Italian Baked Mac and Cheese

Mar 07

I’ve gotten off the eating healthy train for a little while now, but when food is super rich but so, so delicious, can you really blame me? I have been working out (and now if I don’t work out, I feel extra lethargic), and I feel that my workouts can at least counteract what I am eating.

I saw this recipe for Italian Baked Mac and Cheese on a Spicy Perspective last summer, and it looked a little too rich for the summer, so I saved it to make for Christmas dinner. It was such a success, and now is one of our family favorites! One casserole lasts us over a week in eating for dinner once or twice and a couple lunches. Italian Baked Mac and Cheese is an awesome leftover- yum! Just looking at the pictures makes me drool and want to eat some right now :) Is it too soon to make another batch?

italian mac and cheese 2 -- food ramblings

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  • 1 lb whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs flout
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 4 reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 6 cups shredded Italian cheeses (provolone, mozzarella, asiago, etc)
  • 4 oz salami, cut into thin chunks
  • 4 oz pepperoni, cut into thin chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the penne according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Then whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Add the garlic and then whisk in the milk and cream cheese. Lower heat to simmer. Add the shredded cheese, stirring or whishing until the mixture is smooth.

Stir in the pasta, sliced meat, and basil. Stir to coat.

Pour the contents of the pot into a 9x13 casserole dish, and sprikle the top with panko and parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil.


Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden.


Sprinkle each serving with parsley. Enjoy!

italian mac and cheese -- food ramblings

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Comments: 32

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) Mar 07 at 3:22 pm Reply

    Ooooh, I have never had salami in mac & cheese before. I think I need to try this!

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:14 am Reply

      You absolutely do!

  2. Amy Mar 07 at 3:30 pm Reply

    That actually looks really yummy. I love Salami and I love Mac & Cheese. I just never thought to have them together

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:15 am Reply

      It goes great together!

  3. maria @ close tohome Mar 07 at 4:41 pm Reply

    I love that you used whole wheat pasta I bet the kids cant tell when it is covered in cheese.
    love for you to link this up to our Friday Frenzy recipe and craft party if you get a chance.

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:15 am Reply

      Thanks Maria!

  4. Wendy Mar 07 at 4:46 pm Reply

    That looks AMAZING! I love baked mac & cheese. My kids do, too! I usually make my Grandmas recipe, but this looks SO YUMMY!

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:16 am Reply

      Thanks Wendy- I love trying different mac and cheese recipes!

  5. Elisebet F Mar 07 at 5:36 pm Reply

    It sounds and looks delicious! I especially like that it uses so much cheese. My husband and I both love cheese.

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:16 am Reply

      I love using tons of cheese!

  6. Mama to 5 BLessings Mar 07 at 6:29 pm Reply

    This looks great, love cheese! My family would enjoy this!

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:17 am Reply

      Thanks- let me know if you try it!

  7. Marisa Mar 07 at 6:45 pm Reply

    mmmm-mmm… this looks so delicious. I love mac and cheese! I’ve never though to drizzle oil on the top, that is such a great idea!

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:17 am Reply

      Thanks Marisa!

  8. Helene Cohen Bludman Mar 07 at 6:53 pm Reply

    Wow, that looks soooo good. My family would love this but I think I’ll save it for a special occasion. Pinning!

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:17 am Reply

      Thanks Helene!

  9. Pam Mar 07 at 7:16 pm Reply

    That looks fantastic! My family loves anything mac and cheese!

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:17 am Reply

      Thanks Pam!

  10. brett Mar 07 at 9:34 pm Reply

    I’ve never heard of Italian mac n cheese. but really, I’ve not met a mac n cheese I didn’t love yet…

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:18 am Reply

      I love all mac and cheese too!

  11. lisa jones Mar 07 at 10:39 pm Reply

    Looks Delicious Can’t Wait To Try Recipe!

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:18 am Reply

      Thanks Lisa!

  12. Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas Mar 07 at 10:43 pm Reply

    With salami and pepperoni, my husband would love me forever if I made this! Well, he’d better anyway, but you kwim.

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:18 am Reply

      You would get brownie points if you made this!

  13. Lisa Mar 08 at 8:12 am Reply

    This looks awesome. Will be trying!

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:19 am Reply

      Thanks Lisa!

  14. Debi Mar 08 at 8:44 pm Reply

    It sounds interesting. I wonder if my kids would like that.

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:19 am Reply

      Let me know if they try it and how they like it!

  15. Danielle @ We Have It All Mar 09 at 9:54 pm Reply

    Oh my kids would LOVE this – I totally need to try it.

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:19 am Reply

      Let me know if they like it :)

  16. Robyn Mar 11 at 10:06 pm Reply

    wow, that looks so good. My daughter would love it.

    • Elizabeth Apr 22 at 11:19 am Reply

      Thanks Robyn!

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