Easy Homemade Mac And Cheese
This Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe is made with 8 ingredients in 15 minutes on the stovetop ! Time to ditch the boxed mac and cheese for this irresistibly creamy, smooth & cheesy homemade recipe!
I have six kids and a husband with a taste palate of a 12-year-old-boy, which means we eat a lot of mac and cheese in our house. A lot of mac and cheese.
So naturally I created this easy homemade mac and cheese recipe so that we could consume less of the boxed varieties. Because I really care about feeding my family healthy meals that they actually enjoy! And did I mention that they love mac and cheese?!
Once you taste this homemade mac and cheese you and your family will say goodbye to powdered cheese forever, and say hello to this creamy dreamy real-cheese version again and again!
This homemade mac and cheese recipe is made with only 8 ingredients in 15 minutes! Thats the same amount of time it takes to make the boxed varieties, but with no preservatives or artificial ingredients!
How Do You Make Cheese Sauce Stay Melted
Do add acid. When making fondues, sauces, and soups, adding white wine or lemon juice helps keep cheeses melted and smooth. The added acid in these ingredients binds to the calcium in the melted cheese, preventing it from cross-linking with the proteins and keeping them separate instead of clumped together.
How Do You Make Mac And Cheese Creamy The Next Day
How to Make Leftover Mac and Cheese Creamy
29 . 2018 .
Don’t Miss: How Long Does Babybel Last In The Fridge
How To Make Mac And Cheese With Cream Cheese
Essentially, the dish starts with a bechamel sauce. Then we melt all 3 cheeses into the sauce, creating a smooth creamy texture. This way, every inch of the pasta has a coating of flavor.
This creamy baked mac n cheese is filling enough to be a main dish, but it also makes a delicious side for holiday gatherings and potluck dinners.
How Do You Make Mac And Cheese Creamy Without Dairy
This ultimate dairy-free mac and cheese happened thanks to a lot of trial and error.
How can macaroni and cheese be so rich and creamy and, well, cheesy, without the – you know, the most important ingredient: the cheese?
There are so many different ways you can make macaroni and cheese without dairy. The trick is finding one that suits your personal tastebuds.
I’ve tried using butternut squash, and while I liked the results, I can’t always find fresh butternut squash year-round.
What has worked for me time and time again is a combo of these ingredients.
Be sure to read this in-depth article about the Best Dairy-Free Cooking and Baking Products. In it, I also explain some of the confusing terms surrounding dairy-free food.
Also Check: Private Selection Genoa Salami
How To Make Homemade Cheese Sauce
You can make this spicy nacho cheese if you want to add some heat or just keep it mild like we did here. There are a few ways to add heat, my favorites would be to add a squeeze of Sriracha, diced fresh jalapenos or some cayenne pepper. To make the base you will need:
- Pre shredded cheddar cheese sharp cheddar is best
- Non fat dry milk powder
- Powdered gelatine unflavored mix
- Boiling water can be done in the microwave or in a pot over medium heat
If you are just keeping it liquified and dont want to harden it like a copycat Velveeta recipe of sorts then that is all you need. To make it into a log youll do this by pouring it into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so it lifts out easily.
You May Like: Rao Spicy Sauce
How To Make Baked Mac And Cheese
Its a straightforward recipe, starting with a basic butter-flour roux that is used to thicken milk to make the cheese sauce. For first timers, I think the short video below will help give you the confidence that youve got this!
The simple trick to avoid lumps in the Mac and Cheese Sauce is to pour the milk in slowly while constantly stirring, then just switch to a whisk if needed to remove any stubborn lumps!
You May Like: Can Babybel Cheese Stay Unrefrigerated
How To Revive Leftover Mac And Cheese
The best way to revive leftover mac and cheese is to add moisture back to the dish. It tends to dry out as it cools down. We recommend adding 1 tablespoon of cream to each cup of the pasta prior to reheating it.
Finally, cover the mac and cheese before reheating it. Covering the dish keeps the moisture from escaping. Then heat it up slowly at a low temperature.
Trick : Use The Microwave To Reheat Mac And Cheese
To make sure mac and cheese do not end up too oily, I like to reheat it in the microwave. I like this trick better than the pan one because it is simple and I get the creamy taste that I love.
Now to be fair, reheating pasta in the microwave does tend to change the texture. However, it is great for lunch or when you are in a hurry.
So here are the steps:
The time you set on the microwave depends on how cold your food is. When you stop to mix the mac and cheese, also check the consistency of the cream. You can add more milk to make it creamier.
Pro tip: You can also use heavy cream as a substitute for milk to add flavor. We also have heavy cream substitution ideas for you.
Once its reheated, just add the toppings and dressings you like to enjoy the refreshed bowl of mac and cheese. And as soon as you finish the leftovers, you can start planning for the next time you cook it.
