Cheese is a delicious piece of joy that can turn all dishes that incorporate it into heavenly treats thanks to its tasty flavor and fantastic cheesy texture.
For years, it has been a popular ingredient for both commercial and non-commercial cuisine.
There are many types of cheese, such as cheddar, cougar-gold, feta, blue, and gouda, each with a distinct flavor, aroma, and texture.
Cougar-gold cheese has been one of the most in-demand cheeses worldwide.
You can take this decadent, creamy cheese one step further by combining it with macaroni pasta to make a mouth-watering mac and cheese meal.
Cougar Gold mac and cheese is a perfect dish for you if you want easy to prepare and delicious comfort food that will leave your taste buds racing.
This post covers everything you need to know about Cougar Gold mac and cheese.
It looks into the dish’s history, nutrition information, health benefits, preparation, cooking tips, storage, and the health swaps you can make.
It concludes with answering the frequently asked questions about this delectable meal.
The History of Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese
The exact origin of cougar gold mac and cheese is unknown.
However, it’s speculated that it was first made in the 1940s after the invention of Cougar Gold cheese by Washington State University Creamery.
Today, this delicious dish is the ultimate comfort food loved by people of all ages worldwide, with the potential to turn any frown upside down.
Nutrition Information on Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese
Cougar Gold macaroni and cheese get a bad rap for being an unhealthy indulgence.
However, with a deeper dive, you’ll find that this America’s favorite comfort food has essential nutrients which are helpful to the body.
It’s rich in numerous vital nutrients such as:
Health benefits of Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese
Maintains Bone and Muscle Health
The Cougar Gold cheese in this dish is high in protein, vitamin K and calcium, which are great for building strong bones and muscle.
It also contains whey protein, which is in many powdered muscle-building supplements.
Promotes Dental Health
Calcium plays a vital role in tooth formation, and Cougar Gold cheese is a good source.
This cheese also raises the pH level in dental plaque, protecting the teeth against dental cavities.
It Maintains Gut Health
Fermented foods like Cougar Gold cheese contain probiotic microorganisms that boost healthy gut bacteria.
This bacteria has a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels.
Cougar Gold mac and cheese has small amounts of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a healthy fat that helps reduce inflammation.
Healthy Blood Vessels
This dish is rich in an antioxidant called glutathione which is crucial in preventing age-related neurodegeneration and promoting brain health.
How to Prepare Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese
Course: Side dish
Servings: 4-6 main dish, 8-10 side dish
Tools: Oven, whisk, 1 1/2 quart baking dish, food processor, grater, and a large pot
1lb macaroni pasta
2 cups Cougar Gold cheese
2 sticks unsalted butter
Pepper and salt
6 cups water
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups milk
Step 1: Pour water into a large saucepan, bring it to a boil, and add macaroni pasta and salt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and let it cool.
Step 2: Make the topping sauce by melting the butter over medium heat. Add the flour once the butter has melted and whisk until all ingredients are well combined.
Step 3: Once the flour is golden, slowly whisk in the milk. Stir the mixture continuously for about 10 minutes to ensure that the milk doesn’t burn. Do this until you see a thick sauce on top.
Step 4: Stir in the cheese, pepper, and salt to finish preparing the sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta to make the sauce topping.
Step 5: Grease a baking tray and pour the pasta and sauce, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
Step 6: Bake the mixture at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until its brown and crispy is evident on top.
Step 7: Remove the macaroni cheese from the oven, and sprinkle cougar cheese and salt on top. Step 8: Serve while hot.
Total Carbs: 60g
Total Fat: 33.6g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5g
Cooking Tips For Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese
●Cook the pasta less than you usually would, between 4 and 5 minutes. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, and you don’t want it to get mushy.
●Use room temp liquids as cold ones take longer to thicken.
●Shred your cheese. Pre-shredded one contains too much starch, which prevents it from clumping, prohibiting it from melting as well as it should.
Making Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese Ahead of Time
If you decide to make your mac and cheese before time, follow the usual preparation procedure, but don’t bake it; instead, transfer it to a baking dish and cool.
