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  • Dolly Parton recently shared her mac and cheese recipe secrets with Insider.
  • Parton said she always serves mac and cheese with fried apples because it’s a “great taste combination.”
  • She also always adds two to three different cheeses, including cheddar and Velveeta.

Dolly Parton may be famous for her singing, songwriting, and style, but she’s also a legend in the kitchen.

And when Parton recently sat down with Insider on


Zoom

to talk about her new line of desserts with Duncan Hines, she was ready to spill some of her cooking secrets.

Parton revealed that she’s a huge fan of mac and cheese, and she adds a special — and surprising — ingredient to take her pasta to the next level.

“That’s something else I like is mac and cheese,” she said. “And if you serve that with fried apples, that’s a great taste combination.”

Parton said she discovered her fried-apple hack by accident.

Mac and cheese

Parton also adds two to three different cheeses to her mac and cheese.

4kodiak/Getty Images


“One time I didn’t have a whole lot of stuff in my refrigerator and I was hungry,” Parton recalled. “I don’t even know if it was some macaroni I’d made before or store-bought, but I just remember having some fried apples that had come out of another order of food from somewhere.”

“I thought, ‘Well there’s some apples,’ and I just remember putting that on the same plate,” she continued. “I thought, this is an absolutely great combination! And ever since then, that was years ago now, when I’m going to do mac and cheese, I always do fried apples. They’re just so good together. like it!”

Dolly Parton with Duncan Hines products

Parton has a new line of Southern desserts with Duncan Hines.

Sebastian Smith


When she’s making her own mac and cheese at home, Parton said she always adds butter and two to three different cheeses, including shredded cheddar and Velveeta.

She seasons her mac and cheese with salt and pepper, and always adds some cinnamon to her fried apples.

And that isn’t Parton’s only cooking hack. The country-music icon also whips up a Southern breakfast for her husband Carl Dean every weekend, and she’s got a trick to make her scrambled eggs perfectly fluffy.

“Somebody told me this once and it works,” Parton said. “When you crack your eggs in the bowl, say if you’re going to scramble them, use ice water. Put a few drops of ice water as you’re cooking them and that makes them fluffier — it really does!”

When Parton isn’t in the kitchen, she and Carl love going to fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell.

Parton told Insider she’s a huge fan of the Mexican Pizza, which Taco Bell removed from menus in November 2020, and she thinks the chain should bring it back soon.

Until then, Parton’s happy with her usual order of a Taco Supreme with a side of rice and beans.