You will love these mac and cheese recipes that will help you satisfy your craving for the cheese galore.
So, whenever you feel like breaking the daily routine and cooking something with a bit of a twist, you can enjoy some great mac and cheese.
Check out these articles:
You May Like: Extra Large Slate Cheese Board
Replace Half Of The Butter With American Cheese
My third trick is to replace half of the butter with two or three slices of American cheese. The difference is incredible!
The instructions say to use four tablespoons of butter . Were only going to use two, plus some American cheese.
I get my American cheese sliced really thick, so two of my slices would be equal to about three slices of packaged stuff. But hey, go ahead and throw in a fourth if you want. It will just be even creamier and cheesier!
Can you use all of the butter the instructions call for, plus the American cheese? Sure, but I actually like it better this way. It gets a little too greasy with all that butter added to the extra cheese.
Easy Mac And Cheese Recipe Ingredients
- Elbow Macaroni Really, you can use any small pasta shape. However, macaroni is in the title so I usually stick with it.
- Butter For the roux thickening mixture and the panko breadcrumbs. You can use salted or unsalted butter.
- Flour To thicken the cheese sauce. Its very important to use a small amount of flour and to cook it well, so the sauce isnt grainy in texture.
- Half & Half The base of the cheese sauce! In a pinch, you can use whole milk, but do not use low-fat milk.
- Sharp Cheddar Freshly grated off the block. Pre-shredded cheeses often have preservatives or anti-caking chemicals that cause them not to melt as well.
- Muenster Freshly grated, for the same reason as above.
- Cream Cheese Mac and Cheese with Cream Cheese has a much silkier texture than versions relying just on flour for thickening. Use full fat, please. Theres no need to use low-fat cream cheese, when you are also using two other cheeses and half & half. *wink*
- Garlic Powder For that little extra something.
- Panko Breadcrumbs The topper for the baked version.
- Salt & Pepper To taste.
You May Like: Is Kraft Mozzarella Cheese Vegetarian
Cooking Tips For Baked Mac And Cheese
- Boiling the pasta cook the pasta less than you normally would. I like to boil my elbow pasta for between 4 and 5 minutes. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, and you dont want it to get mushy.
- Use room temp liquids if you can cold liquids generally take longer to thicken than warmer ones. I usually set my milk and half and half out while the water for the pasta is coming up to a boil.
- The cheeses use your favorites! Our personal favorites are the cheddar and gruyere used in this recipe, but you can be very creative with the cheese selection here. Mozzarella, gouda, smoked gouda, swiss, monterey jack, colby jack, colby. There are plenty of reader comments down below the recipe that talk about the cheeses they used!
- Shred your own I know its a pain, and its SO tempting to use the pre-shredded cheese in the bags. But those bags of cheese contain a starchy substance that keeps the cheese from clumping which also prohibits it from melting as well as it should.
Variations Of Mac And Cheese
- Bacon if you love bacon, feel free to add some crispy, crumbled bacon to the topping, or even inside the mac and cheese as well!
- Stovetop if youd prefer not to bake this mac and cheese, you dont have to! Make sure you boil your pasta until al dente , and youll only need about 3 3 1/2 cups of cheese total. No need to layer the pasta and cheese, just add all the cheese to the sauce, then combine with the pasta.
- Different Toppings Im a huge fan of the cheese layer on top, since it gets nice and crispy, but we also love tossing 1 cup of panko with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and using that as a topping. 1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers with 2 Tbsp of butter work amazingly well too!
- Different Baking Times the recipe calls for a lower baking temperature and time, but most of the time I find myself adjusting that based on my familys tastes. I like to bake this mac and cheese at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to get that glorious cheesy crust.
Don’t Miss: How Long Do Cheese Sticks Last Unrefrigerated
Can I Bake This Instead Of Cooking It
Baking is not different from cooking at all. If you keep food inside the oven, it will get cooked due to the convection heat. Chefs can technically cook anything in the oven. You can cook cream cheese in the oven.
This is one of the most delicious spreads available in the market. You can cook mac and cheese with It in the oven. It has a lot of versatility.
Tips For The Best Mac And Cheese
- Dont use pre-shredded cheese or the sauce might end up grainy and gritty. Shred it yourself for a nice smooth sauce.
- If you dont have mustard powder, substitute 1 tsp prepared mustard .
- Dont rinse the pasta. It adds starches and helps thicken up the sauce and keeps the sauce clinging to the pasta.
- Want a crunchy topping? Try sautéing panko bread crumbs in a skillet in a little melted butter or olive oil until golden brown. Sprinkle over individual servings so it stays crisp.
You May Like: Spreadable Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Keep These Tips In Mind When Cooking With Cheese:
- Shred, crumble, or finely dice the cheese before heating to ensure quick, smooth melting. The colder the cheese is, the easier it will be to cut.
