Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese is a perfect 30 minute dinner the whole family will love. This is a great spin on our homemade mac and cheese!
It is so easy in the kids to overbook your family with camps and extracurriculars. We have totally been guilty of this in the past. Which means that, just like during the school year, we need fast and easy dinner ideas.
This Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese will be one more strike against me from the good people of Philadelphia, but I think it’s worth it. (They still haven’t forgiven me for the Philly Cheesesteak Casserole or the Philly Cheesesteak Baked Tacos.) This delicious homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is fast and full of delicious flavor.
It is one that your whole family is going to love.
How to Make Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Boil the noodles. I used small shells in this, but you can use any pasta that your family loves. Just make sure to cook it according the package instructions and salt the water.
- Cook the meat. We used a pound of sirloin here cut very thin. Then we gave it a quick sauce in some oil.
- Sauté the vegetables. Add some onion, green peppers, and mushrooms to a skillet and sauté until they are soft.
- Make the cheese sauce. Now make a roux by adding a little flour to the pan. Whisk it in completely so there are no streaks of white left. Slowly add some cold half and half and then some whole milk. Finally melt in provolone cheese.
- Put it all together. Add the noodles and the sirloin to the skillet and stir to combine.
Cooking Pasta for Mac and Cheese
There are a few tips I have for cooking pasta. I know these sound obvious, but sometimes little things like this can make a really big difference in recipes.
- Wait until the water is at a full boil before adding noodles.
- Salt the water with a teaspoon of kosher salt.
- Mark the time on the box of noodles and taste the noodles then. They should have just a little bit of bite left to them.
- Drain them right away, and if you like you can rinse them in warm water so they don’t stick together. (They will warm back up in the cheese sauce.)
How to Make a Roux
A roux is the combination of a fat and all purpose flour. It helps thicken sauces, and is a great base to our cheese sauce here.
There are a few things that will ensure that your roux turns out perfect.
- Fully whisk the flour into the butter. Not doing this will result in a flour taste in the end.
- Use cold half and half and milk.
- Slowly whisk in the half and half and milk. I like to start with a few tablespoons at a time, fully whisking in the liquid before adding more. The whole process of adding milk should take less than a minute though.
Grating Your Cheese
Once again, I implore you to grate your cheese. Cheese freshly grated from a block will melt a million times better than cheese you buy pre shredded. A lot of times short cuts don’t make a big difference in the end result. That is not true here. Shredding your own cheese is worth every second.
What Meat to Use
For this recipe I went with sirloin cut thin – similar to what you would get in an actually Philly Cheesesteak. That being said, you could absolutely use hamburger here for a more budget friendly meal.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to three to five days in the refrigerator.
Reheating Leftover Mac and Cheese
To reheat, pull only the amount you plan on eating out of the refrigerator. (Leftovers shouldn’t be reheated and then put back in the refrigerator again.) Add them to a skillet with a little bit of milk. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add more milk as needed to get the desired consistency.
What is half and half?
Half and half is a dairy product sold in the United States that is half heavy cream and half whole milk. I you live internationally, you can replace the 1 cup with an additional 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream.
Can I use hamburger meat?
Absolutely. As mentioned above, you can use hamburger meat in place of the sirloin. You likely will just not need to use oil to cook it.
Can I use something other than provolone?
Yes! Mozzarella and Monterey Jack would also work well here.
Can I leave out the mushrooms?
Of course. You can easily leave them out without changing anything else. The same can be said for the onion or the pepper.
Other Great Pasta Dishes
If you make this delicious macaroni and cheese or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- 2 cups small shells (uncooked)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound sirloin sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups provalone cheese shredded
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. When it is finished cooking, drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a skillet. When it is smoking, add the sirloin and cook until for about 5 minutes or until browned. Remove the meat from the skillet and tent loosely with foil. Drain any excess grease from the skillet, though there is no need to clean it.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add in the peppers, mushrooms, onion, and garlic, then add the salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour. Then slowly whisk in the half and half and the whole milk. Bring the milk to a simmer. Stir in the provalone and stir until compltely melted. Add the cooked noodles to the cheese sauce.
- Finally stir in sirloin. Serve and enjoy!