Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Macaroni and Cheese

One my absolute favorite things in the world is macaroni and cheese.

When I was little, it was one of the only things that I would eat. Seriously, I think if my mom would have let me, I would have lived off of Kraft mac and cheese, pizza and chicken nuggets.

I still love Kraft in the blue box (seriously, there are about nine boxes in my pantry right now, you know, for emergencies). But I also love this mac and cheese recipe. It is a favorite in our house, and makes appearances at quite a few holidays as well.

My mom originally found it in Bon Appetit's Fast Easy Fresh cookbook, and over the years, we've adapted it to make it work for our family (and the things I usually have in my pantry!)

8 oz pasta
2 1/2 Tablespoons butter + 1/2 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1 bullion cube
8 oz fat free sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4-1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Fun shaped pasta is optional, but I always like it!

While the pasta is cooking, melt 2 1/2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet. After the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. Whisk until the flour has cooked and is a light brown color (about 2 minutes)

Add the milk, water and bullion cube. Continue whisking until the flour is incorporated into the liquid. Raise the heat slightly to allow the mixture to simmer and thicken up. Stirring as needed.

Add the cheese, stirring until it is totally melted. Remove from heat.

Pre heat the broiler.

Melt the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon butter (I usually do this in the microwave) and stir in the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

When the pasta is done, add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Place the coated pasta in a casserole dish and top with the breadcrumb mixture.

Broil for 2-5 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are toasted.

*This recipe doubles really easily, and I often make it ahead of time (stopping before broiling) then just heat it up/broil it in the oven when I need it!
*You can replace the water + bullion cube with chicken or vegetable stock if you have that in your pantry. I just never do!
*Add ins are great here! Mushrooms. Bacon. Different types of cheese. More bacon. If you try some new ones, let me know!

For a printer friendly recipe, click here

Well, I know what I am having for dinner tonight now!

What about you?

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Mary Pat Siehl said...

i am totally with you on the blue box! when i was little my parents didnt have enough m $$ to get the blue box all the time so she got the knock off brand- 4 for $1 and it was ok but when i got the blue box i was in heaven. for some reason i never developed a taste for homemade mac n cheese but this recipe looks awesoem - might have to give it a try

Jules said...

Oh my goodness, this sounds and looks absolutely delicious!!! I am a huge fan of the blue box as well, but this could definitely become the go to mac & cheese of choice for the holidays!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

This is making my mouth water!!
My 'recipe' is almost identical but I don't add water or bullion, I also bake mine for about 25 minutes or so. I add a dash of hot sauce to give it a kick but it doesn't make it spicy at all.
Looks amazing!

Tracy said...

I have to say..I am the best Kraft dinner maker ;)
Grew up on this and I say the original is the best ;)
My Heather loves, love macaroni and cheese. I have an easy recipe that she loves. I will share it with you.
I need to try this one of yours..or better yet, I will get Heather to make it ;)

Becky said...

This is one thing I've never made!! I'm going to have to try your recipe it is literally making my tummy growl!!

Christina said...

This looks amazing-I LOVE mac n cheese. :)
We are big fans of the blue box in this house.

Anonymous said...

I can attest that this is an awesome recipe. I have one question for Katie and the 9 blue boxes in the pantry- exactly what is an "emergency"? :)

Anonymous Dad

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