Southern Macaroni and Pimiento Cheese

Macaroni and Pimiento Cheese
Macaroni and Pimiento Cheese Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
584 Calories
42g Fat
26g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 584
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 54%
Saturated Fat 21g 103%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 1598mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 12mg 61%
Calcium 628mg 48%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 154mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

 A basic Southern-style pimiento cheese spread is combined with macaroni and baked to perfection with a crunchy French fried onion topping. I add some onion powder to the cheese mixture, but a teaspoon or two of fresh grated onion can be added instead.

Add a dash of garlic powder to the dish or rub a split clove of garlic over the bottom and sides of the baking dish before buttering.

Use regular or gluten free macaroni in this easy casserole.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

  • 1 tablespoon salt, more to taste

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimientos*, drained, see note

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder, or 2 teaspoons grated onion

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup French fried onions, crumbled

Steps to Make It

  1.  Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4). Butter a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish.

  2. Bring a large pot of about 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt to the water. Add the macaroni, reduce the heat to medium, and continue boiling until al dente** following package directions. Drain the macaroni well.

  3. In a bowl combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, shredded cheese, drained pimientos, and grated onion. Mix the ingredients together until thoroughly blended. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed. Add the hot drained macaroni and mix until well blended.

  4. Spoon the macaroni and pimiento cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish. 

  5. Sprinkle the French fried onions over the casserole.

  6. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese mixture is hot and bubbling around the edges and the topping is lightly browned and crispy.

  7. Serve with a simple tossed green salad or fresh sliced tomatoes, or serve it along with a holiday meal or Sunday dinner.

    *Diced pimientos come in small jars, and they're located in the vegetable section of most supermarkets. If you can't find pimientos or need to substitute, use roasted red bell peppers. To roast red bell pepper or fresh red pimiento peppers, place them on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake them in a preheated 500 F oven for about 30 minutes, turning frequently until all sides are charred. Remove the pan to a rack and cover with foil. Let stand for about 30 minutes. Quarter the peppers, remove stems, peels, and seeds. Chop the peeled peppers or slice into strips. Refrigerate roasted red peppers in oil for up to 2 weeks.

    **Al Dente: From the Italian, it means literally, "to the tooth." In the case of pasta, it means cooking it until it is still somewhat firm, or firm to the bite. 

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