Pecan Mac and Cheese Bake

With cheddar and ricotta cheeses, sour cream and cavatappi noodles, this Pecan Mac and Cheese Bake is an extra creamy, creative twist on the kid-friendly classic.

This recipe combines the classic comfort of a creamy, gooey mac and cheese with the nuttiness of toasted pecans for a unique and delicious take on the classic.

The crunchy texture and rich flavor of the pecans complement the creamy, cheesy pasta, making this dish an indulgent treat that’s perfect for a cozy night in or a holiday meal.

Be sure to check out the rest of our easy pasta recipes, too!

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Mac and Cheese Bake with Pecan Breadcrumbs - perfect weekday dinner

Comfort Food with a Delicious Twist

As winter’s chill settles in and the cold temperatures send shivers down your spine, there’s nothing quite like the warmth of gathering around the family table with hearty dishes. For those seeking the ultimate comfort food, look no further than this nourishing Pecan Mac and Cheese Bake. It’s the perfect way to end the day with loved ones by your side.

This family dinner gets its wholesome goodness from the addition of pecans, a nutritional gem among tree nuts.

Pecans are not only delicious but also low in carbs and high in fiber, making them an excellent choice for sustaining that full feeling.

Pecans pack 3 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of dietary fiber per one-ounce serving, along with 12 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and a mere 2 grams of saturated fat.

Plus, they provide essential nutrients like thiamin, zinc, copper, and manganese, which plays a pivotal role in metabolism and bone health.

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This means you can serve pecan-infused dishes to your loved ones, knowing you’re not only satisfying their taste buds but also supporting their well-being.

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Even the youngest chefs in the family can lend a hand by mixing all that cheesy goodness together to create this beloved weeknight family favorite.

Pecan Mac and Cheese Bake - easy weeknight dinner

Mac and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs

Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
mac n cheese with pecan breadcrumbs on green blue stripe toward

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions.

Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pot and stir in butter.

Using box grater, shred cheddar cheese.

Using food processor, process 1/4 cup shredded cheese with pecans to coarse breadcrumb consistency.

Add remaining cheddar cheese, ricotta, sour cream, salt and pepper to warm pasta. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Add egg; stir. Add reserved pasta water to loosen mixture; stir until smooth.

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Pour into buttered 9-inch square or round casserole dish and top evenly with pecan topping.

Pecan Mac and Cheese in skillet with pecans and tea towel

Bake 30 minutes.

Visit americanpecan.com to find more winter weeknight recipe inspiration.

Pecan Mac and Cheese Bake

Pecan Mac and Cheese Bake

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

With cheddar and ricotta cheeses, sour cream and cavatappi noodles, this Pecan Mac and Cheese Bake is an extra creamy, creative twist on the kid-friendly classic.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. In salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pot and stir in butter.
  2. Using box grater, shred cheddar cheese.
  3. Using food processor, process 1/4 cup shredded cheese with pecans to coarse breadcrumb consistency.
  4. Add remaining cheddar cheese, ricotta, sour cream, salt and pepper to warm pasta. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add egg; stir. Add reserved pasta water to loosen mixture; stir until smooth.
  5. Pour into buttered 9-inch square or round casserole dish and top evenly with pecan topping.
  6. Bake 30 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 483mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 13g

Nutrient values are only estimates provided by online calculators. Various factors can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.

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