Halloween is just around the corner, and we think the Mac-O-Lantern is the perfect meal to create a little spooky fun at dinner time. Introducing the Mac-O-Lantern: a bright orange bell pepper, carved with the face of a jack-o-lantern. It’s filled with creamy macaroni and cheese, which replicates the light inside of a jack-o’-lantern.
You’ve probably made stuffed peppers before, and they are a great kid-friendly meal. This recipe calls for mac and cheese as the stuffing, and is comforting and exciting at the same time. Fall is the perfect time for this cozy homemade mac and cheese recipe. But if you don’t have time to make the mac and cheese from scratch, you can easily use your favorite boxed mac and cheese too.
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You can enjoy the excitement on your family’s faces when you serve up lunch or dinner with a side of Halloween spirit! If you are using these for a Halloween party and don’t have time to make them on the day of the party, you can make these ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before serving. Check out the mac-o’-lanterns details below, along with a homemade mac and cheese recipe you can use!
- 4-5 orange bell peppers
- Large bowl of ice water
- Homemade mac & cheese recipe below (or your favorite boxed mac and cheese if saving time)
Mac-O-Lantern Recipe Instructions:
To start, cut the tops off of the peppers while leaving the stems attached. Remove the seeds from inside the body of the pepper. In a pot of boiling salted water, submerge the peppers and their lids for 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove from the boiling water and immediately place in the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once they are cool, dry them off and place them back on your cutting board.
Using a small paring knife, cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth. If your peppers won’t stand upright on their own, you can cut about ¼ inch off of the bottom to even it out. The peppers should be tender enough that it is easy to cut and remove the pieces, but still firm enough so they stand up. Finally, fill them with your homemade macaroni and cheese recipe, or save time and use your kid’s favorite boxed version. Then top with the pepper lids and enjoy! Keep scrolling to see the best mac and cheese recipe!
Mac-O-Lantern Mac and Cheese Recipe
Mac-O-Lantern Mac and Cheese Recipe Ingredients:
- 1 box elbow macaroni
- 3 cups sharp cheddar, freshly shredded
- 1 cup Colby jack, freshly shredded
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp dried mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Dash of hot sauce
Mac-O-Lantern Mac and Cheese Recipe Instructions:
I recently made homemade macaroni and cheese for my MAC-O’-LANTERNS post, and realized how much better the real thing tastes! The KEY is to shred the cheese yourself. It’s a pain compared to buying already shredded cheese, but those don’t melt into a sauce because they are usually coated. So it’s best to buy a block of high-quality cheese and shred it yourself.
Here’s how to make an easy, one-pot mac and cheese. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it’s combined, then whisk in the water. Then add the milk and whisk until smooth. Stir in the macaroni and the spices. Simmer on medium for 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked to your liking. Turn the heat to low. Mix in the freshly shredded cheese and stir until creamy and smooth. Stir in a dash of hot sauce. Serve and enjoy!
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