Dutch Oven Macaroni and Cheese
Dutch ovens are fun to cook in. We even used to compete in chuckwagon competitions at ranch rodeos submitting food like Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Biscuits & Rolls, and of course Cobbler. Recently we made King Ranch Camp Bread in our backyard and it was delicious. It had been forever since we cooked like that and we'll be doing it more often when the warmer weather comes. Today I bring you Mac and Cheese, cooked in a dutch oven of course, but just for you the directions will call for cooking it in an actual oven instead of over a fire. It's very easy and very tasty.
- 4 C of macaroni
- 1 1/3 C of water
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg. mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped and divided
- 1 t dried oregano, divided
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t of pepper
- 2 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 3 C of broccoli florets
- 3 C of loosely packed fresh spinach, shredded
- 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
How to Make It:
Set the oven temperature to 450 allowing the oven to preheat. Spray a cast iron Dutch oven well with a non stick cooking spray. Pour the macaroni into the prepared pan. Add the olive oil to the water in the measuring cup and stir until combined. Pour the mixture over the macaroni and stir until the macaroni is well coated. Spread the coated macaroni evenly over the bottom of the pan. Place both types of cheese into a mixing bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over the macaroni. Scatter half of the garlic over the cheese. Sprinkle half of the oregano and all of the salt and pepper evenly over the top. Layer the bell pepper strips into the pan. Spread the broccoli over the bell peppers. Cover with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle the remaining garlic and oregano over the cheese. Top with spinach and the tomatoes. Cover and bake 30 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted and the macaroni is tender.
Makes 4 servings
TIP: Be careful not to over bake this dish. It will cause the macaroni and cheese to form a crusty layer along the bottom and lower sides. Any type of shredded cheese will work including Monterey Jack, Swiss or Parmesan.