Ranch Mac & Cheese



The stress that swirls around me lately (getting ready to plant the vineyard being the main cause), and the many other responsibilities I have lurking, makes me crave comfort food.  I am so lucky to have some amazing support systems in place, allowing me to bounce things off of them constantly.  However, it doesn't take away my pining for comforting, cheesy macaroni.

I wanted something more than the "boxed" stuff my kids insist upon.  I wanted lots of cheese, creaminess and flavor.  I found it all in this recipe.  Not to mention I love ranch dressing, so what could be better than to combine it all here.

This could easily be turned into a meal by shredding in rotisserie chicken.  I think that will be my plan next time.  Until then I will comfort my cravings with this cheesy dish.  It works for me.  I think it will work for you too.


Begin by shredding your Monterey Jack, Colby and Parmesan cheeses.


Cook macaroni according to package directions, however, do not use salt in the pasta water.


Meanwhile in a Dutch oven, combine the milk, butter, dressing mix and seasonings; heat through.  Stir in Monterey Jack and Colby cheeses until melted.  Stir in sour cream.


Drain macaroni; stir into cheese sauce with the saltines.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Every bite is packed with flavor.

Print Recipe

Ranch Mac & Cheese

Recipe from: Inspired by Taste of Home | Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 oz) elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic pepper blend
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded Colby cheese
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup crushed saltines
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Begin by shredding your Monterey Jack, Colby and Parmesan cheeses.
  • Cook macaroni according to package directions, however, do not use salt in the pasta water. Meanwhile in a Dutch oven, combine the milk, butter, dressing mix and seasonings; heat through. Stir in Monterey Jack and Colby cheeses until melted. Stir in sour cream.
  • Drain macaroni; stir into cheese sauce with the saltines. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Post a Comment

66 Comments and 2 Replies

  1. leslie 1

    Oh my..I would have never thought to put ranch mix in mac and cheese!!!! delish

    Reply
  2. Voila!

    I was just sitting here wondering what to cook on Saturday night and I think this is it! I’m either going to serve it with turkey burgers sans buns, or, like you suggested, with shredded rotisserie chicken combined with it.

    yum!

    Reply
  3. Janine 3

    Oh my!! This is on my list to make next week. And the coffee cake is getting made on Sunday!! You are AMAZING!!!

    Reply
  4. dawn 4

    I want to dump ranch into my mac…that sounds delicious!!!

    Reply
  5. Now that is a cheese sauce to be admired!

    Reply
  6. Yum, that really looks and sounds good! Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t like mac n cheese–maybe I’ve just never made the right kind. Maybe this could be it!? 😉

    Reply
  7. sharon 7

    You know, I really like to think of you as my personal magician. I sure hope you don’t mind :) This recipe looks nothing short of amazing!

    Reply
  8. Lisa Sipple 8

    Oh sweet Jesus I must have this!!

    Reply
  9. You won me over hook, line, and sinker when I saw that cheese dripping from the spoon! Oh lawd almighty!!!

    Reply
  10. LilSis 10

    Wow! I’m craving comfort foods in a MAJOR way right now. In addition to work related stress, I’m trying to lose a few pounds and it takes every ounce of will power I have to resist dishes like this. I’m bookmarking for future reference.

    Reply
  11. deeba 11

    OH YES PLEASE!! This will work for me like nothing else…and how! Gorgeous Cathy!!

    Reply
  12. Sigh. For a girl who cannot have dairy or gluten these days, this breaks my heart…the good news is that wine is A-okay!

    Reply
  13. Debbie 13

    Wow, My Daughter will be coming home from College to celebrate her Birthday and I can’t wait to make this for her. She is a huge homemade mac and cheese fan! Many thanks for sharing, it looks delish!

    Reply
  14. Lydia 14

    Still the ultimate comfort food!

    Reply
  15. Fooood! Looks awesome!

