Imagine indulging in the comfort food combination of macaroni and cheese, married with a classic pizza.
Yes, that’s right – we’re talking about the mouthwatering experience known as Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza.
This fan-favorite concoction takes the best elements of both dishes and creates a delicious harmony of flavors that’s perfect for a fun family meal or night in with friends.
At first thought, the idea of mac and cheese on pizza might seem unusual, but once you taste it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
In this article, we’ll explore several recipes that are inspired by Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza, guiding you through an easy, step-by-step process so you can create this heavenly dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.
With a few tweaks and personal touches, you’re bound to impress everyone with a pizza that’s truly unique and unforgettable.
As you continue reading, prepare to embark on an epic culinary adventure that will change your perspective on conventional pizza flavors, and make sure you keep an open mind as this scrumptious recipe becomes your new go-to for exciting pizza nights at home.
Table of Contents
- How to Make Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza
- Side Dishes for Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza
- Ingredient Substitutes
- How to Store Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza
- Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Cici's Mac and Cheese Pizza Recipe
How to Make Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza
Mac and cheese pizza is the ultimate comfort food that combines delicious cheese, homemade macaroni, and a crispy pizza crust to create a mouthwatering treat.
Follow this simple step-by-step guide to make your own Cici’s-inspired mac and cheese pizza.
- 1 pre-made pizza crust or homemade pizza dough
- 1 cup cooked elbow macaroni
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cheese sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- Olive oil (optional)
- Chopped green onions (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the pizza dough
If you’re making your pizza dough from scratch, mix the dry ingredients with warm water, then knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.
Let it rest while covered, then roll out the dough on a floured surface.
For a pre-made pizza crust, simply remove it from the packaging.
Step 2: Preheat the oven
Set your oven to 400°F (204°C) for homemade pizza dough, or follow the recommended temperature on the pre-made pizza crust’s package.
Step 3: Par-bake the pizza
Place the rolled-out pizza dough or pre-made crust on a baking sheet or pizza stone.
Optionally, you can brush the dough with olive oil to enhance the flavor.
Spoon a thin layer of cheese sauce onto the dough, and then put it in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until almost fully cooked.
This step helps ensure a crispy crust.
Step 4: Prepare the macaroni
While the pizza crust is baking, cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions or create your homemade version of mac and cheese.
Step 5: Assemble the pizza
Remove the par-baked pizza crust from the oven and evenly spread the cooked macaroni on top.
Sprinkle a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a cup of mozzarella cheese over the macaroni.
Add chopped green onions for an extra touch of flavor, though this is optional.
Step 6: Final bake
Place the assembled pizza back into the oven and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
Serve and enjoy your mac and cheese pizza, a delightful combination that fulfills both your carb dreams and the irresistible allure of cheesy goodness.
Side Dishes for Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza
When enjoying Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza, it’s essential to have a few delicious side dishes to complement the meal.
Here are some options that pair well with the pizza, along with a brief description of each dish and why it makes a great addition to your meal.
Cheese Pizza Bites
While you’re indulging in the scrumptious Mac and Cheese Pizza, why not add more cheese to the party?
Cheese Pizza Bites are bite-sized versions of classic cheese pizza.
They come with a crispy crust, melted mozzarella cheese, and a tangy tomato sauce, making them the perfect appetizer or side dish for sharing.
They bring a familiar taste to the table while contrasting with the creaminess of Mac and Cheese Pizza.
A Caesar Salad is a refreshing and light side dish that cuts through the richness of the Mac and Cheese Pizza.
The crisp romaine lettuce, creamy Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons, and Parmesan cheese create a satisfying mix of textures and flavors.
You’ll appreciate the contrast this salad provides and love how it balances out your meal.
Garlic Breadsticks are always a crowd-pleaser and a great accompaniment to pizza.
The warm, buttery breadsticks seasoned with garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese make a great addition to Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza.
They’re perfect for dipping into extra cheese sauce or enjoying on their own as a savory side.
Buffalo Chicken Wings
For those who crave a side with a bit of a kick, Buffalo Chicken Wings are the way to go.
These wings, coated in a tangy, spicy sauce, offer a burst of flavor that pairs well with the creaminess of Mac and Cheese Pizza.
They make an excellent option for adding some heat to your meal while still complementing the main dish.
To make the most of your Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza experience, don’t forget to include some of these tasty side dishes.
They will not only enhance the flavors of the pizza but also create a well-rounded and satisfying meal.
When making Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza, you can get creative with the ingredients to suit your preferences.
Here are a few ingredient substitutes that you can consider for your homemade mac and cheese pizza recipe:
Store-bought Pizza Crust
If you don’t have the time or equipment to make your pizza crust from scratch, feel free to use a store-bought pizza crust as a substitute.
You can choose from different types of crusts, such as thin or thick, or go for gluten-free options if needed.
Pre-made pizza crusts can save you time and effort while still providing a tasty base for your mac and cheese pizza.
Different Pasta Shapes
While elbow macaroni is commonly used in mac and cheese recipes, you can easily replace it with other pasta shapes.
Options like shells, penne, or rotini can work well since they hold cheese sauce effectively.
Experiment to find the pasta shape that works best for your taste.
Cheese Sauce Alternatives
The cheese sauce is a vital component in mac and cheese pizza, and if you can’t find Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce or want to try something different, there are plenty of options.
