Mac and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs

  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Total Time: 50 minutes


Here’s a fun spin on a holiday staple! ​With cheddar and ricotta cheeses, sour cream and cavatappi noodles, this macaroni and cheese is extra creamy, extra creative and extra delicious. Sprinkle with a mixture of blended pecans and cheddar cheese to add a crunchy finish to this family favorite dish.


  • 1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounce block of cheddar cheese
  • 15 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons pasta cooking water


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Cook cavatappi in salted boiling water. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to cooking pot and stir in butter.
  3. While pasta is cooking, shred cheddar cheese on a box grater.
  4. Using a food processor, combine ¼ cup of shredded cheese with pecans. Process until a coarse breadcrumb consistency.
  5. Add remaining cheddar cheese, ricotta, sour cream, salt and pepper to the warm pasta. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add egg, stir. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons pasta water to loosen mixture, stir until smooth.
  6. Pour into a buttered 9-inch square or round casserole dish and top evenly with pecan/cheddar topping.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.

nutrition facts

Based on 6 servings

Per serving:

  • Calories500
  • Total Fat29g
  • Saturated Fat15g
  • Sodium730mg
  • Carbohydrate34g
  • Dietary Fiber2g
  • Protein25g

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