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Macaroni Recipes (Other than Mac and Cheese)

Updated on December 18, 2017
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or under-used ingredients.

Succulent, spicy beef and tomato stew with macaroni and cheese
Succulent, spicy beef and tomato stew with macaroni and cheese

Macaroni is probably one of the most popular pasta types of all outside of Italy. Why, however, is it (almost) always served as the principal component of the same dish? Whether you call it macaroni cheese, mac and cheese or some other similar dimunitive, macaroni is usually combined in a cheesy bechamel style sauce - all be it occasionally with other ingredients - and served in a fairly basic way. While the popularity of the dish may make this fact to some extent understandable, it is still in many ways a shame.

Although macaroni is very different from spaghetti, linguine or even the often similar looking penne, it remains every bit as adaptable and can be served up in as many delicious, imaginative ways as any other type of pasta. The mission of this page is above all to showcase just a small fraction of the different ways in which this simple pasta type can be combined with a variety of other basic ingredients to produce entirely different macaroni recipes and eating experiences.

Dried elbow macaroni pasta
Dried elbow macaroni pasta

How to Cook Macaroni Pasta

Dried macaroni is added to a large pot of heavily salted water
Dried macaroni is added to a large pot of heavily salted water

Macaroni can be portioned as desired. A good guide I have found is that a coffee mug full of the dried pasta will generally provide sufficient for two medium servings.

Macaroni is like any form of pasta in that it must never be over cooked. One difference is that it will usually take less time to cook than many other varieties. Add it to a large pot of heavily salted, boiling water, wait a minute and stir briefly but well. Maintain a moderate simmer for about eight minutes and drain well to serve.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Measuring out macaroni for cookingDraining cooked macaroni
Measuring out macaroni for cooking
Measuring out macaroni for cooking
Draining cooked macaroni
Draining cooked macaroni

Have you ever eaten macaroni other than as part of mac and cheese?

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Macaroni with Stir Fried Chicken and Bell Peppers

Cooked macaroni is served stirred through chicken and bell peppers
Cooked macaroni is served stirred through chicken and bell peppers

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ready in: 20 min

Yields: One serving

Ingredients

  • 1 portion of macaroni, cooked
  • ½ chicken breast fillet
  • Olive oil
  • Handful mixed sliced bell peppers
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • ½ small red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pan frying chicken breast stripsFried chicken breastStir frying bell peppers and red onionChopped chicken is re-added to frying panCooked and drained macaroni is added to chicken and bell peppersFreshly chopped parsley is added to macaroni and chicken stir fry
Pan frying chicken breast strips
Pan frying chicken breast strips
Fried chicken breast
Fried chicken breast
Stir frying bell peppers and red onion
Stir frying bell peppers and red onion
Chopped chicken is re-added to frying pan
Chopped chicken is re-added to frying pan
Cooked and drained macaroni is added to chicken and bell peppers
Cooked and drained macaroni is added to chicken and bell peppers
Freshly chopped parsley is added to macaroni and chicken stir fry
Freshly chopped parsley is added to macaroni and chicken stir fry
  1. When the macaroni is on to cook, add a little olive oil to a frying pan and fry the chicken on a medium heat for two or three minutes each side or as required until done. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add more oil to the pan (if required) and stir fry the garlic, peppers and onion for a couple of minutes.
  3. Drain the macaroni well and roughly chop the chicken.
  4. Add the macaroni and chicken to the frying pan along with the parsley and fry for a further minute or so just to ensure everything is completely reheated. Season as required.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to lift to a serving plate.

