Chef Jami Erriquez has given us a recipe for what is officially the best comfort food on the planet.
Cuban Sandwich Mac and Cheese
This standard mac and cheese has nothing on Jami’s Cuban Sandwich Mac and Cheese

It’s cold in New England. I moved here four months ago and now I’m feeling the chill in the air. Naturally when the weather starts to cool down, I want to warm up. The Floridian in me can barely tolerate anything below 65. I am dressing in layers and the temperature in my home is just as hot as a summer day in Miami. 

The cheese sauce itself tastes just like the sandwich.

Lately I’ve been making a lot of soups and stews. On this particular day, I really wanted pasta. As I was opening and closing my refrigerator to figure out what to make, I noticed I had everything to make a Cuban sandwich. And so the Cuban sandwich mac and cheese was born. 

Related Post: That One Time I Got to Make Puerto Sagua’s Cuban Sandwich

The cheese sauce itself tastes just like the sandwich. If you want to skip the pasta, use the sauce as a fondue. Serve it with some cut-up bread, chunky pickles, and leftover ham.

Cuban “Sandwich” Mac & Cheese 

1 pound uncooked elbow, penne, or any tube-like pasta
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon pickle juice
4 cups shredded Swiss cheese (¼ cup reserved for topping)
½ cup ham (I used a small ham steak) cubed
½ cup roast pork (leftover pork loin, cut into small pieces)
Salt and Pepper

Topping:

1 cup day-old Italian or Cuban bread, cut into small squares
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup diced dill pickle
¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese

cuban sandwich
The Cuban sandwich at My Cuban Spot in Brooklyn, NY is our favorite. Photo: Karen Vierbuchen

Preheat oven to 375ºF. 

Cook pasta to package directions until almost done. Drain, transfer to large bowl and set aside.

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Place bread and olive oil on baking sheet. Toss the bread and olive oil together, covering each bread cube. Next, bake in oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, In a medium sauce pan on medium heat, melt butter and whisk in butter, constantly stirring. Do not let the mixture turn brown. 

Add milk gradually and keep stirring until everything is incorporated. Make sure there are no lumps. Add yellow mustard, pickle juice, and Swiss cheese (excluding ¼ cup). Keep stirring until the cheese has completely melted (3 to 4 minutes). 

Stir about half of sauce into pasta. Add ham, roast pork, pickles, and remaining cheese sauce and mix again.

Place mixture in baking dish. Scatter toasted bread pieces, remaining cheese, and diced pickles. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

cuban sandwich mac and cheese
Chef Jami’s Cuban Sandwich Mac and Cheese. Photo: Jami Erriquez

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