Easy Big Mac and Cheese is a creamy, tangy, cheesy pasta unlike any other! Loaded with special sauce, ground beef, and toppings. The best Big Mac in a Bowl!
BIG MAC AND CHEESE
Of all the many, many, “inventive” ideas that McDonald’s has come up with over the years, it’s shocking that they’ve never rolled out Mac and Cheese. Pizza, hot dogs, and chicken fajitas? Check, check, and check. But creamy, delicious pasta with cheesy Big Mac Sauce, ground beef, and all the fixings hasn’t made it the their menu yet. Perhaps this recipe will inspire them!
Until McDonald’s comes up with their own version, you and the family can indulge on this amazing one of a kind Big Mac and Cheese! The copycat McDonald’s Big Mac Sauce, American cheese, and cheddar cheese make an ultra rich, smooth, tangy, and creamy Mac unlike any other. Then it’s topped with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions for the full Big Mac experience in every bite.
The special sauce is the key to the Big Mac and Cheese sauce. It helps bind the processed American cheese and cheddar cheese together instead of needing a roux of flour and butter. Not only does this make the cheese sauce super simple to make with less ingredients, but adds so much flavor! If you keep Big Mac sauce on hand (and you should!), the sauce comes together in minutes.
Big Mac and Cheese is best served hot and warm, but leftovers can be reheated with a splash of milk to bring back the creaminess of the sauce. To make Big Mac and Cheese ahead, prepare the Big Mac sauce, ground beef, and chop the toppings up to 2 days in advance. Then to serve, prepare the pasta, reheat the ground beef, and make the cheese sauce, all in about 15 minutes.
Serve Big Mac and Cheese as a side dish for potlucks, BBQs, or whenever the kids are craving fast food. Leave off the ground beef and serve it with Homemade Beef Meatballs or Classic Beef Meatloaf. You can also serve this as a quick weeknight dinner with a side of Roasted Broccoli and some Dinner Rolls, topped with sesame seeds optional.
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VARIATIONS ON BIG MAC AND CHEESE
- Cheese: Swap in other shredded cheese like pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese for the cheddar cheese. Just be sure to shred it yourself for best results. You can use 8 ounces Velveeta cheese (cut into cubes) for the American cheese slices.
- Meat: Instead of ground beef, you can use other ground meat like chicken or turkey. Top with Grilled Chicken or cut up Crispy Chicken Tenders instead of beef, too.
- Toppings: Use any of your other favorite burger toppings for Big Mac and Cheese like crumbled bacon, diced jalapeños, or crispy onions.
- Spices: Season the ground beef with 2 tablespoons (1 packet) of Taco Seasoning or Ranch Dressing Mix for more flavor, or add spices like garlic powder, onion powder, or chili powder.
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HOW TO STORE BIG MAC AND CHEESE
- Serve: Big Mac and Cheese is best served hot and fresh. Keep at room temperature for no more than 2 hours before storing.
- Store: Store toppings separately from Big Mac and Cheese for best reheating. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate mac and cheese for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Cool Big Mac and Cheese and freeze with ground beef only. The other toppings don’t freeze will. Freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months and thaw overnight before reheating to serve.
Big Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound elbow pasta
- 2 cups whole milk
- 8 slices American cheese , unwrapped
- 1 cup cheddar cheese , freshly shredded
- 1 cup Big Mac Copycat Sauce , recipe
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 yellow onion , diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 vine ripened tomato , diced
- 2 cups lettuce , shredded
- 2 slices American cheese , diced
Cook pasta two minutes shy of the directions on the box then drain and rinse the pasta. (see note) Add the pasta back to your large pot.
On medium heat add whole milk, American cheese, cheddar cheese, big mac sauce to the pot and stir well until creamy.
Bring to a simmer, stirring well until the sauce begins to darken in color a little as the dressing cooks, about 3-4 minutes.
- Pour into a baking dish to serve and top with toppings.
Beef Topping (Make While Cooking Pasta)
Add beef, onion, salt and pepper to a large skillet and cook on medium high heat, breaking it apart as you cook, 6-8 minutes.
Let beef cool.
- Add the tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and beef on top of the cooked macaroni and cheese.
Note: Make the beef topping below while you're cooking your pasta.