- The less you heat cheese, the better. When making soup, sauce, or fondue, add the cheese last then heat it only as long as it takes to melt. If it gets too hot it will get tough. Often, you can remove the pan from the burner the residual heat will melt the cheese.
- Allow the shredded cheese to come to room temperature before adding it to a hot mixture.
- Starch will keep the cheese from curdling. If using all-purpose flour, add it to the mixture before the cheese it needs to be cooked for a few minutes to remove the starchy taste.
- Adding an acidic ingredient such as wine or lemon juice will help prevent the cheese from becoming stringy. This is why most cheese fondue recipes have a base of white wine. Simply sprinkle some lemon juice over the shredded cheese before heating it.
- Reduced-fat cheeses melt differently than regular full-fat cheeses. Reduced fat cheese will take longer to melt and will not have the same velvety consistency in the sauce. Be sure to shred reduced-fat cheese very finely, and allow it to melt over very low heat while stirring constantly.
Macaroni And Cheese Variations
This recipe is easy to adapt to other variations. Here are some of our favorites:
Baked Mac and Cheese: Once the pasta and cheese sauce are combined, add it to a baking dish and bake with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs sprinkled on top. We shared this Baked Macaroni and Cheese a while back.
Garlic Mac and Cheese: Fresh garlic and roasted garlic are excellent in this recipe. Add either to the butter just before adding the flour. For fresh, Id use 2 to 3 cloves. For roasted garlic, you can increase to 6 cloves or more. See our recipe for making roasted garlic.
Use a Variety of Cheeses: Cheddar isnt the only cheese to use. Try easy melting Gruyere, Fontina or Monterey Jack. For more flavor, a bit of parmesan or pecorino cheese is lovely, and for a more adult dish, try blue cheese!
Spiced Macaroni and Cheese: Mustard , nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper are classic additions to the cheese sauce. Smoked paprika is also delicious.
Broccoli Mac and Cheese: A kid favorite! Stir roasted broccoli or steamed broccoli into the pot before serving. Heres how we make roasted broccoli.
Lighter Mac and Cheese: Swapping half of the cheese sauce for pureed cauliflower cuts calories and still tastes incredible.
Recommended Reading: Are Blue Diamond Almonds Keto
What You Need To Make Dairy
- Vegan butter. I’ve tried making dairy-free macaroni and cheese without butter, and it’s just not the same. I love the velvety rich base that vegan butter lends to this dairy-free mac and cheese recipe.
- A mix of cheddar-style shreds AND mozzarella-style shreds. I use Daiya, but you can also use dairy-free cheese options from Follow Your Heart and other non-dairy products.
- Almond milk. For many dairy-free recipes, I often use coconut milk. However, I’ve found that coconut milk just doesn’t work if you want a traditional, sharp, cheesy mac and cheese flavor. Almond milk, however, works beautifully with mac and cheese.
- Nutritional yeast. I use these nutritional yeast flakes in most of my dairy-free pasta recipes, including my Dairy-Free Fettuccine Alfredo . It adds a nice nutty flavor that slightly mimics parmesan cheese, which adds to the cheesy texture and taste.
Can I Make This Recipe Gluten
You can definitely use Gluten-Free 1-To-1 Baking Mix instead of flour, and Gluten-Free Noodles in this recipe. You can also find Gluten Free panko if you want to make the baked macaroni version.
Gluten-Free Pasta: There are all sorts of gluten-free pastas available today. However, many of them dont hold up very long. They turn to mush after just an hour or two in liquid. Therefore, make sure to undercook the pasta just a little, and keep your cheese sauce on the thicker side, so there is less moisture for the pasta to absorb.
You May Like: Is Babybel Cheese Pasteurized
Should Mac And Cheese Be Covered When Baking
Yes and no. It really depends on whether you want a crustier top or not. There are other casserole dishes that require covering your dish. But for a baked mac and cheese casserole dish, its not necessary to do it. For this recipe, we baked the mac and cheese uncovered to help melt the cheeses and give it that subtle crunchy, brown top for a more delicious casserole taste.
This cream of chicken mac and cheese casserole recipe is the perfect side dish to serve during parties and gatherings. Its creamy and cheesy flavors will make you crave for more! Serve this delicious side dish alongside some of your favorite entrees.
Homemade Mac And Cheese
If you have never had the privilege of tasting real homemade macaroni and cheese, made with freshly grated cheese, gently folded into molten cheese sauce Well, I feel for you.
You might be thinking, Why would I make mac and cheese from scratch when the boxed versions are so good?
Are they though?
Or is it possible that you just dont realize they are mediocre because youve never experienced creamy mac and cheese from scratch?
If youre a newbie to homemade macaroni and cheese, its time.
And if youve always loved made-from-scratch mac and cheese, you are going to go nuts over our recipe!
Read Also: How To Say Acai In Spanish