Sausage, Salami and Macaroni Duck Egg Frittata

Mini sausages, slices of salami and macaroni in a duck egg based frittata
Mini sausages, slices of salami and macaroni in a duck egg based frittata

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ready in: 20 min

Yields: One serving

Ingredients

  • 1 portion of macaroni, cooked
  • 5 or 6 small cocktail sausages
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 3 duck eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 3 times 2-inch diameter, thin slices of salami, halved to form semi-circles
  • 2 ounces chilli pepper infused cheddar cheese, coarsely crumbled

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gently frying mini sausagesFresh duck eggsChopped parsley and crumbled Double Gloucester cheese with onionMixing initial frittata ingredientsFrittata is starting to set in the panSalami and cheese are added to almost set frittataFrittata is cooked and ready for platingFrittata is ready to be garnished and served
Gently frying mini sausages
Gently frying mini sausages
Fresh duck eggs
Fresh duck eggs
Chopped parsley and crumbled Double Gloucester cheese with onion
Chopped parsley and crumbled Double Gloucester cheese with onion
Mixing initial frittata ingredients
Mixing initial frittata ingredients
Frittata is starting to set in the pan
Frittata is starting to set in the pan
Salami and cheese are added to almost set frittata
Salami and cheese are added to almost set frittata
Frittata is cooked and ready for plating
Frittata is cooked and ready for plating
Frittata is ready to be garnished and served
Frittata is ready to be garnished and served
  1. When the macaroni is on to cook, heat a little oil in a 10" omelette pan and gently fry the sausages, turning frequently, for about five or six minutes until done. Remove to a plate.
  2. Beat the duck eggs in a bowl. Drain the macaroni thoroughly through a colander and add to the beaten eggs along with the sausages, most of the parsley and some salt and pepper.
  3. Put your grill/broiler on to preheat to maximum.
  4. Add a little more oil to the frying pan and bring up to a medium to high heat before pouring in the egg mixture.
  5. Carefully work the contents of the pan with a spatula, just until the eggs start to set. Try to ensure the sausages and macaroni are evenly dispersed around the pan. Reduce the heat under the pan to low to medium.
  6. When the frittata is almost but not quite set, lay on the half slices of salami at even intervals and scatter with the crumbled cheese. Put the pan under the grill/broiler until the egg is fully set and the cheese melted. This should only take about a minute.
  7. Carefully slide the frittata on to a plate and scatter with the remaining parsley.

Macaroni in Tomato Sauce with Herring

Pan fried herring fillets on a bed of macaroni in simple tomato sauce
Pan fried herring fillets on a bed of macaroni in simple tomato sauce

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ready in: 25 min

Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • 2 portions of macaroni, cooked
  • 8 ounce can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated or crushed
  • Olive oil
  • 4 herring fillets (skin on)
  • Flour for dusting
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Simple tomato sauce ingredientsStarting to prepare basic tomato saucePatting herring fillets in flourStarting to fry herring fillets in olive oilCooked macaroni is stirred in to tomato sauceMacaroni and tomato sauce is laid in the bottom of a deep serving plateCooked herring fillets are laid on top of the macaroni
Simple tomato sauce ingredients
Simple tomato sauce ingredients
Starting to prepare basic tomato sauce
Starting to prepare basic tomato sauce
Patting herring fillets in flour
Patting herring fillets in flour
Starting to fry herring fillets in olive oil
Starting to fry herring fillets in olive oil
Cooked macaroni is stirred in to tomato sauce
Cooked macaroni is stirred in to tomato sauce
Macaroni and tomato sauce is laid in the bottom of a deep serving plate
Macaroni and tomato sauce is laid in the bottom of a deep serving plate
Cooked herring fillets are laid on top of the macaroni
Cooked herring fillets are laid on top of the macaroni
  1. In this recipe, you should start the sauce before putting the macaroni on to cook.
  2. Pour a little oil in to a saucepan and add the tomatoes, garlic and oregano. Season. Bring to the gentlest of simmers for a total of around fifteen minutes until lush and thick, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
  3. Put the macaroni on to cook.
  4. Scatter a couple of tablespoons of flour on a dinner plate and season with salt and pepper. Pour a little oil in to a frying pan and bring it up to a moderately high heat.
  5. Pat the herring fillets in the flour on their skin sides only and lay skin sides down in the pan.
  6. After about three minutes or so, when you can see the herring fillets are almost done, turn the heat down to minimum and carefully turn the fillets to cook for a final minute on their flesh sides.
  7. Drain the macaroni well and stir through the tomato sauce.
  8. Divide the macaroni in sauce between two serving plates and lay two herring fillets on top in each instance.

