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Easy Skillet Mac and Cheese

Easy Skillet Mac and Cheese

Skill Level: Medium

Makes: Serves 4

Made With:

Organic Pasta Shells - 3 Pack


Unit price

We make our shells with Kernza®, a delicious, nutty-tasting perennial grain, and durum, a high-protein wheat that gives pasta a pleasantly springy texture. Both ingredients are Regenerative Organic Certified®, which means they meet the world’s highest standard for agriculture.

For a vegetarian version, swap the Canadian bacon for mushrooms. A tender but meaty type like chanterelles, shiitakes or trumpets tastes great with this whole-grain baked pasta dish.

Make-ahead: Cook through Step 6 and chill, covered, for up to 3 days. Bring to room temp while you preheat oven to 375° and make the topping. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown.


  • 8 oz. Patagonia Provisions Organic Pasta Shells
  • 6 oz. Canadian bacon, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1 large leek, sliced and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 7 oz. sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 3 oz. Monterey Jack, grated 
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg


  • 3/4 cup fresh shaggy breadcrumbs or panko
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter
  • ½ cup finely Parmesan cheese 
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Putting It All Together 

1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until barely tender, about 10 minutes (it will cook longer in the oven). Drain.

2. Heat oven to 375° with rack in upper third position.

3. Heat butter and oil in a 10-in. skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, 1 tsp. of the thyme, and Canadian bacon or mushrooms. Cook until leeks are just starting to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.

4. Add milk and cream and stir, picking up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

5. Sprinkle in cheeses, one large handful at a time, stirring until each handful is mostly melted before adding the next.

6. Stir in the rest of the thyme, lemon zest, salt and nutmeg. Stir cooked pasta into cheese mixture.

7. Mix topping ingredients together and scatter over pasta.

8. Bake pasta until bubbling and golden brown, 25-35 minutes.