    Reply
  16. I’ve been craving mac and cheese like CRAZY. I mean, like seriously, I want some of that right now.

    Reply
  17. Melynda 17

    Well now, doesn’t this look comfortable! YUM…….

    Reply
  18. Lena in VT 18

    Jesus, Mary & Joseph and all the apostles and saints, I want it…want it bad!! Making it tomorrow!

    Reply
  19. I love the dressing mix in here. Fabulous way to jazz it up!! Delicious!

    Reply
  20. Lisa 20

    Mac and Cheese is the wonder dish! Creamy and delicious. With ranch and all of those cheeses – we have died and gone to heaven! :-)

    Reply
  21. Joyce 21

    If I was at your house I would have to lick that dish:) Looks delicious and I like the addition of the ranch and the saltines. I made a new mac n cheese recipe this week but it was nothing special and this one sounds and looks like I need to make this.
    Jocye

    Reply
  22. The dressing mix is a fantastic way to jazz things up! Delicious!

    Reply
  23. Julie 23

    Would never have thought of putting ranch in mac and cheese. What a perfect combo!

    Reply
  24. Cheryl 24

    Gasp. I’m in.

    Reply
  25. Cheesy deliciousness!

    Reply
  26. Memoria 26

    Your photos are getting better and better and more and more tempting. I want this dish right now. YUM!

    Reply
  27. elra 27

    Classic comforting meal. Looks really delicious Cathy!

    Reply
  28. Mary 28

    Dishes like your mac n’ cheese make me feel 10 years old again. This looks wonderful, Cathy.

    Reply
  29. Sook 29

    Wow the sauce looks amazing! I’m saving this recipe as we are the biggest fans of homemade mac and cheese.

    Reply
  30. Oh don’t do this to me…I love Mac & Cheese but am surrounded by family that is severely ( as in almost crippling ) lactose intolerant or unable to consume the calories due to the risk of extreme weight gain. I think Mac & Cheese must be one of the world’s best comfort foods…

    Reply
  31. HoneyB 31

    looks so yummy & cheesy!!! love the photo with the cheese stringing down from the spoon. makes me want to grab the spoon and clean it off for you! 😉

    Reply
  32. I haven’t had mac and cheese for a long time, but these photos make me want some. Now. Easy to make gluten free, by using gluten-free noodles and subbing for saltines (I like to use gf waffle crumbs). Adding chicken to turn this into a meal sounds perfect to me!

    Shirley

    Reply
  33. I am at a loss for words. I love mac and cheese. I love ranch dressing. I think I might pass out right now.

    Reply
  34. grace 34

    don’t let stress bog ya down, cathy! if that means eating more comfort foods such as this, so be it. lovely idea and recipe. :)

    Reply
  35. We’re all ranch dressing fans here so this will be a winner for sure. Who doesn’t love mac and cheese!

    Reply
  36. Katie 36

    I just stumbled onto your site a few days ago and just about lost my mind with all of the fantastic things I am dying to make. I’ve read other similar blogs, but yours is incredible! Normally, I wouldn’t say anything, but this mac and cheese recipe put it over the top.

    Have a great Friday!

    Can’t wait to hear more about the creation of your vineyard!

    Reply
  37. June 37

    Wow – what a great idea! Looks full of flavor and cheesy goodness.

    Reply
  38. I love macaroni and cheese and yours looks so creamy and delicious!!! Nice photo!

    Reply
  39. Claudia 39

    At last! A mac ‘n cheese recipe I can actually make! No pulled pork! No 11 cheeses! Perfect. And enticing.

    Reply
  40. Sadly, my family hates homemade macaroni and cheese, forcing me to consume the entire dish myself. Of course I found this out after I had made it. While I could eat it all…I have to control myself not to. I literally ate it every day for lunch (and a couple of times for dinner) for a week and still had some left over!

    This certainly looks yummy, but I will have to make a smaller amount just for me :)

    Reply
  41. dawn 41

    this is what to eat when you have a bad day…clearly!

