Croque Monsieur Mac and Cheese

Croque Monsieur Mac & Cheese

Speaking of those really healthy meals we’ve been eating that I discussed in this post….ahem.

Well, this one’s healthy-ish. We all deserve a treat once in a while, right?!

Mac and Cheese made from scratch is ALWAYS better for you than a box of the stuff with that weird, powdered cheese, anyways.

In this recipe, I used skim milk instead of whole, really nice quality cheese, and whole wheat noodles. When you make things yourself, you can control all of those little details to accomodate YOU.

If you’ve never had a Croque Monsieur before, let me give you a little description as to what this perfect little French cafe snack is. Smooth, creamy gruyere cheese, salty paper thin slices of delicious ham, sandwiched between two gorgeous, thick pieces of white bread, and butter grilled to absolute crispy perfection. A French grilled cheese, in a sense.

So, why not put those ingredients in a Macaroni and Cheese? OUI, sounds good to me!

Croque Monsieur Mac & Cheese

Croque Monsieur Mac and Cheese

Serves 4-6

What You’ll Need:

+1/2 pound ziti noodles (I used whole wheat)

+ 2 cups milk (I used skim)
+ 2 cups grated gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
+ 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
+ 2 eggs
+ 3 slices white or wheat sandwich bread, diced
+ 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
+ 1 medium onion, diced
+ 1 clove garlic, minced
+ 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
+ Pinch of cayenne pepper
+ Dash freshly grated nutmeg
+ Kosher salt
+ 8 ounces thinly sliced deli ham

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; toss with 1/4 cup milk.
Meanwhile, combine both cheeses in a bowl. Beat 1/4 cup milk and the eggs in another bowl; fold in the bread and add half of the cheese.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until just brown, 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, cayenne, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 3/4 cup water and the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk; bring to a boil, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk to cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining cheese, then add the pasta and toss.
Butter a shallow casserole dish. Add half of the pasta, top with some of the ham and cover with the remaining pasta. Top with the remaining ham, then cover with the bread mixture. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

Croque Monsieur Mac & Cheese

Recipe adapted from Here

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