Secret Recipe Club: Fancy Mac N' Cheese

It's that time of the month again that I look forward to. Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! Whoop Whoop! This has been such a fun group to be a part of. Click the link above to check out how it works.

This month I was assigned the blog Without Adornment. The Blog's author, Bean, seems like a pretty amazing lady. She graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Can we just pause and say "WOW"! She loves baking/cooking and photography (sounds like a woman after my own heart). Please take a few minutes to read her "About Me" page because there are too many wonderful things to put here. I was excited to receive her blog because it had many gluten free and other "free" dishes which I'm always spreading my wings and trying out. 

I saved several recipes to my "secret" Secret Recipe Club board on Pinterest, but finally decided on her Fancy Mac n' Cheese because my hubby came home from the local feed store saying the owners had given him a package of beef to try. They sell beef cows (I think they're called Scottish Highland Cattle). So that made my decision very easy. The funny thing was, when I made it my hubby and girls thought it was stroganoff. I guess their idea of mac n' cheese is different, which I get. To me it didn't taste like stroganoff at all, but it also didn't taste like "mac n' cheese" so I guess to each his own. Who cares what it was called because it was very good and very tasty. I was having a hard time finding the rice noodles I wanted so I just bought a box of whole wheat shell noodles since we don't have a gluten intolerance. I really wish I would have had elk meat because I love it and it sounded so good with this recipe, but hey, grass fed beef is the next best thing. 

So let's get on to the recipe:

1/2 lb. ground elk or other ground meat
1 1/2-2 c. mushrooms, diced (I used baby bellas and white button and cut them a bit bigger so my girls could pick them out)
1 onion diced (I probably used 1/2 c. or less diced)
2-3 cloves garlic
1/3-1/2 c. each of cream and/or milk
1-2 tbs. Cornstarch
Salt and Pepper
1+ c. grated gruyere cheese
1/2+ lb. brown rice pasta (the shell pasta works great, I used whole wheat)
1/2 c. grape tomatoes cut in half
fresh parsley

1. Heat up butter in a frying pan and saute mushrooms and onions until cooked through and reduced. Remove from pan.
2. In the same frying pan, cook meat until browned. add salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

(doesn't that meat look amazing! It tasted good too. nothing at all like store bought)

3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

4. In a separate saucepan, melt a few tablespoons of butter. Mince garlic and add to butter, cook until butter starts to soften and becomes fragrant.

5. Add cream and milk to butter. In a measuring cup add cornstarch and enough water to become liquified. Add to milk mixture. Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat and cook to desired thickness, adding more cornstarch if necessary. 

6. Add 2/3-3/4 of the grated cheese. Stir until melted. Combine all ingredients together in large pan and pour sauce over top. Stir to combine and heat through. 

7. Serve topped with more cheese, tomatoes and chopped fresh parsley.

With Joy UNquenchable,


  1. I haven't seen a better looking mac'n cheese recipe!

    I added you to the hop - Happy Reveal Day!

  2. That sounds FABULOUS Kristin! Happy MEMORIAL DAY, friend!

  3. Ooooh yum! Love the little extras in the mac & cheese! Delish!

  4. This has an amazing ingredient list! Love the grown up flare :)

    1. Yes, it does have that grownup flare doesn't it?

  5. Love mac n cheese! This is a great twist...Happy Reveal Day!

  6. Hello there COMPLETE yumminess!!! I am all over this recipe - d'lish! :-)

    1. Thanks. It was really good. I think it would be good with some crunchy bread crumbs baked on top

  7. That looks so good! Not like the mac and cheese I usually think of, probably better though. Great pick!

    1. I was a cross between a stroganoff and a mac n' cheese. Either way, it was really goo :)

  8. That kind of reminds me of a grown up version of Hamburger Helper. I love anything with cheese! :D

  9. I love grown up mac n' cheese or the good old regular mac n' cheese. Your recipe came out so good!


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