- Frequently Asked Questions About Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- How to Make Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Tips for Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Variations on Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- How to Store Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese is a delightful family dinner that’s sure to win everyone’s hearts. Imagine tender macaroni baked with green peppers, onions, and succulent steak, all embraced in a blanket of cheesy cheddar goodness.
While you can prepare Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese entirely on the stovetop, baking it adds that extra layer of melty goodness. Besides, those golden-brown, slightly crispy edges crowned with shredded cheddar are simply irresistible! This dish can also be made ahead of time and popped into the oven 30 minutes before serving to achieve the perfect finish.
Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese is ideal for potlucks, especially as a hearty side dish. With 12 generous servings, there’s plenty to go around. And here’s a little secret: you can use leftover steak from a weekend BBQ to make Monday night dinner a breeze.
Frequently Asked Questions About Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
Why cool the milk mixture before adding the egg?
Allowing the milk mixture to cool slightly before adding the egg is crucial. If you add the egg while the milk mixture is still hot, it can cook the egg prematurely. Cooling it for a few minutes ensures a smooth texture when combined.
Why does the steak need to be fully cooked in Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese?
Cooking the steak thoroughly serves two purposes: it achieves a beautiful sear in the pan, and any excess liquid in the steak is cooked off rather than altering the mac and cheese’s consistency.
How to Make Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Prep: Preheat your oven and shred the cheeses. Reserve 2 cups of cheddar for topping.
- Pasta: Cook the pasta and let it sit in the water for 10 minutes before draining and rinsing.
- Veggies: In a large skillet, cook green bell pepper and onion in 2 tablespoons of butter until translucent. Then add the chopped, cooked steak.
- Sauce: Incorporate the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter, flour, mustard, cayenne, and paprika into the skillet. Whisk and cook for 15 seconds, then slowly add the milk while whisking. Add salt and pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove 1 cup of the mixture to cool. Whisk in the egg, turn the heat back on, and slowly whisk it into the rest of the sauce.
- Cheese: Whisk in the Velveeta and 1 cup of cheddar, followed by the rinsed macaroni. Pour the Macaroni and Cheese into your baking dish and top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
- Bake: Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Tips for Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Cheese: When making homemade Mac and Cheese sauce, use a blend of creamy cheeses like Velveeta or American Cheese, along with freshly grated cheese. Packaged shredded cheese has an anti-caking coating on it that can result in a grainy sauce.
- Egg: Be sure to cool 1 cup of the milk mixture before adding the egg, but keep the milk slightly warm. Adding a cold egg to warm milk (but not hot!) first is called tempering and prevents the egg from scrambling.
- Milk: The amount of milk may seem excessive, but it thickens while baking, thanks to the flour mixture, cheese, and properly rinsed pasta.
Variations on Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Cheese: Feel free to swap Velveeta cheese for chopped American cheese slices. You can also experiment with other cheeses like provolone, mozzarella, or Monterey Jack. Serve with Cheez-Wiz for an authentic Philly topping!
- Pasta: Try any small pasta noodles like small shells, penne, rigatoni, ditalini, or fusilli pasta. Avoid using very small pasta shells, as they can become mushy when baked. You could even use spaghetti for a Baked Philly Cheesesteak Spaghetti.
- Veggies: Enhance the dish with additional veggies like shredded carrots, red bell peppers, diced zucchini, spinach, peas, corn, or chopped broccoli or cauliflower florets.
- Meat: If you prefer, replace cooked steak with ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken crumbles. Cook the ground meat first and drain it before adding it to the dish. Take it to the next level with chopped, cooked bacon!
Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Prep: Use 4 cups of whole milk and 1 can of evaporated milk. In a 6-quart slow cooker, whisk together the egg, milks, flour, and seasonings until smooth. Stir in uncooked pasta, steak, butter, bell peppers, onions, and cheeses, reserving 2 cups of cheddar.
- Cook: Cover with a lid and cook on low for 3-4 hours, until the pasta is tender. When the pasta is done, top with the remaining cheddar cheese. Cover with the lid again and cook on high until the cheese is melted.
How to Store Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Serve: You can keep Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese at room temperature for up to 2 hours before refrigerating.
- Store: Once cooled, place Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: After cooling, wrap Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese tightly in plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight before reheating in the oven. You can also freeze it in a baking pan, covered tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked steak, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 6 cups whole milk (2% is okay too)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 8 ounces Velveeta Cheese
- 12 ounces medium cheddar, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Shred the cheeses, reserving 2 cups of cheddar for topping.
- Cook the pasta, then let it sit in the water for 10 minutes before draining and rinsing gently. This helps prevent it from soaking up too much cheese sauce.
- In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium-high heat. Add the green bell pepper and onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Then add the chopped cooked steak.
- Add the remaining 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the skillet. Sprinkle in the flour, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, and paprika. Whisk everything together until fully combined and cook for an additional 15 seconds.
- Slowly pour in the milk while whisking to maintain a smooth mixture. Add the salt and black pepper and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Remove 1 cup of the milk mixture and transfer it to a larger glass measuring cup or bowl. Allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Add the egg to the cooled milk and whisk it thoroughly until fully combined.
- Turn the heat back on the skillet to medium-low. Slowly pour the egg and milk mixture into the rest of the sauce while whisking vigorously to ensure even incorporation.
- Whisk in the Velveeta cheese and 1 cup of the sharp cheddar, followed by the rinsed macaroni. Stir to coat the macaroni in the cheese sauce.
- Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish and top it with the remaining 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Enjoy your homemade Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese, a delightful and comforting dish that’s perfect for gatherings or a cozy family dinner.