Ventura Spice Mac and Cheese
Updated: Jan 6
Macaroni and cheese is one of those comfort foods with recipes that are often passed down in families. The way your mom or grandma made mac and cheese is often how you make mac and cheese. We’re not here to take away from your best mac and cheese recipe! Instead, this is another way to make mac and cheese. We especially like using this recipe when we’re cooking for a large crowd as it’s easy to multiply the recipe.
We call this recipe the two cup mac and cheese, and it’s made so much in our house the recipe is memorized!
2 cups of pasta
2 cups of cheese
2 cups of sour cream
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of Ventura Spice
1 - 2 cups of croutons
See two cups macaroni and cheese! (And seeing that typed out, we realize it could also be called one cup macaroni and cheese!)
When we first learned this technique it blew our minds! The sour cream simply mixed with grated cheese is so easy! And of course, adding our own twist with Ventura Spice was a no brainer as its herby savory slightly sweet flavor balances the richness and creaminess of this dish!
And the two cup ratio of this recipe makes it so easy to multiple this simple mac and cheese recipe for large crowds! As written, the recipe feeds 4 as a main dish and 8 as a side dish.
Vegetarian Mac and Cheese: This baked mac and cheese recipe is naturally vegetarian.
Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese: With a simple switch to gluten-free pasta, this recipe becomes a gluten-free macaroni and cheese recipe! SpiceTopia offers a delicious nutty flavored gluten-free pasta right here:
Pasta: This recipe calls for elbow macaroni, but really any pasta with nooks and crannies to hold the sauce will work.
Cheese: Cheese is what makes macaroni and cheese, macaroni and cheese! So what’s the best cheese for macaroni and cheese? Any really good cheese that will melt! We love to use a sharp cheddar as well as a nutty cheese like gouda. But we’ve been known to use 4 or 5 cheeses at a time! Muenster, parmesan, fontina, jack cheeses, even a creamy cheese like brie will work! If you have a few pieces of different cheeses hanging around in your fridge, macaroni and cheese is an excellent way to use them up!
Sour Cream: Looking for a creamy mac and cheese recipe? The sour cream in this recipe replaces a traditional bechamel sauce and turns out as creamy as can be. Forget the bechamel sauce, skip several steps by using sour cream instead! And the slight tang it adds is a nice addition to macaroni and cheese.
Ventura Spice: Our customers tell us they sprinkle Ventura Spice on everything! It certainly shines in this recipe! Created from the flavors of Ventura, this hand-blended organic seasoning blend has notes of onion, garlic, and herbs, with just a touch of strawberry and chile flakes which balances out the richness of this recipe.
Croutons: Instead of breadcrumbs, which can be plain and boring, we used roughly crushed homemade croutons. Find our favorite homemade crouton recipe right here:
The method for making this creamy homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is simple. Just keep these few steps in mind:
Undercook your pasta by 1 - 2 minutes. It will continue to cook as it’s mixed into the sauce and baked.
Do not use pre-grated cheeses for this recipe. Pre-grated cheese has added starch which can keep it from melting well.
Stir together the sour cream and grated cheese before adding it to the pasta. We’ve tried taking the shortcut of simply throwing in the cheese, butter, and sour cream at the same time and the sauce just doesn’t come together as well.
When broiling the macaroni and cheese to brown the topping, don’t walk away! Dedicate that one to two minutes to making sure you don’t end up with blackened macaroni and cheese!
That’s all! This is really a simple and delicious recipe!
Ventura Spice Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups uncooked macaroni
2 tablespoons butter + butter to butter baking dish
2 cups sour cream
2 cups grated cheese
2 tablespoons Ventura Spice
1 - 2 cups of slightly crushed croutons
Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 9”x13”(or equivalent) baking dish. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. After the water comes to a boil, add macaroni and cook for 1 minute less than the pasta package directs.
While macaroni is cooking, stir together sour cream, Ventura Spice, and grated cheese.
When macaroni is cooked, drain. Add macaroni back to the pot.
Add butter and stir until melted.
Add sour cream mixture to macaroni and stir until well combined.
Pour macaroni into the prepared baking dish.
Top with croutons.
Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted.
Place under the broiler for 1 - 2 minutes until the croutons are brown and toasty!