Greenhouse Tavern's Jonathon Sawyer Shares His Special Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Macaroni & Cheese


1 cup homemade chicken or vegetable stock

1½ cups milk (nonfat)

½ cup flour (more for thicker sauce)

1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese (finely grated)

½ -1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

4 tbs grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbs bread crumbs

1 tsp olive oil

1 lb. elbow macaroni

olive oil cooking spray


Preheat over to 400 degrees

Combine stock, butter, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Add flour and ricotta cheese to thicken.

Reduce heat to medium, simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir to combine. Set aside or freeze for later use.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add salt.

Cook noodles according to package instructions or until al dente.

Drain noodles and transfer to a large bowl; stir in sauce and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer noodle mixture to dish.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes.

Remove foil and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top.

Serve immediately.

It would be hard to overstate Jonathon Sawyer's impact on the Cleveland dining scene. He's considered one of the founding fathers of the city's culinary renaissance. And he continues to bring national recognition to Cleveland with his Iron Chef battles and awards from Bon Appétit and Food and Wine magazines.

For local diners, Sawyer has brought not only new restaurants, but new dishes. Pizza with eggs and pancetta, frites with gravy, and a steam bun with peanut butter and bananas are just a few examples of the creations that have started a virtual food cult craze.

At home, Sawyer and his wife Amelia are bringing up two young children — Catcher, 6, and Louisiana, 4 — so they tend to keep meals simple. Which is why Sawyer chose a macaroni and cheese recipe to share.

Needless to say, this is no ordinary macaroni and cheese. The inception of the recipe lies in a cultural belief shared by Amelia and Jonathan, who puts it this way: "It is essential that this world is left a better place for our children than it was left for us." That means a commitment to eating healthy, eating local, and as much as possible, removing processed foods from the family diet. The children are encouraged to work in the garden and pick their favorite vegetables.

Sawyer's homemade macaroni and cheese is a family favorite, one of many healthy meals prepared from scratch. He and his wife are in the process of compiling that and other recipes for family meals they've created for a book that will be titled "Scratch and Bones."

The Sawyer family makes eating healthy at home an art form, and this cheesy creation will not disappoint.

About The Author

Jason Beudert

Jason Beudert has had a dynamic career as a leader with The Walt Disney Company, ESPNZone, The Cleveland Indians, and as a restaurant entrepreneur. He is utilizing his twenty years of hospitality experience along with his love for the Cleveland food scene to contribute exciting and insightful food pieces for Scene...
Scroll to read more Food News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.