You can use a velveeta cheese sauce, Tostitos cheese sauce, or even a homemade blend of cheeses like cheddar, gouda, or mozzarella to create your unique cheese sauce.
For those who require a dairy-free option, you can use various vegan or dairy-free cheese alternatives.
Brands like Daiya, Chao, and Follow Your Heart produce cheese substitutes made from plant-based ingredients.
They still provide the creamy texture and cheesy flavor required for a delicious mac and cheese pizza.
Add Extra Toppings
Although mac and cheese pizza may seem complete with just pasta and cheese, feel free to customize the toppings to elevate the dish further.
For instance, you can add chopped green onions or cooked vegetables like broccoli to include some extra nutrients and flavors.
If you prefer a more decadent option, consider sprinkling some cooked bacon pieces or prosciutto on top for a delightful combination.
Remember to keep your mac and cheese pizza recipe adaptable to your tastes and dietary needs.
By trying out different ingredient substitutes, you can create a unique and satisfying mac and cheese pizza that suits your preferences.
How to Store Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza
Storing your homemade Cicis Mac and Cheese Pizza properly is essential to maintaining its taste and texture for future meals.
Proper storage methods can help you preserve both its quality and flavor.
The most common and recommended method to store your Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza is refrigeration.
Place your leftover pizza slices in an airtight container or wrap them individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out.
Store the slices in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
When you’re ready to enjoy a slice, you can reheat it in the oven at 375°F for about 5-7 minutes or in a skillet on low-medium heat with a lid to trap the steam.
If you want to store your pizza for a longer period, freezing is a great option.
Place your pizza slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them for about 1-2 hours.
This helps to prevent the slices from sticking together when they are in the freezer.
After the initial freezing, transfer the slices into a large freezer-safe zip-top bag or wrap them individually in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
Label the bag or individual slices with the date and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, place the frozen pizza slices on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
Pantry Storage (not recommended)
While it’s generally not recommended to store cooked pizza at room temperature due to food safety concerns, a cheese-crusted pizza recipe that doesn’t contain perishable ingredients can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
However, this is not recommended for Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza as it contains cooked pasta and dairy products, which can spoil quickly if not stored in the refrigerator.
To summarize, use refrigeration or freezing methods to store your Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza and ensure it’s properly wrapped or placed in an airtight container.
This will help preserve the flavor and quality of your delicious homemade pizza.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when preparing Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza.
Not Preparing the Entire Pizza Dough
One common mistake when preparing CiCi’s Mac and Cheese Pizza is not adequately preparing the entire pizza dough.
It’s crucial to roll out the dough to fit either your pizza stone or baking sheet and pinch up the edges to create a proper crust.
This will ensure that your pizza has a solid foundation and prevent any toppings from spilling over during the baking process.
Using Homemade Pizza Dough
While using homemade pizza dough can be a delicious touch, it can also lead to inconsistencies in the final product.
To achieve the closest result to Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza, consider using refrigerated store-bought pizza dough.
This will save you time and provide a consistent thickness and texture to your pizza.
Overcooking the Macaroni
When preparing your macaroni for the pizza, be careful not to overcook it.
Since the pasta will also bake on the pizza, it’s best to cook it until al dente.
Overcooked macaroni can become mushy and lose its shape when combined with the cheese sauce and baked on the pizza.
Skimping on Sauce and Cheese
A key component of Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza is the cheese sauce.
Make sure to use a sufficient amount of cheese sauce on the base of your pizza dough to provide adequate flavor and creaminess.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to be generous with the mozzarella on top, as it will contribute to that delicious, cheesy, and gooey texture that makes this pizza irresistible.
Overbaking the pizza
Finally, take care not to overbake your pizza.
Baking it at the right temperature (450°F) and duration (7-10 minutes) will yield the perfect golden cheese and crisp crust.
Overbaking the pizza can result in a dry and unappetizing final product.
By avoiding these common mistakes and following the proper steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a delicious Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza in the comfort of your own home.
Cici's Mac and Cheese Pizza Recipe
- 1 pizza stone or baking sheet
- 1 pre-made pizza crust or homemade pizza dough
- 1 cup elbow macaroni
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- cheese sauce store-bought or homemade
- olive oil optional
- chopped green onions optional
- If you're making your pizza dough from scratch, mix the dry ingredients with warm water, then knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. Let it rest while covered, then roll out the dough on a floured surface. For a pre-made pizza crust, simply remove it from the packaging.
- Set your oven to 400°F (204°C) for a homemade pizza dough or follow the recommended temperature on the pre-made pizza crust's package.
- Place the rolled-out pizza dough or pre-made crust on a baking sheet or pizza stone. Optionally, you can brush the dough with olive oil to enhance the flavor. Spoon a thin layer of cheese sauce onto the dough, and then put it in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until almost fully cooked. This step helps ensure a crispy crust.
- While the pizza crust is baking, cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions or create your homemade version of mac and cheese.
- Remove the par-baked pizza crust from the oven and evenly spread the cooked macaroni on top. Sprinkle a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a cup of mozzarella cheese over the macaroni. Add chopped green onions for an extra touch of flavor, though this is optional.
- Place the assembled pizza back into the oven and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.