mac and cheese

Known for its artisan, home-churned Colby and rich, succulent cheese curds, Wisconsin is home to some of the oldest dairy farms in the country. From cherished family recipes to fan-favorites, America’s Dairyland offers a simple, wholesome take on household staples.

You’re hard-pressed to find a city in the state’s 65,000 square miles that doesn’t include specialty dairy shops or mac and cheese-hinged bistros. Here are a few simple heirloom recipes to get you started. You don’t have to be in Madison to eat like a cheesehead!

Grecian Elysium Macaroni and Cheese

Serves: 3 | Time: 30 mins

Greek macaroni and cheese

What you’ll need:

5 oz. penne pasta

1 cup milk

3 tbsp. melted butter

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg

2 cups grated graviera cheese

9 oz. baby spinach, chopped

1 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta

pinch of ground black pepper

 

How it’s done:

Bring 4-qt. pot to a boil with water and butter

Add pasta and spinach, cook until soft.

Strain pasta, add milk, cheeses.

Stir until pasta is evenly blended with mixture and sprinkle black pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Serve warm.

 

Feelin’ Blue Macaroni and Cheese

Serves: 2 | Time: 20 mins

blue cheese macaroni and cheese

What you’ll need:

8 oz. farfalle pasta

1tsp. thyme

1/4 ts. pepper

1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

1 cup low-fat milk

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

 

How it’s done:

Cook pasta until soft, drain and transfer to large bowl.

Stir in thyme and pepper until evenly distributed.

Add mixture to pasta and stir.

Heat milk in a large skillet over medium heat until boiling, reduce heat and stir in sour cream and cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Serve warm.

 

Heartichoke Macaroni and Cheese

Serves: 3 | Time: 20 mins

Artichoke macaroni and cheese

What you’ll need:

4 oz. elbow macaroni

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

3 cups water

1 oz. cream cheese

1 oz. white cheddar cheese

1/2 cup milk

1 cup frozen chopped spinach

1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped

 

How it’s done:

Cook pasta in the boiling water until soft. Drain.

Stir together cooked pasta, milk, butter and cheeses until creamy.

Fold in spinach and artichokes.

 

Carefree Caprese Macaroni and Cheese

Serves: 2 | Time: 20 mins

Caprese macaroni and cheese

What you’ll need:

6 oz elbow macaroni

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 cup milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

6 oz. fresh mozzarella

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

 

How it’s done:

Cook pasta in the boiling water until soft. Drain.

Stir together cooked pasta, milk, butter and cheese until creamy.

Mix tomatoes and top with fresh basil.

 

Ragin’ Cajun Macaroni and Cheese

Serves: 3 | Time: 40 mins

Cajun macaroni and cheese

What you’ll need:

8 oz. elbow macaroni

1 medium onion

1 green bell pepper

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup whole milk

3 oz. low-fat cream cheese

1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

6 oz. sharp Cheddar

 

How it’s done:

Cook pasta until soft, drain and transfer to medium bowl.

Dice onion, bell pepper and garlic.

Toss diced mixture into bowl with milk, seasoning and cheeses and stir until even.

Serve warm.