I grew up eating lots of mac and cheese, and it's still one of my favorite things to make to remind me of home. This no-boil, stress-free mac and cheese is perfect for the day after Thanksgiving, and it tastes incredible.
Swap option: Use quick-cooking for a shorter cooking time. If you can't find garlic butter flavored Ritz crackers, plain is fine too.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 pound elbow noodles
- 1 cup cooked collard greens, drained
- 1 cup chopped cooked ham
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup crushed garlic butter flavored Ritz crackers (about 1 sleeve)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.
2. In a large pot, bring heavy cream to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. When cream begins to bubble up, carefully remove from heat.
3. In the baking dish, toss together pasta with collard greens, ham, half of all the cheeses, salt and pepper. Pour hot cream over the mixture to completely submerge the pasta. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until pasta is almost tender, about 25 minutes.
4. In the meantime, melt remaining butter in a sauce pot. In a large bowl, combine melted butter with crackers, remaining cheeses, garlic, and half the parsley then season lightly with salt and pepper.
5. Remove foil and sprinkle crumbs evenly on top. Bake until pasta is completely tender, cheese is bubbling, and top is golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Remove dish from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.