Cheese Drawer Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole topped with cheesy breadcrumbs and chopped parsley, in an orange and white casserole dish.

Ever have that most awful problem of too much cheese in your cheese drawer? Little bits and ends that you don’t know what to do with?

For the cheeses, use what you’ve got, but do make sure you’ve got a nice mix of flavors and textures – cheddars, goudas, swisses, blues, goats, feta, even good old American works great. Mix it up. Go wild. You don’t have to follow this recipe exactly – that’s the beauty of it. If you’ve got sundried tomatoes in the fridge or leftover caramelized onions, toss them in. Experiment with what’s handy and see what you like.  

Hey there! On May 16th, BriarPatch is hosting a cheese and wine tasting on our Auburn patio. It’ll be a really gouda time! Nothing could be cheddar….it’s going to be un-brie-lievable….we could go on. More info and tickets here: Breaking the Mold: A Cheese & Wine Pairing at BriarPatch Auburn – BriarPatch Food Co-op (briarpatchfoodcoop.com) 🧀🍷🎟️

Ingredients

  • 1 box pasta, sturdy with lots of surface area, like cavatappi  
  • 2 ½ lbs cheese bits and bobs, chopped fine, crumbled or shredded 
  • 2 Tbsp butter  
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour  
  • 2 ½ cups milk, Greek yogurt or sour cream (or combo) 
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard  
  • A few drops of your favorite hot sauce  
  • Salt and pepper to taste  
  • Panko or breadcrumbs  

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted over medium heat. Add flour and stir until mixture bubbles, about 1 minute. Whisk in dairy and continue to whisk over heat until mixture comes to a soft boil. Let bubble for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in mustard and hot sauce. Add a dash of salt and pepper.  
  2. Prepare your pasta al dente, per package instructions.  
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. 
  4. Add your shredded cheeses to a large bowl. Toss hot pasta into cheese bowl. Stir gently to coat, then pour bechamel into mixture. Stir together gently. Taste the mixture for salt/pepper and/or additional cheese.  
  5. Pour into two casserole dishes. Top with panko. Bake on a sheet pan for 45 minutes, or until the dish is bubbling and the panko is golden. Let cool to warm before serving.