Irresistible 3 Cheese Baked Mac & Cheese with Potato Topping
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of McCain Foods USA, Inc. ©. The opinions and text are all mine.
I don’t know about you, but say the word cheese, and I am there. What may really surprise you all is that I have a mild dairy allergy, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying some good old mac & cheese.
Call me a kid, but this dish is like my childhood dream come true. I always loved when my mom bought these and made them for us. Granted, I was already a teen but is there really an age limit here? Enjoying fluffy mashed potatoes in a crispy outer crust with smiles is my kind of happiness! Top McCain® Smiles® on some baked mac & cheese and you take things to the next level of awesomeness
McCain Smiles are a food that I frequently buy at Walmart for my kids. You can find them in the frozen potato aisle near the other McCain potato products like their Seasoned Curly Fries. We pretty much love all they have to offer, and my kids are never picky when I serve these as a side dish.
Ready in minutes, McCain Smiles contain no artificial flavors and are made with real mashed potatoes.
Plus, they go perfectly with some ketchup or paired up with foods like sandwiches, pizzas, tacos, and more. You can pretty much make almost any meal kid-friendly when you serve McCain Smiles.
Adding McCain Smiles to my 3 Cheese Baked Mac & Cheese was the best idea ever! I think it not only brought complementary flavors to my macaroni and cheese, but it also made it extra fun! I guarantee your kids will love it. This recipe is not only kid-friendly but adults can enjoy McCain Smiles too. They are perfect for any occasion.
You cannot help but smile when you look at this comfort dish!
Helpful tips when making Baked Mac & Cheese
Do I need a topping for baked mac & cheese?
While most people opt for a breadcrumb topping you don’t necessarily need one. Depending on the type of cheese you use, your casserole should brown up nicely and make its own crispy cheese crust. However, you can make your macaroni and cheese more fun and tastier by adding toppings like fried onions, or these McCain Smiles.
What is the best pasta for macaroni and cheese?
Technically speaking, you really can use pretty much any type of pasta for this dish. However, like the name says, macaroni noodles work the best. The elbow pasta shape helps to lock in flavor and the creaminess from the dish.
Shredded or block cheese for baked macaroni and cheese?
Speaking from experience and some knowledge gained on a dairy tour last year, block cheeses are the BEST for macaroni and cheese. Try to stay away from pre-shredded cheese since it has an anti-binding agent on it that will not produce creamy results.
What type of cheese is the best for macaroni and cheese?
My favorite cheese for macaroni and cheese are the following:
- Sharp Cheddar in yellow
- Extra Sharp Cheddar in white
- Swiss Cheese
- Monterey Jack
I love that these cheeses create rich, and creamy flavors that meld perfectly with the spices and pasta.
What are some tasty macaroni and cheese toppings?
Last year, while participating in a dairy cookoff, I was able to sample 10+ mac & cheese recipes that were all different. My favorite macaroni and cheese toppings were:
- French Fries
- Garlic butter croutons
- Seasoned bread crumbs
- French Fried Onions
- Candied walnuts with bacon
- Mashed potatoes, hence today’s use of McCain Smiles.
Why is my macaroni and cheese sauce gritty?
Chances are your sauce is gritty due to one of two things: You are not mixing your roux (butter and flour) until it is golden brown.
Or, you are adding too much cheese, too fast! The key is to slowly add in the cheese with a constant whisking motion (over low heat). You want your sauce to be creamy and not lumpy or gritty.
Overall, this Irresistible 3 Cheese Baked Mac & Cheese with Potato Topping came out perfectly and truly did make us smile. I wholeheartedly recommend you all at least purchase some McCain Smiles and try out this yummy recipe!
Don’t forget to stop by Walmart and purchase your own! Visit McCain Smiles for more recipes!
What is your favorite way to enjoy McCain Smiles?