Cheez-It Mac and Cheese

Cheez-It Mac and Cheese
Staff Writer
Patricia Stagich

After trying this recipe once, using Cheez-Its as a crust for your mac and cheese will be a no-brainer. Too much cheese, you say? Not even close. The salty, crunchy qualities of the crackers add a balance of texture and flavor to a creamy, mild, (and dare we say cheesy) mac and cheese. 

Click here to see 6 Easy Cheez-It Recipes

12
Servings
569
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

Special thanks to Patricia Stagich of Comfy Cuisine for helping us test this recipe. 

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound cavatappi pasta, cooked to package instructions
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 Cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 Teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 Cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 Cups shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 4 Cups shredded fontina
  • 1/2 Cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Cheez-Its

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Add the cooked pasta to a greased 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. 

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the stick of butter over low heat. When the butter is melted, slowly whisk in the flour and whisk well until its evenly incorporated into the butter. Let the roux cook, while whisking, over low heat, until a buttery-baked smell permeates and the roux starts bubbling all over the surface. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, and then increase the heat to medium. Season the bechamel with salt and pepper to taste, and then add the nutmeg. Let the sauce cook over high heat until boiling, and then remove from heat and add the cheeses (except the Parmesan). Stir well so that they're all completely melted. 

Pour the sauce over the pasta in the baking dish and, using tongs or a spoon, toss well so that each piece of pasta is coated well with the sauce. In a small bowl, melt the tablespoon of butter and add the breadcrumbs. Stir well, and then add the crushed Cheez-Its. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly on top. Bake the mac and cheese in the oven until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 30-45 minutes.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
15g
21%
Sugar
25g
28%
Saturated Fat
7g
29%
Cholesterol
54mg
18%
Carbohydrate, by difference
87g
67%
Protein
25g
54%
Vitamin A, RAE
136µg
19%
Vitamin B-12
3µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
4µg
4%
Calcium, Ca
439mg
44%
Choline, total
37mg
9%
Fiber, total dietary
9g
36%
Folate, total
140µg
35%
Iron, Fe
20mg
100%
Magnesium, Mg
103mg
32%
Niacin
10mg
71%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
765mg
100%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
58µg
100%
Sodium, Na
915mg
61%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
1µg
7%
Water
114g
4%
Zinc, Zn
4mg
50%

Mac and Cheese Shopping Tip

If a piece of cheese smells strongly of ammonia, don't buy it. This is typically a sign of spoilage.

Mac and Cheese Cooking Tip

Allow cheese to come to room temperature before serving. This will accentuate the flavors and aromas.