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Mac and Cheese with Ham and Peas

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Sometimes you just need a really creamy and rich dish to go along with all of that barbecue. That’s where this mac and cheese with ham and peas joins the party, a simple, fresh, and very flavorful bowl.


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk, slightly warmed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 8 ounces diced ham
  • 1 1/2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
  • Kosher salt to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles to the water and cook until al dente. Timing may vary based on the pasta itself. Drain the pasta in a strainer to remove excess water when ready.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour to the butter and whisk to form a smooth roux. Continue to cook and whisk for about 2-3 minutes until the roux is a light-brown color. Slowly pour in the warmed milk while whisking to form a smooth sauce. Make sure the sauce does not boil, it needs to stay at a low simmer. You’ll notice the sauce thickening after about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Lower your temperature and start to add in the cream cheese, a little at a time, gently whisking until it’s completely melted before adding more. Do the same for the rest of the cheeses and the ground mustard, whisking and adding in a portion at a time until the sauce is melted and smooth.
  4. Add in the diced ham and peas. Mix until warmed through, and remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and gently stir to coat the macaroni. If the cheese sauce is too thick, add a splash of milk to the skillet and mix it in.
  • Author: Brad Prose
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