Use a foil to cover it tightly and refrigerate one to two days ahead.
Before cooking, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake it at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Healthy Swaps for Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese
You can make the following healthy swaps for your mac and cheese:
●Replace plain macaroni with high fiber and high protein pasta made from beans or chickpeas to increase its fiber and protein contents.
●Add vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower to your mac and cheese to increase the fiber and nutrient contents and decrease the calories per serving.
●Swap cream and milk for unsweetened nut milk to reduce calories.
●Add diced chicken breast or other lean protein sources, such as tuna or beans, to make the dish more filling and higher protein.
How to Store and Reheat Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese
After preparation, cool your mac and cheese and refrigerate it within 2 hours using an airtight container.
You can also wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent bacterial contamination.
Though the shelf-life of your Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese depends on your storage conditions, they should last for three to five days in the refrigerator.
To further extend the shelf life of your mac and cheese to about a year, freeze it using heavy-duty aluminum foil, an airtight container, freezer wrap, or heavy-duty freezer bags.
Once you defrost it, refrigerate it for not more than two days before taking it.
You can further expand the shelf life of your frozen Cougar Gold mac and cheese dish by using a food saver.
This gadget removes air and moisture in the container or bag, prolonging the life of the meal and preserving the taste.
To reheat your Cougar Gold mac and cheese up, follow these steps:
●Thaw completely and then heat up on the stove.
●Sprinkle some milk on top to prevent the mixture from drying; cover and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds, depending on your portion size.
●Consume within two to three days.
Frequently Asked Questions on Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese
Can I freeze my Cougar Gold mac and cheese?
You can freeze your Cougar Gold mac and cheese for about six months.
Double-wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer-safe container or zip it into plastic freezer bags and place it in the coldest part of the freezer.
How long can my mac and cheese leftovers last in the fridge?
Properly stored, cooked Cougar Gold macaroni and cheese can last for five days in the refrigerator.
Put your leftovers in a waterproof container, then put them in the coldest corner of the fridge.
Is Cougar Gold mac and cheese gluten-free?
Cougar Gold mac and cheese is not gluten-free because the pasta has wheat flour that has gluten.
However, the cheese mix doesn’t contain gluten; you could use gluten-free pasta with the cheese mix to make a gluten-free Cougar Gold mac and cheese dish.
What main dishes go well with Cougar Gold mac and cheese?
Several main dishes go well with Cougar Gold mac and cheese, such as fried chicken, balsamic pot roast, and avocado chicken salad.
Can I prepare my Cougar Gold mac and cheese the night before?
You can prepare your mac and cheese the night before, then put it in a baking dish, cover it and store it in the refrigerator for a maximum of two days.
With the guide above, you can confidently prepare this drool-worthy Cougar Gold mac and cheese meal.
If you have some time to spare, follow the recipe closely, and you can savor this delicacy by the end of the day.
You can add it to any cuisine as the main course accompanying meat dishes, a side dish for lunch or dinner, or as an appetizer.
Cougar Gold Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 large pot
- 1 lb macaroni pasta
- 2 cups Cougar Gold cheese
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- Pepper and salt
- 6 cups water
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 cups milk
- Step 1: Pour water into a large saucepan, bring it to a boil, and add macaroni pasta and salt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and let it cool.
- Step 2: Make the topping sauce by melting the butter over medium heat. Add the flour once the butter has melted and whisk until all ingredients are well combined.
- Step 3: Once the flour is golden, slowly whisk in the milk. Stir the mixture continuously for about 10 minutes to ensure that the milk doesn’t burn. Do this until you see a thick sauce on top.
- Step 4: Stir in the cheese, pepper, and salt to finish preparing the sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta to make the sauce topping.
- Step 5: Grease a baking tray and pour the pasta and sauce, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
- Step 6: Bake the mixture at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until its brown and crispy is evident on top.
- Step 7: Remove the macaroni cheese from the oven, and sprinkle cougar cheese and salt on top.
- Step 8: Serve while hot.