the coming months. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll visit often! For more great recipes, check out the Grocery Cart Challenge!

I have a very unique recipe for leftover macaroni and cheese. Homemade mac and cheese (made with a Velveets-type cheese sauce) is the favorite dinner of my youngest and she requests it frequently. One night we had a large bowl of leftover mac and cheese and I really didn't feel like having leftovers. I had happened to plan a family favorite, Pastitsio, for that same week, 2 days later. The original recipe for Pastitsio calls for cooking macaroni, then draining and stirring in some butter and one egg to help it stick together.

Well, inspiration struck. If I needed macaroni that stuck together, and the recipe already called for cheese, why not TRY using the leftover mac and cheese that was waiting in the refrigerator, saving me a cooking step and utilizing something that needed to be eaten anyway??? In reviewing my fridge, I also found a half-jar of alfredo sauce that was left from a chicken-alfredo pizza from an earlier date. Again, I thought....the recipe calls for making a white sauce with parmesan cheese, so why not use up the rest of the alfredo instead??

The resulting dish was the most well-received Pastitsio I had ever made. It was completely consumed, and everyone in the family asked that I make it that way from then forward. So now, whenever I plan on making macaroni and cheese, it is always followed within a couple of days by Pastitsio, and frequently a chicken-alfredo pizza. It's a wonderful way to tie in 3 meals and use up every bit of that precious and expensive food!

So, in case you're still reading my rambles and interested in the recipe I'm now using for Pastitsio, here you go:

1/2 lb. ground beef
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 t. cinnamon
2-3 cups of leftover macaroni and cheese
1/2 - 1 c. alfredo sauce (or I will include how to make your own sauce at the end of this post)
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 - 1 c. cheddar cheese

Brown and drain ground beef. Stir in tomato sauce and cinnamon and set aside.
In greased casserole dish, place the macaroni and cheese. Top with the beef mixture.
Pour alfredo sauce on top, then sprinkle with the nutmeg.
Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake, covered, at 375° for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Now, if you don't have leftover alfredo sauce, here is the original recipe for the sauce that you would use in place of my leftover alfredo:

Melt 1 T. margarine. Stir in 1 T. flour. Add 1 c. milk all at once and whisk until smooth. Cook until mixture begins to thicken and then remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste and 1/3 c. parmesan cheese. Use as the alfredo sauce above.

I know this sounds like a rather strange recipe, but it's VERY good! This was one of the very first recipes my mother learned to make when we got our first microwave, and I have modified the recipe over the years and make it in the oven, as I don't like the results of the fully-microwaved version. My family enjoys the variety of tastes and it would be a great addition to your recipe collection. Leave me a comment if you try this!!


  1. I'm sure I've made Pastitsio before. :) It's a Greek dish, isn't it?

    I love the way you've planned these three meals close together so you can use all the leftovers!

  2. hi, cool idea for a blog. And thanks for all the comments on my blog! I LOVE comments!

  3. Isn't it funny what starts out as a microwave recipe from long ago?

  4. Sounds like a great idea...I'll have to try this soon!

  5. This is an older post so I'm not sure if you'll get this..but I tried this recipe and I LOVED it. I used my own homemade mac and cheese leftovers. It was eaten up in no time!

  6. I'd never heard of this before, but I just tried it (with Olive Garden's alfredo recipe plus stewed tomatoes) and it's HEAVEN!

    Blessed Be

  7. what happens if you have enough mac & cheese left over for 20 people?

  8. This saved an almost inedible batch of mac and cheese from a failed attempt at a new recipe! Definitely keeping this as back up for my future mac and cheese experiments!


I LOVE comments....please let me know you were visiting!