The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Potato Skins Mac and Cheese

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Level: Easy

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Description

Cream cheese and cheddar mac and cheese with a decadent crispy potato skins top!

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces, weight Baby Golden Potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil, Divided Use
  • 1 pound Elbow Macaroni
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 2-½ cups Milk
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 10 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Divided
  • 1-⅓ pound Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Divided
  • 1 dash Cayenne Pepper (more To Taste)
  • 12 ounces, weight Bacon, Cooked And Crumbled
  • 1 cup Chopped Green Onions
  • Salt And Pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place the whole baby potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Salt and pepper liberally and shake the pan a little to coat them with oil. Roast for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Then set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted water, according to package instructions. When done, drain it and set aside in a collander.

Using the same pasta pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted whisk in the flour and cook the roux (butter-flour mixture) for 1 minute. Then whisk in the milk until combined. Then add the sour cream and 8 ounces of the cream cheese. Bring to a simmer and whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Add 1 pound of the shredded cheddar and whisk until smooth. Then add a dash or two of cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the cooked macaroni, 2/3 cup of the crumbled bacon and 2/3 cup of green onions into the cheese sauce. Stir to coat.

Pour the macaroni into a 9X13 inch baking dish and set aside.

For the potato skins:
Preheat the oven to broil. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop of most of the flesh, leaving just a little potato attached to the skin. Reserve the crumbled potato flesh.

Brush the potato skins with the remaining oil. With the remaining 2 ounces of cream cheese, place a scant 1/2 teaspoon dollop of cream cheese in each potato skin.

Sprinkle the crumbled potato flesh over the mac and cheese. Then arrange the potato skins over the top. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar over the potato skins and add pepper to taste.

For creamy baked mac and cheese, place the baked mac and cheese in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, watching it carefully. You want the cheese to melt and the top to toast, but not burn.

For a more traditional “firm” baked mac and cheese, turn the oven to 400 F, and bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden.

Once out of the oven, sprinkle the remaining green onions and bacon over the top and serve warm.

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