Spicy Beef and Tomato Stew with Macaroni

Rich and spicy beef and tomato stew with macaroni
Rich and spicy beef and tomato stew with macaroni

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 2 hours 30 min (approximately)

Ready in: 2 hours 40 min (approximately)

Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • ½ pound braising steak, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 1 medium sized red chilli pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • ¾ pint fresh beef stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 portions macaroni, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, plus two large leaves to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Basic spicy beef and tomato stew ingredientsBraising steakChopped braising steakStarting to brown steak in olive oilBrowned braising steakChopped vegetables for stewVegetables are added to browned beefBeef and tomato stew is brought to a simmerCooked macaroni and pasta are added to spicy beef and tomato stewSpicy beef and tomato stew with macaroni is plated
Basic spicy beef and tomato stew ingredients
Basic spicy beef and tomato stew ingredients
Braising steak
Braising steak
Chopped braising steak
Chopped braising steak
Starting to brown steak in olive oil
Starting to brown steak in olive oil
Browned braising steak
Browned braising steak
Chopped vegetables for stew
Chopped vegetables for stew
Vegetables are added to browned beef
Vegetables are added to browned beef
Beef and tomato stew is brought to a simmer
Beef and tomato stew is brought to a simmer
Cooked macaroni and pasta are added to spicy beef and tomato stew
Cooked macaroni and pasta are added to spicy beef and tomato stew
Spicy beef and tomato stew with macaroni is plated
Spicy beef and tomato stew with macaroni is plated
  1. Gently heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a large pot and add the beef to brown and seal, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. This should take two to three minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, peppers and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the beef stock, stir very well and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cover and continue to simmer for two and a half hours, stirring occasionally and ensuring there remains some liquid in the mix. A very little boiling water can be added if required but this shouldn't be necessary.
  4. After two and a half hours, the beef should be tender and the sauce lush and thick.
  5. Cook and drain the macaroni and add it to the beef and sauce along with the parsley.
  6. Stir well, bring back to a simmer for a couple of minutes just to ensure everything is nicely heated through and spoon on to plates to serve, garnished with the cheddar cheese and parsley leaves.

© 2014 Gordon Hamilton

Comments

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    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Maggie. Now the macaroni and fish balls soup is a new one on me but I would love to try it! :)

    • Maggie.L profile image

      Maggie.L 

      3 years ago from UK

      These recipes look yummy. In Hong Kong, they use macaroni with a soup base and serve with fish balls and veg, etc. It's very nice too.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks randomcreative - hope you're tempted to give one of these ideas a try.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      As always, there is something here for everyone. Great job! I love the idea of making macaroni noodles with eggs.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Glad you like the layout trusouldj and I hope you enjoy the food as much if you get to give it a try. Thanks for visiting.

    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 

      4 years ago from Indiana

      i love the way you set this hub up. very nice. and the food looks extremely yummy.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks, Sheri - I hope you enjoy your dinner ! :)

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 

      4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Well I think that solves dinner tonight. Great hub! Thanks.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Pizza idea sounds good VVanNess. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy some of these ideas.

      Thanks ibescience - it really does work quite well as a guide.

    • ibescience profile image

      ibescience 

      4 years ago

      Liked your coffee mug of dried pasta tip, Gordon!

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 

      4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      We love macaroni in our home! We tried a leftover holiday ham pizza mac and cheese a couple of weeks ago. We just finally finished it yesterday and my husband requested more. I'll have to try this one out!

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