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Creamy Cowboy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
5 from 1 vote

Creamy Cowboy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

My all-time favorite homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe, this Creamy Cowboy Mac is the very definition of comfort food thanks to three different cheeses, sweet corn, salty pancetta and a surprise cornbread crisp topping.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 755kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE CORNBREAD CRISP TOPPING

  • 6 oz cornbread crisps - crushed (potato chips would also work)
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped basil

FOR THE MUSHROOMS AND PANCETTA

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 5 cloves garlic - minced
  • 16 ounces mushrooms - quartered or sliced
  • salt + pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta - or chopped bacon

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper - less if you're sensitive to heat
  • 4 cups cold whole milk - divided
  • 2 lemon zest
  • salt + pepper - to taste
  • 3-4 cup shredded cheese - I used white cheddar, parmesan, and lesser amounts of asiago and gouda

FOR THE COWBOY MAC

  • 1 pound pasta - cooked al dente
  • 15 oz Del Monte Whole Kernel Corn - 1 to 2 cans, drained
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup feta cheese - crumbled

Instructions

FOR THE CORNBREAD CRISP TOPPING

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a single layer place cornbread crisps on a baking sheet and sprinkle with shredded parmesan and chopped basil. Bake for approximately 7-9 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool.
  • When cool enough to handle, use clean fingers to crumble the cornbread crisps, basil and parm together. Set aside until ready to use.

FOR THE MUSHROOMS AND PANCETTA

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and once melted, add the diced onion and stir to coat in the butter. Continue to cook the onions for approximately 5-6 minutes, or until they just start to soften, stirring frequently. Add the minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the garlic with the onions for approximately 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the sliced mushrooms and pancetta to the onions and mix well. Allow mixture to cook together for approximately 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL

  • In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter until it just starts to sizzle. Slowly whisk in the the flour (do not stop whisking!) to create a roux (it will resemble a paste). Cook the roux for approximately 2 minutes, or until it is a light golden brown (take care not to burn!). Whisk in the cayenne and cook for an additional minute before slowly whisking in 1 cup of cold milk until fully incorporated with the roux. Whisk in the remaining three cups of milk and add the lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  • Stir continually for approximately 6-7 minutes, until mixture is heated through (but never boiling!) and starting to thicken.
  • Add the cheese to the pot and stir until all the cheese has just melted.
  • Remove from heat.

ASSEMBLE

  • In a pot or bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the pasta with the béchamel, mushroom and pancetta mixture, corn, basil and feta.
  • Stir until fully combined.
  • Serve desired amount in individual serving bowls and top with the cornbread crisp topping.

Nutrition

Calories: 755kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 783mg | Potassium: 675mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1100IU | Vitamin C: 8.1mg | Calcium: 485mg | Iron: 2.4mg
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