If you are a fan of mac and cheese then this Olive Garden Mac And Cheese Recipe is for you. In this post, I have shared the Popular Olive Garden Mac And Cheese Recipe with some useful information that you will like a lot I hope.
What is Olive Garden Mac And Cheese?
Olive Garden Mac and Cheese is a tasty dish served at the Olive Garden restaurant. You’ll need macaroni, cheddar cheese, and some special seasonings to make this delicious mac and cheese,
First, you cook the macaroni and mix it with cheddar cheese and parsley. Then, you make a creamy sauce by blending milk, cottage cheese, mustard, salt, and pepper. This sauce makes the mac and cheese extra creamy.
After mixing the macaroni and creamy sauce together, bake it in the oven until the top turns a light golden brown. When it’s done, you have a delicious and cheesy mac and cheese, just like Olive Garden’s! It’s a comforting and flavorful dish that’s perfect for any meal.
The Ingredients & Equipment Needs For Olive Garden Mac And Cheese
The ingredients and Tools are as follows:
Vegetables: You will need 2/3 cup of finely chopped white onion and 4 tbsp of minced fresh parsley. Chop the onion and mince the parsley with a knife as preparation.
Macaroni: You will need 7 cups of cooked elbow macaroni. Use Goya or Amazon Fresh brand elbow macaroni to get the best result.
Cheddar Cheese: You will need 3 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Use Kraft or CABOT brand shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese.
Cottage Cheese: You will need 3 1/2 cups of 2% cottage cheese. Use Happy Belly or Daisy brand cottage cheese.
Milk: You will need 1 cup of evaporated milk. Use CARNATION brand evaporated milk or you can use another good quality milk.
Dijon mustard: You will need 2 tsp of Dijon mustard. Use Grey Poupon or Paesana brand dijon mustard.
Salt & Pepper: You will need 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper. Use Morton brand salt and Simply Organic brand ground black pepper.
Equipment & Tools:
You will need a Microwave, Microwave-Safe Bowl, Knife, Cutting Board, Measuring Cup, Measuring Spoon, Blender, Baking Dish, Oven, and Serving Plate.
So, let’s see How To Make the Olive Garden Mac And Cheese Recipe at Home!
Olive Garden Mac And Cheese Recipe
Equipment & Tools
- Microwave-Safe Bowl
- Cutting Board
- Measuring Cup
- Measuring Spoon
- 2 (1 1/2 Quart) Baking Dish
- Serving Plate
- ⅔ cup Finely Chopped White Onion
- 4 tbsp Minced Fresh Parsley
- 7 cups Amazon Fresh Cooked Elbow Macaroni, Recommended
- 3 ½ cups CABOT Shredded Reduced-Fat Cheddar Cheese, Recommended
- 3 ½ cups Daisy 2% Cottage Cheese, Recommended
- 1 cup Evaporated Milk
- 2 tsp Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard, Recommended
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- Start by microwaving the chopped onion in a microwave-safe bowl on high for about two minutes or until it becomes tender. Then, drain any excess liquid.
- Add the cooked elbow macaroni, shredded cheddar cheese, and minced fresh parsley to the bowl with the cooked onion. Mix them together.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the evaporated milk, cottage cheese, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Blend until you get a smooth and creamy mixture.
- Pour the creamy mixture from the blender into the bowl with the macaroni mixture. Stir everything together until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Grease two (1 1/2-quart) baking dish to prevent sticking.
- Pour the mac and cheese mixture into the greased baking dish, making sure it's evenly spread.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
- Place the baking dish, uncovered, in the preheated oven. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the top turns a light golden brown.
- Carefully remove the mac and cheese from the oven, and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Enjoy your delicious homemade Olive Garden mac and cheese!
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Variations & Tips For Olive Garden mac and cheese Recipe
Bacon Mac and Cheese: For a tasty twist, add some crispy bacon bits to the mac and cheese mixture before baking. The smoky bacon flavor pairs perfectly with the creamy cheese sauce.
Veggie Delight Mac and Cheese: Boost the nutrition by adding chopped veggies like broccoli, bell peppers, or spinach. Mix them into the mac and cheese before baking for a colorful and nutritious twist.
Spicy Kick Mac and Cheese: If you like it spicy, add a dash of hot sauce or some chopped jalapeños to the creamy sauce. It’ll give your mac and cheese a zesty and exciting flavor.
Perfectly Cooked Macaroni: Make sure to cook the macaroni just until it’s tender, not too soft. Overcooked pasta can make your dish mushy. Follow the package instructions for the best results.
Creamy Cheese Sauce: Blend the cottage cheese mixture until it’s super smooth. This ensures your mac and cheese is creamy and not lumpy. Don’t forget the mustard—it adds a nice kick!
Golden Brown Finish: To get that lovely golden brown top, keep an eye on your mac and cheese as it bakes. If it’s not browning evenly, you can briefly broil it, but be cautious not to burn it.
What To Serve with Olive Garden mac and cheese?
You can serve Olive Garden Mac and Cheese with some tasty side dishes to make a complete meal. Here are some simple ideas:
Salad: A fresh green salad with your favorite veggies and a light dressing goes really well. It balances the richness of the mac and cheese.
Garlic Bread: Warm and crispy garlic bread is a classic choice. It’s great for dipping into the cheesy sauce.
Steamed Vegetables: Serve some steamed broccoli, carrots, or green beans for a healthy side. They add a pop of color and nutrition to your plate.
Grilled Chicken: If you want to make it a heartier meal, add some grilled chicken breasts or tenders on the side. The chicken’s protein pairs nicely with the cheesy pasta.
Soup: A bowl of soup, such as tomato soup or vegetable soup, can complement the mac and cheese and make it a more filling meal.
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FAQs about Olive Garden Mac and Cheese Recipe
Can I use regular pasta instead of elbow macaroni?
Yes, you can use other pasta shapes if you like. Just make sure to cook them according to the package instructions.
Is it okay to use regular cheddar cheese instead of reduced-fat cheddar?
Absolutely, you can use regular cheddar cheese if you prefer a richer flavor. It will still turn out delicious.
Can I add more cheese on top before baking?
Sure, you can sprinkle some extra shredded cheese on top before baking if you want an extra cheesy crust.
Can I freeze leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze leftovers. Just store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a few months. When reheating, you might need to add a bit of milk to restore the creaminess.
Can I make this ahead of time and reheat it?
Yes, you can prepare the mac and cheese ahead of time, refrigerate it, and reheat it in the oven or microwave when you’re ready to eat. It might need a splash of milk to regain its creaminess after reheating.
Heat the mac and cheese in the microwave at 50% power (medium) to prevent it from overheating and becoming too thick. Start with 1-2 minutes and then check its temperature and consistency.
Stir the mac and cheese and continue microwaving in short 30-second bursts, stirring in between, until it’s heated to your desired temperature.
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Olive Garden Mac and Cheese is a yummy and creamy dish that is made with macaroni, cheese, and a few seasonings. You can create a comforting meal that’s similar to what you might enjoy at the Olive Garden restaurant. You can customize it with different variations by adding bacon or veggies, to suit your taste.
This recipe is a delicious and satisfying option for a cozy meal, and you can pair it with salad, garlic bread, or grilled chicken to make it a complete feast. Enjoy your homemade Olive Garden-style mac and cheese!