Haitian Macaroni Au Gratin is comfort food at its finest, and this Macaroni and cheese takes it to a whoooole different level. On top of all that gooey, cheesy goodness, there’s a crisp golden topping that adds a satisfying crunch.
This gratin de macaroni is even better, it’s super easy to make with barely any prep time, meaning that this tantalizing dinner treat will be on your table in no time. Forget the boxed stuff – we guarantee our easy Haitian mac and cheese will become a regular feature in your home.
The type of pasta you use may not seem to matter too much, but each shape (over 600 of them!) actually serves a purpose. When it comes to macaroni, this nice size pasta is designed to cling on to as much sauce as possible, ensuring that you’ll get a delicious mouthful with every bite.
So while this macaroni au gratin recipe will work perfectly well with other types of pasta, Rigatoni is the way to go if you want a classic Haitian dish. However, if you don’t have it on hand, any short pasta shape like penne, fusilli, or spirali will do just fine.
As the pasta in this Haitian mac and cheese dish will continue to cook when you “broil” the top, it’s important that you only cook it until it is barely al dente, or firm to the bite. Cooking times will vary depending on the brand of pasta you use, although this should take around 12-15 minutes from when all the ingredients are completely incorporated.
If you overcook the pasta a little at this stage it’s not the end of the world, but the end dish will be a lot softer in consistency. Overdo it too much, however, and it will end up a cheesy mush.
Follow the steps exactly in the recipe card below to ensure that you make this Haitian gratin de macaroni, perfectly each time.
Cheese To Use
Our Haitian Macaroni Au Gratin recipe is highly adaptable, and really you can use whatever cheese you’d like. But a classic sharp (or mild) cheddar is a real crowd-pleaser, with a smooth flavor and almost unbeatable melting power. It also helps to give the dish that irresistible golden color.
Gruyere is also a common ingredient in macaroni cheese recipes, lending the meal a grown up taste with subtle sweet and nutty notes that the kids will still enjoy.
Other commonly found types of cheese (that are not famously used in Haitian recipes) you might like to try in this dish include Gouda and Monterey Jack. You could even opt for smoked Gouda to add an extra layer of complexity.
Haitian Mac and Cheese Tips And Tricks
Don’t panic if you think the cheese mixture looks too runny when you pour it into the baking dish – it will thicken up as you bake it in the oven, and when you let it briefly cool after cooking.
Finally, it’s important to keep an eye on your Macaroni Au Gratin when you put it in the oven. It can turn from golden brown to black and charred in just a few seconds.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
For this recipe we used the Rigatoni pasta. However, if you don’t have it to hand, any short pasta shape like penne, fusilli, or spirali will work as well.
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Macaroni Au Gratin
- 2 16 Oz. Box Of Rigatoni
- 12 Qts. Water
- ¼ Cup Red Bell Peppers Diced
- ¼ Cup Green Bell Peppers Diced
- 1 Small Onion Diced
- Salt And Pepper To Taste
- 3 Cups Cheddar Cheese Or Mexican Style Cheese Will Work As Well
- 1 Can Carnation Milk Plus ½ Cup
- 1 Tbsp. Better Than Bouillon Paste Vegetable Paste
- 2 Cups Grated Parmesan Cheese Divided
- Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large pot, bring the water to boil, add salt to taste. Add the onions and diced peppers. Cook the pasta in accordance to the direction on the box. Once the water has decreased to about 1 cup. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the Carnation milk, stir. Then add the bouillon paste, and 2 cups of the cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese. Stir until well combined.
- Layer the pasta on a baking sheet, top with the handful of cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese. Repeat the steps until the pasta and cheese are completely layered, and topping the the pasta with the parmesan cheese to create a crunchy crust. Bake until golden brown (about 25 minutes) on 375°.
- Let cool completely before serving.