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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Muenster Mac and Cheese Cooking View


Last year I was contacted by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board to see if I would be interested in participating in their 30 Days, 30 Ways with Mac and Cheese blog event.  You don’t really need to twist my arm to get me to make macaroni and cheese – I was immediately interested.  This year I was contacted again and was thrilled to have the opportunity to take part again.  This year the cheese I was given to work with was Muenster.  Now, I’ve always loved Muenster cheese, but I’ll admit I was totally stumped as to what to do with it in a mac and cheese recipe.  I did some reading to see if there is anything that Muenster is classically used for, but nothing really stuck out at me.


Muenster is a very smooth, mild white cheese and I knew there couldn’t be too many other things going on in the recipe or the flavor wouldn’t come through.  As I continued to brainstorm, I remembered being fascinated by Muenster as a child because I thought the orange rind looked really gross and I was shocked that it actually tasted wonderful.  My favorite way to enjoy it was simply on top of crackers for a snack.  Ultimately, that childhood snack combo is what inspired this recipe – Muenster mac and cheese with a crushed cracker topping.  I used Ritz crackers because I loved them so much as a kid, but you could use whatever you like.  I did have to try a few variations on Muenster mac and cheese before I got it just right.  Because Muenster is so mild, I found it needed to be the only cheese in the recipe or its flavor got lost.  The final recipe was just as I had hoped – rich, creamy, allowing the Muenster to shine and the cracker topping bringing back childhood memories.


Just in case you missed it last year, my entry was spicy mac and cheese – still a family favorite!  I am so excited to see all the entries this year.  I have tried a good number of the versions from last year and all were delicious.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.  I received compensation for ingredients and my time.

Muenster Mac and Cheese
Yield: about 6-8 servings

Ingredients

16 oz. pasta shapes
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. Muenster cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
¼ cup cracker crumbs

Cooking View

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions just until 1-2 minutes shy of al dente.

     

  • Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl.  Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave.  Cover to keep warm.

  • Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well.  Stir in the warm cream and the Muenster until the cheese starts to melt.  Mix in salt and pepper to taste.

  • Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish.  In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Mix in the cracker crumbs.  Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.

  • Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Source

  • http://Melissabakes.com Melissa (Melissa Bakes)

    I used to (and still do) eat muenster cheese on Ritz crackers! I’m excited to try this recipe, it sounds delicious!

  • Ashley

    I made your fontina mac and cheese a few weeks ago and it was delicious! But with soft cheeses like fontina and muenster, I had a hard time shredding it, do you have a trick/technique to make that easier?

    Thanks!!

  • http://www.hezzi-dsbooksandcooks.blogspot.com Hezzi-D

    Simple and straight-forward, this mac and cheese recipe sounds yummy! I’ve never thought to use muenster cheese even though I too love it with crackers.

  • http://keepitsweet.wordpress.com Lauren at KeepItSweet

    I really would not have thought to use Muenster Cheese for mac n cheese- looks like you really made it work!

  • Annie

    I use my food processor to shred all my cheese. It does well with any type.

  • Heidi

    I can’t wait to try this. I love muenster cheese. I think I have made all of your macaroni & cheese recipes you’ve posted. The mushroom and fresh herb one is my favorite!!! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://highplainsdrifters.wordpress.com/ Steve @ HPD

    All-time fave mac-n-cheese is the Rackhouse Pub (Denver) version, with about $20 in cheese per pot.

    http://wp.me/p1eTh7-bg

    Cheers!

  • http://www.melissalikestoeat.blogspot.com Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat)

    I cannot think of an event I’d like to participate more in….I mean, Mac & Cheese? That’s got to be one of the best foods on the planet! :)

  • http://chicagocuisinecritique.blogspot.com Chicago Cuisine Critique

    I love the addition of Ritz crackers to mac & cheese. I’ve had it before and it is fabulous. :) Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.happywhennothungry.wordpress.com Happy When Not Hungry

    Wow your mac and cheese looks so creamy and delicious! I always loved to eat muenster cheese on Ritz crackers when I was little. This is the perfect way to showcase the muenster!

  • http://www.melissascuisine.blogspot.com Melissa

    I’ve never thought to use Meunster cheese in mac & cheese. I’ll have to try this!

  • Sarah

    I love Muenster cheese — I’m glad it was your assignment. All through college, I made a cheese bread that called for mixing cubed Muenster, eggs and some herbs and somehow folding it up inside bread dough. It was really fantastic in a cheesy carbs sort of way — wish I still had the recipe.

  • http://thiswomancooks.blogspot.com/ Christina

    I love muenster cheese. How perfect for a mac and cheese recipe.

  • http://www.healthyeatingforordinarypeople.com Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

    What a simple, classic recipe. I make mac and cheese for my kids all the time (ok, I admit it, I sneak some too) but I have never tried it with crackers as topping. Looking forward to trying this one.

  • http://sherrystartscooking.blogspot.com/ Sherry Greek

    I have just started making homemade mac n’ cheeses! I love this recipe and will have to try it.

  • Linda

    Hi Annie, No matter what mac and cheese recipe I use, crumbled Rit crackers is always the topping! That’s what my mom used and it is a childhood memory as well as a favorite flavor. Glad you tried it.

  • http://www.anniebakes.net anne

    being a wisconsin girl through and through, i love my cheese and this is one of my faves! anne

  • http://www.neohomesteading.com cat

    My son loves “monster” cheese. This is such a great idea, I’ve made macaroni with so many cheeses before but never muenster. Great recipe I’ll have to try it.

  • http://www.mhgdblog.wordpress.com Morgan

    Um, delicious times 20? I cannot wait to try this! I, too, love Muenster and think it will be just perfect in/on pasta!

  • SAI

    does anyone know what cheese are similar to muenster that i can substitute with? Are all white cheeses similar? If i just pick something up that says white cheese on it, do you think it would work? Im actually in Egypt and I’m not familiar with all the cheeses here. Kinda confused as to what to do. I made baked mac and cheese a few days ago but i only used cheddar which was ok but i know it would taste better with a couple different cheeses.

  • Annie

    Not all white cheeses are created equal. I would probably find a different mac and cheese recipe that uses cheeses that are available to you.

  • Amanda N

    i tried this last week and, oh man! best mac ‘n cheese i have ever made! you really outdid yourself with this one annie. muenster has always been my favorite cheese, i can’t believe i never thought of using it to make mac ‘n cheese (my all-time favorite meal, haha). thanks so much for posting, i loved it!

  • http://www.eatmedelicious.com Ashley

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried Muenster cheese! I must remedy that soon. I love how you featured it in this recipe and the crackers on top are brilliant.

  • http://www.joyblessedchaos.blogspot.com Shannon

    OOOOO!! We love muenster cheese! I can’t wait to try this recipe. I found your blog through a friend Andrea over at http://www.dreawood.com!!

  • http://6colorstories.wordpress.com Lynn

    LOVED THIS! I made it the second I found the recipe. So easy to make. I made mine with penne and garnished with fresh tomato. Great recipe!

  • Kristin

    So delicious! My husband usually prefers the blue box mac & cheese, but said he really loved this homemade version!

  • Kristin

    I just won 40lbs of Muenster cheese at a meat raffle in Trevor, Wi. I go online to find a mac & cheese recipe so I could use some of it, and lo and behold, there’s a recipe with a picture of Muenster cheese from my town…Antioch, IL !!! Now I HAVE to try this recipe!