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Vietnamese macaroni and cheese

Vietnamese Macaroni and Cheese

Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 lb elbow macaroni or 3 cups
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 6 medium garlic cloves minced
  • ½ medium sweet onion chopped
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp Accent Flavor Enhancer optional
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F, with rack in the middle position.
  • Meanwhile, cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat, add the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Lower the heat to low, stir in the fish sauce, Accent (if using), salt and cook for about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally to incorporate the juices, until the beef is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
  • Off the heat, stir in the reserved cooked macaroni, then transfer the mixture to a 9x13 pan. Scatter the cheese evenly across the top. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, leaving some space between the top of the macaroni and the foil. Bake until the cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes.


From: Tung Nguyen in Mango and Peppercorns
If you had a deep 9x13 baking dish that would work best. When I used a regular one, it was too full to cover without the foil touching the cheese on top. The original recipe said to bake for 5-10 minutes but my cheese took closer to 15 minutes to melt, so I added additional time here.
Also, the original recipe called for 1¾ lbs of beef, but I used 2 lbs because that was what I had on-hand and didn’t want to save/waste ¼ lb of beef.