Try This Breakfast Mac and Cheese

Try This Breakfast Mac and Cheese

I have great news, pasta fam: Contrary to what you may have been told, mac and cheese can be breakfast. Not even as a throw-caution-to-the-wind statement of “I do what I want,” but as a hearty start to your day, and a smart way to use up leftover pasta. I should also mention it takes mere minutes to make. Start your day like a responsible adult, with a heaping bowl of breakfast mac and cheese. 

At first glance, the star of this dish seems to be loads of cheese to make a heavy sauce. You’re not wrong—cheese is indeed a key player—but soft scrambled eggs are actually the unsung hero, making up a good portion of the sauce and bulking up the consistency. The eggs paired with the right combination of cheeses blend together into small curds that coat the pasta. When you scoop it up, the cheese pulls and melts, and it tastes like a creamy indulgence—just like mac and cheese should—with the added bonus of protein from the eggs. 

How to make breakfast mac and cheese

To start, prepare your combination of cheeses. Just as a grilled cheese sandwich relies on its dairy, so does a good mac. Different cheeses act differently under heat—some are more stretchy, others are ideal for melting, and some don’t melt at all. I like a lot of melt and a little stretch, so I reached for a soft havarti, some cheddar, and a spoonful of cream cheese to create a saucy base. 

Whisk two eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt. In a frying pan, melt a teaspoon of butter over medium-low heat. Add in the cold leftover pasta and let it develop some crispy spots. If your pasta has congealed into an indestructible brick, add a teaspoon of water and cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes. The humidity will help loosen up the pasta. 

I cut up a chicken sausage and added it to the pan at this stage. Once the eggs go in, the dish finishes up in a snap, so if you want to add any veggies, meats, or seasonings, add it now while the pasta heats up. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula. When you see some crispy brown sections show up on the noodles, add the cheeses. Stir them in with the other ingredients, and then pour in the eggs. 

Turn off the heat right after you add the eggs and stir to combine. Cover the pan with a lid and leave it on the warm burner for two or three minutes. This will continue to cook the eggs gently and melt the cheeses thoroughly. If you leave the heat on, the eggs will cook (and probably overcook) before the cheese warms through. It’ll still taste good, but you won’t get the same creamy texture. 

Take the lid off and stir the mixture again. I topped it all off with chopped chives (because, vegetables), and heaped the golden mass into a bowl. This is a great breakfast to make if you have a container of leftover pasta, but you can also just boil up some fresh noods real quick if you have a hankering. Feel free to personalize the add-ins beyond sausage chunks. Add frozen peas, chopped peppers, or cooked bacon instead.

Breakfast Mac and Cheese recipe

What you’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon butter 
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup of leftover, cooked pasta
  • 1 sausage patty, chopped (or other add-ins)
  • 1 ounce of havarti cheese, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • Garnish with chopped chives


1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and set aside. Heat a frying pan over medium-low and add the butter. Add the leftover pasta and chopped sausage (or whatever add-ins you’re using) with a pinch of salt, and stir with a rubber spatula. 

2. Once the pasta begins to brown in areas, add in the chopped havarti, shredded cheddar, and cream cheese. Stir briefly before pouring in the whisked eggs. Turn off the heat and stir the mixture for a moment.

3. Cover the pan with a well-fitting lid and let it sit on the warm burner for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and stir the mac and cheese. The cheese should all have melted through and the eggs should be cooked and blending in with the cheese. If the mixture is more wet than you prefer, cover it again and you can even snap on the heat for another minute or so. Garnish with chopped chives and enjoy while warm. 

Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

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