    Reply
  42. Bob 42

    Heh, my girlfriend insists on the boxed crap too. But that looks amazing! Love the sour cream in there.

    Reply
  43. saramariesue 43

    Oh man – my two favorite things. Ranch dressing and cheese. Holy cow I am making this tonight – perfect veg-movie night dish.

    Reply
  44. Lordy Cathy that looks good, reeeeeeal good.

    Reply
  45. Melissa 45

    I LOVE mac and cheese with ranch! Normally I just dump some ranch dressing into my mac and cheese…since a few members in my family are not quite as found of ranch as I am (crazies I say! LOL). This looks absolutely delicious!

    Reply
  46. Lea Ann 46

    How exciting! I can’t wait to hear all about the vinyard and good lord that mac and cheese looks so fabulous. I usually make my own, but that Kraft Boxed kind is so yummy, I think it’s got drugs in it. 😉 or maybe just a lot of msg

    Reply
  47. Dorothy 47

    Is there some way to print just your recipes without printing the whole article for the day?
    I really want to print the cake recipe.

    Reply
  48. I adore mac and cheese. I will add this to the ranks for my mac and cheese war.

    Reply
  49. annbb 49

    It’s good you have that support system! I was thinking you got maybe 20 minutes of sleep a day.
    And that surely is comfort food if I’ve ever seen it! Delish!

    Reply
  50. How I wish my hubs eat mac and cheese! Looks so good!

    Reply
  51. Absolutely FABULOUS!

    Reply
  52. Tammy 52

    I sure understand the need for comfort food these days. That looks so good.

    Reply
  53. I can’t think of a better combination. I am pretty sure I used to pour ranch on my mac and cheese at Luby’s when I was in college. This at least is more graceful;) Great post as always!

    Reply
  54. Ranch makes even good dishes just that much better. Yum!

    Reply
  55. I did a dish like this a few months ago, but it called for cubed ham which was pretty good. I think the chicken would be better! I love the ranch-y taste that it had!

    Reply
  56. This looks delicious! I’m not so sure my guys will eat it. But I’m gonna try!

    Reply
  57. Jessica 57

    Today is Sunday, January 31st and it is 4 degrees outside. That’s 4 F not 4 C. Comfort food is a must on days like this which is why I made this mac-n-cheese. It’s soooooooooooo good!!!! I plan to make this again and again. However, I would advise for those that live along, do not make a whole batch or you will be eating it until the cows come home.

    Thanks for the recipe(s).

    Reply
  58. martha 58

    gonna give it a try

    Reply
  59. Mrs. L 59

    I got a call from my mom the other day asking me if I had seen that wonderful Mac and Cheese recipe at Noble Pig. I guess that was a hint that I need to make this for her!

    Reply
  60. Jojo 60

     

    Reply
  61. Carsten 61

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Nice pictures as well. Anyway, I love Nac’n Cheese and feel hungry now!

    Cheers,

    Carsten
    food social network

    Reply
  62. Tiffany 62

    This sounds wonderful! How many servings would you say this makes? I’m hoping to adapt it for weight watchers (reduced fat, etc) so I can still try this yummy goodness but not go too crazy.

    Reply
  63. suzanne 63

    OMG. Just made the mac and cheese. Added just a bit more cheese and baked for about 15 minute. The best thing I’ve EVER eaten.

    Reply
  64. Allison 64

    Noble Pig:

    I made your Ranch Mac and Cheese tonight and it was beyond STELLAR. I am a M&C Queen. And have been on the ultimate quest for my favorite m&c recipe to cook – I think I’ve found the one. You ROCK.

    Peace, Love & Mac N Cheese.

    Allie

    Reply
  65. Carrie 65

    I don’t have a Dutch oven, can I just use a pot on the stove instead?

    Reply
  66. Victoria 67

    What do the saltines do for this dish?

    Reply

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