The Best Baked Cheese Dishes

Because BAKED CHEESE.

  • Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese. Up until early 2010, great cooks everywhere were flummoxed by a nagging problem: how to achieve macaroni and cheese with the perfect ratio of crunch to cream. But that was before Food52’s co-founder Amanda Hesser created the “muffin-top” of macaroni and cheese. Half crusted and browned on the outside, half soft and luscious, it’s the world’s most perfect mac and cheese recipe.
  • Black Pepper Popovers with Chives and Parmesan. If you think croissants are good, just wait until you try popovers, their low-maintenance cousin. They’re light, buttery, and so simple that even you (yes, you!) can make them at home. Even better than your standard popover is one that’s been turned savory with flecks of pepper and—no surprise here—Parmesan cheese.
  • Broccoli Rabe, Potato, and and Rosemary Pizza. Ah, pizza. Is there any better way to eat cheese than when it’s bubbling atop a thin crust that’s rich with olive oil and perfumed by garlic? On this pie, soft mozzarella cheese and nutty Parmesan buddies up with potatoes, broccoli rabe, and rosemary for a combo so sophisticated that it won’t matter if you use a store-bought crust.
  • Spinach Gratin. The one surefire way to make spinach addictive? Add onions, breadcrumbs, and plenty of good cheese. The result is a gratin that’s your classic creamed spinach taken to a whole other level. Crack open a layer of buttery, crunchy Panko breadcrumbs to reveal luscious, cheesy spinach. And the bonus? We actually want you to use frozen spinach.
  • rittata with Spring Greens, Parmesan, and Pancetta. Never underestimate the combination of cheese and eggs. And when you add in salty pancetta, there’s really no better trio. Making this frittata is just as easy as making scrambled eggs, except that it’s infinitely more delicious, it’s full of cheese and bacon, and it can definitely pass as an acceptable dinner.
  • Stuffed Macaroni and Cheese Pie with Herbed Topping. This pie is going to make you famous. Seriously. Bring it to a cookout once and you’ll never be able to show your face again without the pie in hand. Because when you fill a buttery pie crust with two layers of mac and cheese and a filling of goat cheese and caramelized onions, you’re practically making history.
  • Peanut Butter and Cheese Cookies . Here’s one of those foods you just have to taste to understand. With a little faith in a weird, but wonderful, combination, you’ll get a delicious cookie that’s not too sweet and has a wonderful savory, cheesy bite at its center. One taste and you’ll really believe that cheese makes everything—even cookies—better.
  • Paprika-Scented Manchego Chorizo Puffs. This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of Manchego cheese, but you should buy extra: there’s no way you’re not going to eat it as you cook. The hardest part of this recipe is saving any cheese at all. Besides that, these airy, chorizo-studded puffs are a breeze to put together.
  • Cream Cheese Cookies. Don’t discount cream cheese as a member of the cheese family. It’s great smeared on a bagel, swirled in brownies, and get this, added to cookies. But be careful: cream cheese adds an addictive tang to these delicate cookies that will have you reaching for more than your share.

There are many foods that are overhyped—goji berries, frozen yogurt, and coconut water, to name a few. Cheese is not one of them. Cheese has been around for centuries and cheese is here to stay. Heck, our bodies have even adapted to be able to eat cheese. And you know why that is? Because cheese makes everything better. Boring piece of bread? Melt a nice slice of cheese on it. Bland salad? Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

We don’t like to discriminate when it comes to cheese, but when cheese is baked in the oven, it’s even more irresistible. Almost any dish you can bake will taste better with the help of cream.

Click through the gallery above to see all of the recipes.

Follow Food52 on Twitter @food52

 

Newsletter

Feed your inbox.

Subscribe