One of the easiest and most popular ways to make your dinner party or special event feel special is to purchase some deli meats and cheeses. At any home store, you can find a wide array of deli meats that will make your dinner party or event really feel special.
Cheese is another great way to make your dinner party feel special. You can find just about any combination of cheeses you like and select from a wide selection of both red and white cheeses.
The ultimate pasta dish is Filipino-style Baked Macaroni! It’s hearty, tasty, and sure to be a crowd favorite with a sweet, meaty sauce and cheesy topping.
When I asked Kawaling Pinoy readers to share their favorite holiday meals last month, baked macaroni was the most popular response. Guys, I couldn’t agree with you more! It’s the ideal party food because it’s not only everyone’s favorite, but it can easily feed an army of guests with just one pan.
I make baked macaroni about once or twice a week at home. I combine the pasta and meat sauce, top it with grated cheese, and bake it for a few minutes before calling it a day.
A simple mornay sauce, on the other hand, makes all the difference in turning this dinner staple into a party-worthy dish. The pasta, sauce, and cheese topping are the three main components of the dish. It appears to be a lot of work, and I won’t lie, it is. But believe me when I say it’s well worth the effort! It’ll be a party favorite because it’s hearty, tasty, and cheesy.
It’s also a great make-ahead meal if you don’t have time or energy on the day of the event to prepare a three-step dish.
- Prepare and bake the pasta casserole, allow to cool completely, and refrigerate for up to three days.
- To reheat, baked macaroni, covered in foil, in a 350 F oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 F.
Baked Macaroni Cooking Tips
- Filipino-style pasta meat sauce usually includes red hotdogs to extend servings and add a smoky flavor. Feel free to swap with diced ham or chopped bacon, if you like.
- For better texture, undercook the pasta for about 1 to 2 minutes shy of package directions as they will continue to cook when baked with the sauce.
- Cook the bechamel until it coats the back of a spoon. To check for doneness, dip the spoon into the béchamel and then draw a finger through the coated spoon. If the sauce wipes clean and leaves an open space, the sauce is done and ready for the cheese and seasonings.
- For neater squares, allow the baked pasta to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
- And another thing that you have to do is use the best cheeses on your dish.
Baked Macaroni with Cheese Topping Recipe
Baked Macaroni with cheese topping is hearty and tasty. This Filipino-style pasta dish is perfect for serving a large crowd and sure to be a hit!
Ingredients To Make Baked Macaroni
- 1 package (16 ounces) small elbow macaroni
For the Meat Sauce
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 Filipino-style hotdogs, sliced diagonally
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup banana ketchup, preferably sweet and spicy
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Cheese Topping
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 16 ounces Eden Cheese (or any quick-melting cheese), cubed
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
Instructions to Make Baked Macaroni
- In a large pot over medium heat, bring about 4 quarts salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook 1 to 2 minutes less than package’s directions. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
For the Meat Sauce
- In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add sliced hotdogs and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add bell peppers and cook until tender-crisp.
- Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking apart with the back of a spoon, for about 7 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Drain any excess fat.
- Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, and beef broth.
- Stir in sugar and Italian seasoning.
- Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and continue to cook for about one hour or until meat is fully cooked and sauce is thickened.
- During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add browned hotdogs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the Cheese Sauce
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir well into a smooth paste. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 to 7 minutes or until golden (but NOT browned) and starts to bubble a bit.
- Gradually add milk to the roux, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Cook, whisking regularly, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
- Stir in nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
- Gradually add quick-melt and cheddar cheese, whisking regularly until melted. Cook until cheese sauce is thick but spreadable.
Hi there! I’m a food enthusiast and journalist, and I have a real passion for food that goes beyond the kitchen. I love my dream job and I’m lucky enough to be able to share my knowledge with readers of several large media outlets. My specialty is writing engaging food-related content, and I take pride in being able to connect with my audience. I’m known for my creativity in the kitchen, and I’m confident that I can be the perfect guide for anyone looking to take their culinary journey to the next level.