On most days, I try to kick things off with coffee and a healthy green smoothie. However, every once in a while, is there anything better than indulging in a hearty breakfast, especially when, well, you might be a little hungover?
The holidays are coming and with all the cheery celebrations, I’m sharing my new favourite recipe for a game-changing brunch you can make at home to wow your guests, or just yourself. So skip the lineups, stay in, and stay cozy while you whip up this epic Mac and Cheese Eggs Benedict recipe (yeah, you heard me right: Mac and Cheese and Eggs Benedict combined!) served with a delicious Caesar to wash it down.
The inspiration to make this recipe came from my friends at Barilla pasta who had shared their ‘Macbenedict’ recipe with me. This was the first time I’d ever heard of such a thing, and all I could think was: how great would it be to spend Boxing Day or New Year’s Day enjoying this naughty but very nice meal with friends and family?
Naturally, after looking over the ingredients for the recipe — and reviewing other recipes for how to make Béchamel and Hollandaise sauce from scratch — I was determined to find a quicker, easier, lighter and healthier way to make this Mac and Cheese and Eggs Benedict mashup to reduce the guilt, without sacrificing the flavour.
Since I’m eating leftovers while I write this, I can say with confidence that this recipe is a total winner that will not disappoint, even with the reduced dairy. Seriously, even my very hungover photographer raved about the dish after we finished shooting these photos and he was able to dig in. He had no idea that I had tweaked the original recipe to make it lighter and healthier. All he saw was: eggs, bacon, macaroni and happiness.
Here you’ll find a “Gracie-fied” version of Barilla’s ‘Macbenedict’ recipe that includes quicker, easier and dairy-free recipe alternatives for the Béchamel and Hollandaise sauces, although I kept the cheddar cheese to keep some ooey gooey goodness in there! See how to make it below:
Mac and Cheese Eggs Benedict Recipe with Barilla
What You Need
For the Mac and Cheese:
- 1 box of Barilla cut Macaroni (454 g)
- salt for pasta water and seasoning
- 2 cups shredded or cubed sharp white cheddar cheese
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pack of smoked Canadian bacon
- 6 eggs (or per amount of guests)
- parsley to garnish
For The Spicy Vegan Hollandaise:
- 1/2 cup Vegenaise
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- juice from1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp Sriracha
- salt and pepper to taste
For The Vegan White Sauce (Béchamel)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 tsp (ore more) Good Luck Rub seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
What To Do:
- The day before, or at least a few hours before you want to make this recipe, cook the pasta for a minute or two less than indicated on the package. Drain the pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
- Once cooled, store the pasta in a sealed plastic container or zip lock bag and refrigerate overnight, or for at least a few hours.
- Next, make the Spicy Vegan Hollandaise. This is quick and easy to make with no cooking involved, so you can either make it the night before (as I did) or whip it up when you start to make the full recipe.
- In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients together and season to taste. You can use a small whisk to get it nice and smooth. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. Easy, right?
- Now, time for the bacon! On a baking sheet or in a skillet, cook your bacon until just before it gets crispy. We’ll save that part for when it goes into the oven, on top of the Mac and Cheese. Once ready, put the bacon on a plate with paper towel to absorb the grease, and set aside.
- When you’re ready, make the Vegan White Sauce (aka Béchamel). This is easy to do but requires your full attention. Don’t try to cook bacon, write an email and make this sauce at the same time, as I did, because it will only result in a burnt mess, very quickly.
- To make it, add the oil to a pot on the stove over medium heat. As it heats, sift in the flour while stirring vigorously to mix it in. Carefully ‘fry’ the flour in the oil for approximately 3 minutes while stirring constantly. This is when it’s easy to burn so turn down the heat if your pot is too hot. You want to make sure your mixture stays nice and creamy white.
- Add in your 2 cups of non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk) and continue to stir. Allow the space to gradually thicken, then, after after a few minutes, season with the spices (such as my personal favourite, Good Luck Rub), salt and pepper.
- Here’s when I get very non-vegan and melt 2 cups of shredded or cubed sharp cheddar cheese into the vegan sauce. This makes it extra creamy, thick and delicious! Once the cheese has all melted, coat the macaroni with the cheesy white sauce in a heated skillet.
- Once all is combined, chop up your cooked bacon and sprinkle it across the top of the Mac and Cheese evenly. Place everything in your oven at 350 degrees, and bake it for 20 minutes. You may want to give it a quick broil to get the top golden brown and extra crispy at the end.
- Before the bake is done, fry up your eggs. You’ll be topping each serving with one egg, so, you don’t have to cook six eggs if there’s only two of you. You’ll see in the images here that I only made three. One for me, my photographer, and my boyfriend.
- To serve, put a nice big scoop of Mac and Cheese on a plate, and top with a freshly fried egg, as well as the Spicy Vegan Hollandaise sauce, then garnish with fresh parsley. In my opinion, Sundays are for , so I would definitely recommend enjoying this delicious meal with a tasty Ceasar on the side.
Hope you love this one as much as I do!