Dolly Parton Pairs Her Mac & Cheese with an Unexpected Side and I Have Never Been More Impressed in My Life

published Apr 13, 2022
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"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on August 23, 2016 in New York City
Credit: Getty Images/Theo Wargo / Staff

If there’s anything we’re sure of, it’s that Dolly Parton is much more than a country superstar. Along with inspiring us as an actress, businesswoman, and humanitarian, Dolly’s serving up some game-changing inspiration at home — especially in the kitchen. 

You may have heard that Parton recently announced a new collection of traditional southern desserts she’s releasing with Duncan Hines (did someone say Banana Puddin’ Cake?), but there’s so much more to the Queen of Nashville herself. Recently, the mogul sat down with Insider to talk about her kitchen routines and we learned so much, including that she naturally wakes up at 3 a.m. every day, and — on the weekends — cooks a big southern breakfast for her husband, Carl Dean. 

While Parton says she’s partial to both French toast and biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs are another go-to of hers. But in true Dolly fashion, these aren’t your standard eggs — apparently, she adds ice water to the pan when she’s cooking to make them perfectly fluffy. 

For lunch or dinner, Parton says it’s not uncommon for her to make mac and cheese — which, as you can guess, also has some special touches. Along with using both shredded cheddar and Velveeta cheese in her homemade dish, she always takes the cheesy pasta dish to the next level by serving it with fried cinnamon apples

According to the icon, she first discovered this unexpected combo when she was running low on groceries and opted to eat apples with her mac and cheese. “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,” she told Business Insider in February. “They’re just so good together. You’ll like it!”

I don’t know about you, but if Dolly says it’s good, I’m all here for it!