Recipe courtesy of Kelis Rogers

Zesty Whole-Grain Mac and Cheese

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 10 servings
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Mac and Cheese:

Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing the baking dish

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water 

1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta 

1 cup heavy cream 

One 8-ounce tub sour cream 

2 cups shredded Gouda cheese

1 cup shredded Havarti cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons truffle salt 

1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and finely minced 

3 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar

1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella

Cracker Topping:

1 sleeve butter crackers, such as Ritz, crushed

2 tablespoons butter, melted 


  1. For the mac and cheese: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the cream and sour cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the mixture begins to steam. Do not boil. Take if off the heat, stir in the Gouda, Havarti, truffle salt, jalapenos, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 3/4 cups of the Cheddar and 3/4 cup of the mozzarella and continue to stir until the cheese has completely melted. Stir the penne into the cheese mixture until completely coated.
  4. For the cracker topping: In a small bowl, mix the crushed crackers with the melted butter until coated.
  5. Pour the penne mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the cracker topping, remaining 1/4 cup Cheddar and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the crackers are browned on top, 30 to 35 minutes.

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