Baked macaroni and cheese is possibly the most comforting of all comfort foods. The crispy, buttery breadcrumb topping blanketing creamy, cheesy pasta is undeniable bliss and a much-loved guilty pleasure that recalls simpler times. Preparing the old-school casserole with cannabis is a perfect marriage of feel-good ingredients—plus this version is dairy- and nut-free, and it can be gluten-free with a few simple substitutions, so everyone can enjoy the gooey, kief-infused goodness.
- Box of macaroni (1 pound) or gluten-free pasta
- 3/4 cup olive oil or buttery spread (used in tablespoon amounts)
- 2 cups breadcrumbs (normal, Panko or crushed gluten-free crackers)
- 1 gram of sunflower liquid lecithin
- 2 grams of about 20 percent THC kief or bubble hash (ideally from a Cheese strain for taste, but any strain will work well)
- 2 tbsp. arrowroot starch (this is key to giving the sauce its “cheesy” texture, but it can be replaced with regular flour)
- 6 tbsp. flour (replace with same amount of arrowroot starch if preparing the gluten-free version of this recipe)
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
- 2 cups unsweetened rice milk (or other flavor-neutral milk)
- 2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Spread the kief evenly over a parchment-lined baking sheet or oven-safe dish. Cover with two sheets of aluminum foil and seal tightly at the edges to prevent any vapor from escaping. Place baking sheet or dish in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn off the oven, open the door briefly, close it again and allow the kief to continue to heat in the cooling oven for 20 additional minutes. Set kief aside, allowing it to cool to the touch before removing the aluminum foil.
After the kief is baked, adjust the oven to 350°F.
Bring four to six quarts salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook per box directions, minus one to two minutes to make sure the pasta is al dente. Drain and rinse in cool water, then coat the noodles with a tablespoon of olive oil or buttery spread.
Toast the two cups of breadcrumbs in a nonstick pan with olive oil or buttery spread and sunflower liquid lecithin, until brown and crispy. Thoroughly mix in the decarboxylated kief. Set aside.
Heat eight tablespoons olive oil or buttery spread in a two-quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the flour (or arrow-root starch, if gluten-free), two tablespoons of arrowroot starch and salt together and cook over medium heat until bubbling and slightly brown—about two minutes. Slowly whisk in the rice milk (or milk of choice), nutritional yeast, paprika, mustard powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed and continue to cook for two minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Thin with more rice milk, or thicken with more nutritional yeast.
Add two-thirds of the sauce to the drained pasta. Mix well and pour into casserole dish, topping with reserved sauce. Bake for 25 minutes at 350°F.
The recipe yields 10 servings with three rounded tablespoons of infused breadcrumbs, approximately 40 milligrams of THC each, or 12.5 milligrams of THC per tablespoon. Adjust the amount of infused breadcrumbs to dosage preference. If making ahead of time, keep pasta, sauce and breadcrumbs separate, then reheat the sauce with a little more milk before mixing with the pasta. Bake and top with breadcrumbs just before serving.
Originally published in the November, 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.