Fall/ Recipe/ Sides/ Vegetarian

Autumn Mac & Cheese

Good morning lovelies!I am a firm believer that we are all hardwired to love and crave certain foods. When we get it in our heads, said-mentioned-food becomes an obsession. It’s something we absolutely must have. Like crack. Yes. Crack. We all have our own food-crack. 

apple mac and cheese

What’s yours?

For some people it’s a specific food, like chocolate. Or ice cream. Others pine for more of a general theme – like salt. Still yet, I know someone who can’t get enough alcohol. Let’s face it – 10 years working in the serving industry, I know a lot of someones who can’t get enough alcohol. 
Personally – I need mac and cheese. Alcohol is a close second. But primarily, mac and cheese.
macaroni with cheese
When that urge hits, nothing else will do. I lust after the stuff. The unparalleled comfort of the carby pasta and gooey-sticky-sweet-lasciviousness of melted cheese gets me every time. The only thing better than hot, fresh from the oven mac and cheese? Cold mac and cheese that I pick at with my fingers. There’s just something about the texture and the taste and the brain high that comes with it. And I’ll mow it until there’s nothing left to mow. Pair it with a good bottle of vino and I am one happy chicken.
And here’s the kicker: It doesn’t matter what season we’re in, there’s always a mac and cheese that fits the mood. You can keep it simple. You can spice things up. You can infuse. You can go swimming. You can ask for a heart attack. You can tie flowers in your hair. You can find an use for that excess Winter squash. You can Summer lovin’. You can soup it up. You can eat pizza. You can dine in Brooklyn. Or Vancouver Island. Or have a standard go-to. Or best yet, you can combine my two great food cravings.Mac. And. Cheese. My food-crack. I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve accepted it. And I will continue to inhale it until my dying day… And judging by the amount of cheese I must be ingesting, I don’t think that’s too far off. 

Autumn Mac & Cheese

Yield 4 servings


  • 8 Oz. Orecchiette Pasta.
  • 1 1/2 C Sharp & Aged Cheddar Cheese (the older the better!), grated.
  • 1 C Fontina, grated.
  • 1 Onion, peeled & diced.
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
  • 1 Apple, cored and diced.
  • 2 Links of (Smoked) Chorizo, chopped.
  • 1 Lemon for Juice & Zest.
  • Loaf of Day Old Bread, cut into 2" pieces.
  • 2 C Milk or Cream.
  • 1 Tbsp Flour.
  • 1 Tsp Ground Mustard.
  • 2 Tbsp Butter.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Coarse Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.


  1. Make the breadcrumbs. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees F. As it heats, throw the bread into your food processor and pulse until you have coarse bread crumbs. Pour onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with the juice of the lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for up to an hour, drying the crumbs out until crunchy and lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil for 7-10 minutes or until al dente, stirring frequently. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat a glug or two of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion. Stir well. Allow to soften and then add the chorizo. Cook through. Toss in the garlic, give it a good stir and let cook until fragrant. Chuck in the apples. Soften but don't mush, stirring frequently.
  4. Pour the contents of the pot into a bowl and return the pot to the stove, turning the heat down to medium-low. Add the butter. Once sizzling, throw in the flour and stir until the flour slightly changes in color and smells nutty - a minute or so. Gently whisk in the milk, ground mustard and a good helping of pepper. Turn the heat up to medium and allow to thicken, stirring constantly.
  5. Once it thickens, throw in the cheese and melt through. Add the cooked pasta to the pot and the chorizo mixture. Mix well.
  6. Spoon into big fat bowls, topping with the lemony breadcrumbs.
  7. Eat.


What’s your food-crack?
  • Diane Balch
    November 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I ADORE this recipe… seasonal, gooey and my whole family might eat it. I am pinning it and will haunt you if you don’t share it today on foodie friday.

    • Kristy Lynn
      November 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      Diane you are amazing. thank you!

  • Carole
    November 16, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Hi there. The current Food on Friday is all about pasta and noodles! There is already a great collection of dishes but it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

    • Kristy Lynn
      November 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      Thanks for the invite Carole – on my way!

  • Cheap Ethnic Eatz
    November 17, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Oh, apple? Looks amazing. Chocolate…well sugar. Alcohol second too.

    • Kristy Lynn
      November 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      glad we agree 🙂

  • Carole
    November 17, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Thanks for linking this in Kristy. Cheers

  • kirsten
    November 17, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    OMG I want this now.

    • Kristy Lynn
      November 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      me too, kirsten.

  • Lauren @ Gourmet Veggie Mama
    November 18, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    I LOVE mac and cheese. It is also my food-crack. That and chocolate… the darker, the better.

    • Kristy Lynn
      November 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      ooooh yes. chocolate also good.

  • Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies
    November 18, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    I agree with Lauren – Dark Chocolate. Bitter, dense, heavenly.

    If I had my way, I would have pasta, cheese and bread everyday. But then I would look like a mom shaped hippopotamus and THAT is certainly no good.

    So I eat vegetables. Grudgingly. I do not crave veggies.

    I crave pasta and cheese. That would be my total cracked out bliss meal. Like, if I ever offed anyone and had to request a last meal before I rode the lightening, I’d choose mac and cheese.

    Good post, lady.

    • Kristy Lynn
      November 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      HAHA – yes. pasta and cheese. and i certainly have days when i’m convinced i’m a lady shaped hippopotamus. i’m good with it.

  • Sam
    November 18, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    I’ve been craving mac and cheese…that and pizza are my cold-weather go-to foods. I think now I’m going to have to make it tonight.

    • Kristy Lynn
      November 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      yum yum yum!

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    November 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Mac and cheese is my food crack. Now I must go make it and satisfy this crazy craving.

    • Kristy Lynn
      November 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      it seems it’s a common crack. haha. we should make a mac and cheese “safe” house.

  • patience
    November 21, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    this looks EFFING amazing.

    • Kristy Lynn
      November 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      YOU look effing amazing!

  • Grace
    January 7, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    Looks yummy … what type of apple do you suggest?

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 7, 2014 at 7:25 AM

      Thanks Grace! It’s a huge hit around here! It’s best to use an apple that won’t totally mash up in the cook. Something like Gala or Granny Smith or Golden Delicious or any heritage variety that will hold up to the heat. If you’re at the farmer’s market, just ask the farmer. Or, here’a a helpful little page that will give you an idea as to flavors and texture: http://www.theyummylife.com/Apple_Fact_Sheet

  • Mara
    September 27, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    For the Chorizo, do you use Mexican chorizo or should I use spanish chorizo.

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 27, 2016 at 8:24 AM

      Hey Mara! Thanks for taking the time to ask. You can use whichever you prefer. Generally I like Spanish chorizo because Spanish food has always been an inspiration to me. But like all my recipes, it really just depends on your personal preferences. Good luck with the recipe! Please let me know how you like it 🙂 Happy Tuesday!
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Oven BBQ Ribs with Rub & Fiery Apricot Bourbon Homemade BBQ SauceMy Profile

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