Deconstructed “Grilled” Mac & Cheese

Deconstructed “Grilled” Mac & Cheese

Here’s my dilemma. I get my boys for an extra afternoon. That isn’t the dilemma that’s awesome; my dilemma is that I haven’t shopped for groceries in over a week. What I do have on hand is two cups of leftover pasta, a cup of sweet potato hash, a partial loaf of French bread, and a half of a block of sharp cheddar cheese. Looking around the kitchen I also have a basil plant, some garlic, Italian spices, and extra virgin olive oil that I can use for this dish. My girlfriend and I eat mostly vegetarian. It’s always a horror to my vegan friends when they find out I’m not vegan. Ours is a health choice more than anything. My boys actually like what we usually cook. My oldest has even made comment that he was surprised that how good vegetarian and vegan food can be. However, not having anything on hand I can feed them I’ve decided to make a deconstructed “grilled” mac & cheese.

My kids will eat nearly anything I cook. I was surprised at how much they loved the sweet potato hash when I made it our last weekend together. Every kid I know loves mac & cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. Why not combine them? The word grilled is a very loose interpretation of the idea of the grilled cheese sandwich. I have the left over bread so I thought that I should toast it just to add a layer of flavor to the dish.


I started by throwing on some POD and pre-heating the oven to 350°. (The music selection is up to you, but it’s pretty important to pre-heat the oven.) While the over was heating up I chopped the bread, drizzled some extra virgin olive oil into a pan, and toasted it. I also chopped the basil, grated the cheese, and combined a little of both with the pasta and sweet potato hash. I used my hands to mix everything together. After the bread was toasted I spread it over the top of my soon to be mac & cheese, and spread the rest of the sharp cheddar cheese evenly over the top of my dish.

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After it comes out of the oven let it stand for about ten minutes to cool. Sprinkle the rest of the basil on top and serve. It’s that simple. You can make this ahead of time and throw it in the fridge, or you can serve it while it’s hot. Please though, don’t heat it up in the microwave! Re-heat it in the oven, and cook it like your mother would. Your kids will thank you for it.

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