'70s Suburban Mac 'n Cheese


I imagine this mac 'n cheese - with a crunchy topping of wheatgerm - was born somewhere in the wilds of the suburban New Jersey in the 1970s. I can only tell you that we found it instantly addicting in the early '80s and it became the standard mac 'n cheese in our house.


  • 16 oz. ziti or penne
  • 8 oz. grated sharp cheddar
  • 12 oz. Heinz chili sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheatgerm

Preheat your oven to 350F and line a small jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

Cook pasta until al denté (do not overcook!). Drain the pasta, and return it to the warm pan. Toss the pasta with chili sauce,  sharp cheddar, and unsalted butter until cheese and butter are melted. 

You can bake the pasta in a 9x12 glass or ceramic baking pan or, if you prefer it crunchy, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/4 cup milk. Top with wheatgerm.

Bake at 350F for twenty minutes (or until desired crunchiness is attained).

jane beck

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