Mac and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs

Mac and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs

Submitted by: Sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen, owners and founders of Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie bakery in Brooklyn

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 375 Fahrenheit.
  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





Sat Fat










If you liked this, why not try...

Submit Your Recipe

Share your tried and true pecan recipes with us and have them featured on our site!

Pecans possess many impressive health benefits.

When it comes to America’s native nut, great taste is just the beginning. Heart-healthy with power-packed protein, this nutrient-dense nut boasts multiple health-promoting nutrients and bioactive compounds. The pecan has rightfully earned its reputation as a nutrition powerhouse.

American Pecan

Find us here:

Follow us for quick and easy pecan recipes, nut news, videos, and more.