Station Creation Series | Loaded Mac 'n' Cheese
Created | 2020.03.18
Updated | 2021.07.26
Mac 'n’ cheese – one of our favorite comfort foods – is a simple, crowd-pleasing addition to any menu, and it's essentially a blank canvas! Sure, you have the purists, who want their elbow macaroni noodles untouched by anything but rich, gooey cheese.
But then there are those that love to experiment and see what they can all load onto the base dish while still making it taste just as delicious. Not to mention it’s versatile in and of itself – serve actual noodles or make it low-carb with cauliflower bits or other veggie-based noodles.
If you’ve just decided to add the meal to your menu but are worried about prep area counterspace – don’t be. This Mac 'n’ Cheese Station requires about two linear feet of space! In order to refrain on having an over-abundance of mac toppings, choose a theme or two and stick with it. Some themes to start with are Mexican-style mac, buffalo chicken mac, cheeseburger mac, pizza mac, or seafood mac.
Follow along with this station building tutorial. Let’s say we’re adding Pulled Pork Mac 'n’ Cheese – or try Chopped Brisket for a real crowd pleaser – and Buffalo Chicken Mac 'n’ Cheese to the menu. While an IntelliServ® or other compact warmer can keep your two proteins warm, the Mac 'n' Cheese Station will contain all of your additional toppings.
Step 1: Choose the base
Get the most bang for your buck – choose the largest base that fits up to 6 fountain jars! Because some of the ingredients you’ll be using need to stay cold, you’ll want to choose the insulated option (83600).
Step 2: Jars
Before you choose your jars, you’ll want to choose your ingredients. The SB-4 base can hold 4 standard jars, 6 slim jars, or a combination of 2 standard and 3 slim jars.
For the Pulled Pork Mac n’ Cheese, provide a choice of BBQ sauce and Horseradish sauce along with coleslaw – a popular pulled pork sandwich topping. For the Buffalo Chicken Mac n’ Cheese, you’ll need ranch dressing, diced tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles.
Six toppings need 6 jars – select 6 slim, deep fountain jars (83182) for maximum ingredient capacity.
Step 3: Pumps, ladles and accessories
Horseradish cream, BBQ sauce and ranch dressing will need pumps. Because you’re using a countertop station with slim, deep fountain jars, select 3 CP-F Slim pumps (85340).
Tip: The CP-F pump dispenses food product the consistency of ketchup, whereas the FP-V pump would dispense a vinegar-based hot sauce, and the TP-V pump dispenses thicker products like rich chocolate or caramel sauces.
For the coleslaw, diced tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles, you’ll need the proper lids (83184) and ladles (82976) for your jar size. Or, if you have a few spare tongs around the kitchen, skip the ladles and use your own equipment.
Each pump and ladle provides accurate portion control, so you can better manage your food inventory than if employees were to freehand the toppings.
Last, you’ll need at least 4 ice packs (100515), but if you want to have back-ups to use while you refreeze the first set, select 8 ice packs.
Don’t forget – for no extra charge, make sure employees know what’s in each jar with colored, engraved knobs!
To build your own Mac 'n' Cheese Station, you will need:
(1) 83600 | SB-4 Countertop, Insulated Base
(6) 83182 | White, Deep Slim Fountain Jars, 2 qt
(3) 85340 | Stainless Steel Condiment Pump for Slim Deep Jars
(3) 82976 | 1 oz Ladle, 10" handle
(3) 83184 | Stainless Steel Hinged Slim Fountain Jar Lid
(8) 100515 | Universal Ice Packs
Keep the shredded buffalo chicken and seasoned pulled pork right beside your station for easy access using Server's IntelliServ® 1/3 pan warmer with two 1/6-size pans!