Ham and Gnocchi Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-ounce) package gnocchi (potato or gluten-free varieties both work)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

Instructions:

  • Get started: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Cook the gnocchi: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook according to package directions (usually until they float). Drain well and set aside.
  • Sauté the veggies and ham: In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ham and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until slightly browned.
  • Make the cheese sauce: In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute to form a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 5 minutes).
  • Season and add cheese: Remove from heat. Stir in salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, sharp cheddar, and mozzarella cheese until melted and smooth.
  • Combine everything: Add the cooked gnocchi, ham and onion mixture, and frozen peas to the cheese sauce. Stir gently until evenly coated.
  • Bake: Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.
  • Optional broil: If you like a golden, crispy top, broil on high for the last 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
  • Let it rest: Allow the dish to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the sauce thicken further.

Tips:

  • Customize your cheese: Try using other cheese combinations like Gruyere, Monterey Jack, or smoked Gouda.
  • Add-ins: Stir in a bit of Dijon mustard, chopped spinach, or other favorite vegetables for extra flavor.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free gnocchi and gluten-free flour for the sauce.
  • Make-ahead: Assemble the dish up to the baking point and refrigerate. Add 10-15 minutes to the bake time when baking from cold.

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