Crispy Herb Stuffing Topped Mac and Cheese

Crispy Herb Stuffing Topped Mac and Cheese

What can I say about Thanksgiving that I haven’t already said. It means everything to me. Today more than it ever did. For all the things you can blame the pandemic for, an appreciation for the traditions the knit together families is definitely one of them. After spending last year stuck behind a closed Canadian border, this American girl isn’t messing around this year. I promised my family that this year we’d make it better than ever and I meant it, especially when it comes to the food.

My mother’s stuffing is considered one of those Thanksgiving staples that you can’t dream of not having at the table. Along with her Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble Topping our family celebration is just plain ole supper without them. Every year we also have a Friendsgiving with our beloved family friends in New York City. It’s a two day event that includes watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, a decadent brunch, games, midnight Black Friday shopping and a dinner that always includes a Mac and Cheese featuring a double cheese sauce. This dish is a blend of everything I love about Thanksgiving: my traditional family meal and our Friendsgiving. I know you’ve heard it before that if love lived in a dish then it would be this one, but it’s never been more true than now. This side is years of togetherness in one casserole.

Photo by Ashley van der Laan

Crispy Herb Stuffing Topped Mac and Cheese

This is not your average ultra cheesy mac and cheese. Or your basic stuffing. This is the ultimate holiday side dish where these two classics create a rich, cheesy macaroni base topped with a buttery and herby crust. Your holiday table will never be the same.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: thanksgiving, mac and cheese, stuffing, herb stuffing, side dishes

Ingredients

For the topping

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 2 cups 1/2 inch cubes of bread
  • 3 tbsp panko
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped sage
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth

For the mac and cheese

  • 1 lb pasta
  • 5 tbsps butter
  • 5 tbsps all purpose flour
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cubed triple cream brie, rind removed

Instructions

For the stuffing topping:

  • In a medium skillet, melt the butter and add the shallot, carrot and celery. Saute until vegeetables are soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the vegeetables and mix with the bread and panko. Stir in the thyme, sage and parsley. Stir in the butter and broth and mix until incorporated. Set aside.

For the mac and cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Bring a large pot or Dutch oven with salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain well.
  • In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook/bubble for 1 minute, whisking. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream then raise the heat up to medium. Bring the mixture to a simmer whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese and brie. Stir until the cheese is fully melted. Stir in the pasta and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  • Evenly sprinkle the remaingn 1/2 cup cheese and then the stuffing over top. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the stuffing is golden brown and the mac and cheese is bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes and then serve.

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