Cheesy Ham Macaroni

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1 package (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
1/2 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 11 crackers)
Minced fresh parsley, optional

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add the cheese; cook and stir until melted. Stir in the ham, mushrooms and pimientos. Drain macaroni; stir into ham mixture.

Transfer to a greased shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs; dot with remaining butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

Source:  Taste of Home
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