You know how when you want to look up a recipe so you do a quick Google search, and when you find what you want you have to scroll down the page about 5 times and read through a whole life story before you actually get to the recipe part?
I hate that. So I wanted to do something different. You're welcome! ;)
Easiest Cheesiest Macaroni
- 16 ounces uncooked macaroni pasta*
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese*
- 2 cups milk
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese
- 1/2 cup half & half
- salt & pepper to taste (I use seasoned salt!)
- Cook macaroni according to package instructions. You want the pasta to be JUST al dente, or even SLIGHTLY undercooked (Molto al dente.)
- Drain pasta and return to pot. Do not rinse.
- Mix in remaining ingredients.
- Simmer and stir over low-medium heat until all cheese has melted and sauce begins to thicken.
* You can use any kind of pasta and cheese that you like. My family loves plain elbow macaroni, and sharp cheddar. It's great with colby-jack too!
You can even make this in a slow-cooker!
Add all ingredients to the crockpot and set on LOW for about two hours. When time is up, stir it up and check for doneness. It will probably need a little more milk added at this point, and then another 30 minutes or so until it reaches the perfect consistency.
* You can also use cooked pasta in the slow cooker as well, just decrease the cooking time to about 1 1/2 - 2 hours total.
Prefer a baked version? You got it!
Once all the cheese is melted in the pot, before the sauce thickens too much, scoop your macaroni into a greased baking pan. Top with breadcrumbs, or try crushed CheezIt crackers! Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months!
Make it a meal!
You can easily add cooked meat, canned tuna, and/or vegetables to this basic recipe!
(But let's be real, this recipe is plenty hearty on it's own! No judgement if you make this a meal all by itself!)
Macaroni and Cheese is my all-time favorite comfort food, and one of the few dishes guaranteed to please the whole family! Those blue boxes may seem quick and simple, but this homemade version is really so much better in every way!
1. Way more cost-effective! (this is a big batch, and can become multiple meals!)
2. Healthier (hello real & fresh ingredients!)
3. Just as easy to prepare! (especially if you do the crock pot method! Set it and forget it!)
4. SO TASTY!!!! Totally kid-approved!
When I went looking for a great homemade macaroni & cheese recipe, I was sort of shocked at how many of them included eggs! I mean, maybe it's just me but that sounded so strange! This recipe doesn't call for eggs, making it a great option for vegetarians or those with egg allergies!
I've also seen a lot of recipes that required making a cheesy roux or bachamel with butter, milk, and flour. Now I love a good roux, but perfecting it can be tough... Especially when you're playing Referee with two kids and a houseful of pets while you're trying to cook!
This simple recipe skips that entirely so you never have to worry about your dish tasting grainy or "floury." That means you can also make it gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta!
Do you have a favorite mix-in for your mac & cheese? Tell us about it!