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Not the Blue Box

Feb 28, 2019

Most of us probably have a box or two of Kraft Mac and Cheese hanging out in our pantries. We reach for it when we want something quick and filling. I have mixed mine with tuna, stirred in dill and onion, added sliced hot dogs, and heard of preparations with ground beef, chili, and even using the mix in a salad recipe. The quick and easy options for macaroni and cheese are endless.

Today was cold. OK, today wasn’t just cold. It was a brisk, bitter, biting cold, just as much of our winter seems to have been. All I wanted was comfort food, and I achieved this with a grown-up version of macaroni and cheese that was definitely NOT the Blue Box. Although, preparation was fairly simple, this divine combination of ingredients was impressive enough that it could be served to guests. It isn't for those counting calories, but it is an indulgence that will leave you wondering if you really want or need that Blue Box, after all.


Warm and cheesy tortellini with corn and bacon tops Kraft Mac and Cheese any day.

Tortellini with Corn and Bacon

12 ounces tortellini (fresh, frozen, or dried … your choice)

6 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces

½ cup thinly sliced shitake mushrooms

2 large shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 ¼ cups whipping cream

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 ½ cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese

Cook tortellini in large pot of boiling water until tender, but still firm to bite. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 13 x 9 casserole dish. Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Add mushrooms to the skillet (with bacon drippings). Sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and sauté about 5 minutes (until golden). Add tortellini, cream and corn and toss until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, and bacon. Transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and dish is heated through, about 5-10 minutes. (Serves 6-8)

Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their two dogs ranch near Colome.


06:11 pm - Thu, February 6 2014
Kay said:
Love this! I love Mac n cheese but shy away from the processed version. This is easy and comforting,
07:40 am - Fri, February 28 2020
Lynne said:
I don’t know who wouldn’t love this! It’s on my “next to try” list, along with the garlic shrimp mac n’ cheese.

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