Super cheesy mac n cheese with three different kinds of cheese, whole milk and ranch salad dressing seasoning! This takes mac n cheese to a whole new level.
Making this easy Mac n cheese
Mac n cheese has always been one of the most nostalgic dishes anyone can make. Usually everyone has a story of their favorite version and how it’s much better than any other Mac n cheese. But this version might be the one to shame all other mac’s and it’s because of a secret ingredient, ranch salad dressing seasoning!
The extra flavor from the ranch seasoning goes perfectly with the different cheeses and the buttery cracker topping stays crunchy with every bite. The ranch isn’t overpowering at all but you can definitely taste that familiar flavor. This would make the perfect complete dinner or be a great side to any bbq or holiday table.
top tips when making this recipe
- Always use good quality flavorful cheese.
- If you haven’t made a béchamel sauce before, follow this tutorial for perfect results.
- You can use any pasta but elbow macaroni is the traditional variety.
- The best way to heat up left overs is by placing a scoop of Mac into a bowl and adding a small amount of milk. Warm in the microwave for a minute and stir.
- Any buttery crackers will work for the topping such as Ritz or similar. I used rosemary crackers from Trader Joe’s.
more Mac n cheese recipes
Mac n Cheese with Ranch and Cracker Crumbs
- 16 oz elbow macaroni pasta
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 5 tbsp butter, divided
- 3 ¾ cups whole milk, divided
- 2 ½ cups grated Monterey jack cheese
- 2 cups grated Asiago cheese, divided
- 1 cup grated Grana Padano cheese
- 1 oz pack of ranch salad seasoning powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups crushed buttery crackers
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F and spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish lightly with oil.
- Boil the pasta as per the directions on the pack, drain and set aside.
- In a large pan or pot, melt 3 tbsp of the butter.
- Add the flour and whisk over a medium heat for 2 minutes or until the mixture begins to turn slightly golden.
- Add the milk gradually, whisking well after each time so the sauce stays smooth.
- After you have added two cups of milk, bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the grated Monterey Jack and whisk until it has melted.
- Next add 1 cup of the Asiago cheese and 1 cup of the Grand Padano and whisk until smooth.
- Add the remaining 1 ¾ cups of milk and whisk, bring back to a slight simmer. Add the salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked pasta to your prepared dish making sure to break up any clumps of pasta stuck together.
- Add the sauce and carefully mix well making sure all of the pasta has been coated in cheese.
- In a separate bowl mix together the remaining grated Asiago and crushed crackers.
- Melt the remaining two tbsp of butter and add to the crackers and cheese, stir together.
- Sprinkle the cracker crumbs over the surface of the dish and bake in the oven uncovered for 25 minutes and the cheese is bubbling around the edges.