Sunday, March 14, 2010

Homemade Baked Mac 'n' Cheese

My husband and son request this often...it's not very figure friendly, but it's not nearly as bad for you as most boxed macaroni & cheeses and it tastes OUT OF THIS WORLD!  I usually serve it as a side dish when we are having something healthy like grilled chicken & veggies.

Ingredients
1 lb of elbow pasta (you can substitute whole wheat, but my guys like the regular old elbows - I get the 2lb box at Aldi for about $1.19, I think)
3 tbsp of real, salted butter
1/2 small sweet onion - diced very finely
3 cups 2% milk (you can use 1% or whole, but I don't recommend using skim)
about 3 tbsp of flour
about 1 lb of cubed cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar, but my guys like co-jack)
about 1 cup of shredded cheese (again, cheddar, co-jack, monteray jack, even mozzarella works)
kosher salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Get out a large baking dish and spray with non-stick spray.  Start a large pot of water on high heat to boil.

Get a saucepan on medium heat - add the butter & onion. Season with salt & pepper.

Cook for a minute or two until the onions are soft & it gets fragrant.

Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute more. Then whisk in the milk.

Season with salt & pepper again and bring to a boil.

The water should be boiling by now, so add the macaroni.

Keep stirring the white sauce until it comes up to a boil. It will be a thin bechamel sauce. It should coat the back of a spoon like this.   Taste it. If it is flavorless...add more salt & pepper!

Cube the cheese...I used about 1/2 of this 2 lb. brick from Sam's Club (about $5 for 2 lbs)

When the pasta is done (about 10 minutes) drain it and put back into the big pot. Add the white sauce and combine well.

It will look a little soupy. Don't be scared. It is going to bake & soak into the pasta!
Now stir in the cubed cheese.

Once everything is incorporated...taste a little bit. If it needs more salt - add it!
Now pour it into the sprayed baking dish.

Top with the shredded cheese and bake for 30-45 minutes - depending on how brown you like your cheese on top.


Heeeelllllloooooo delicious! I had to make sure nothing was poisoned before I gave it to my family...haha!



6 comments:

jbbossert1 said...

looks delicious! I am going to try it tomorrow, I will add brocolli and ham though:)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Dottie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ said...

Hi:
This is very close to mine I got my recipe many many years ago from my Mom, Mine has bread crumbs and Eggs in it. I also have a recipe blog your welcome to come and visit me at
http://recipesbydottie.blogspot.com/

dx2041 said...

Wow, this looks great. Thanks for including photos

Melissa said...

I think that photos in a recipe book are the BEST PART :) I always try to include lots. Thanks!

....Just random thoughts and my opinions said...

I just tried this and I must admit I was VERY impressed. My hubby loved it. We made the 9X13 pan. I had some leftovers and I cut into squares and Fried it in a non-stick skillet with a little butter and olive oil. Can you say not to healthy but OMG the flavor..Thanks for the recipe.

Melissa said...

I'm so glad that everyone likes it! My grammy would love to hear that too. This was inspired by her original recipe and all of us grandkids loved it growing up. Every holiday, grammy would make the mac n cheese. We all looked forward to it. I'm so happy that I can pass along those same happy and delicious memories to so many new families. Enjoy!!!