Corn Chowder Macaroni and Cheese | Take your two favorite comfort foods and combined them together to create the tastiest side dish EVER! Creamy and cheesy on the inside; topped with crispy bacon and crunchy buttery Progresso™ Bread Crumbs!
One dish that always graces my holiday table is Mac ‘n Cheese. This year I decided to give it a little bit of sophistication. So, I went looking in my pantry for something that would do just that. I found my Progresso™ Bread Crumbs. I always make sure I have breadcrumbs in my pantry. Not just plain but Progresso™ Italian Bread Crumbs too!
Breadcrumbs make the perfect crunchy coating for chicken, pork tenderloin, twice baked potatoes and meatballs. You just can’t go wrong with the versatility of breadcrumbs! Can you tell I LOVE using breadcrumbs? So…as I am rambling on and on about how much I love breadcrumbs I was wondering….WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO USE BREADCRUMBS?
Okay…..back to the Mac ‘n Cheese. I ended up adding a layer of bread crumbs and drizzled butter over the top. WOW! What a great addition!
I love that I can get all the Progresso™ Bread Crumbs I need at Walmart.
Lots of freshness going into this dish! SWAP OUT ALERT! You can also leave out the thyme and plain bread crumbs and use the Italian bread crumbs!
The perfect thick cheese sauce!
Combine the veggies and pasta into the cheese sauce.
For the Filling:
- 1 (1 pound) box penne, pasta
- 3 (15.25 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 baking potato peeled and diced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 tablespoon seasoning for seafood
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the Cheese Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk ( I used 2%)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- few grates of fresh nutmeg
- 1 cup Havarti cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the Topping:
- 1 1/2 cups Colby Jack cheese, shredded
- 1/4 pound bacon, chopped, cooked
- 3/4 cup Progresso™ Bread Crumbs Or Progresso™ Italian Bread Crumbs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
For the Filling:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook to an al dente.
- Drain and return to the post.
- While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon that is for the topping; remove from the pan to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add the corn, potato and seafood seasoning to the bacon drippings in a the skillet that was used to fry the bacon; cook 5 minutes.
- To the same skillet (with the corn and potato mixture) add the celery, bell pepper, onion and garlic; season with thyme, salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring occasionally (about 3 minutes).
- Set aside to make the sauce.
For the Cheese Sauce:
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk in the flour, then the milk; season with the mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Stir in the Havarti cheese.
- Add the pasta to the cheese sauce; stir until completely coated.
- Stir the corn mixture into the pasta and cheese mixture.
- Transfer to the prepared baking dish; top with the shredded Colby Jack cheese and bacon; cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.
- Remove dish from the oven; change the setting to broil.
- Take off the foil; sprinkle on the bread crumbs and drizzle the melted butter all over the top.
- Broil 3 minutes or until brown and crispy.
- Serve hot.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Progresso™ The opinions and text are all mine.