Homemade Mac & Cheese

When my brother and I were growing up, Easy Mac seemed to be one of the only things we constantly ate for lunch in the summer. My parents would stockpile 2 big Sam’s Club boxes of it at our house and no doubt, it was gone in a matter of a few weeks.

Now that I’m a little older, I still enjoy Easy Mac (A LOT), but I’ve also discovered there’s other mac & cheese options out there that are fantastic! I’m a big fan of the mac & cheese at Noodles & Co. I like how it’s creamy and cheesy, but not over the top. I’ll eat the Velveeta Mac & Cheese with no shame, because the flavor is fantastic. Basically, I just really like all things mac & cheese.

Therefore, when I set out on the journey to make my own mac & cheese at home, I wanted to copy the various things that the other ones had going for them.

1) I wanted it quick and easy like Easy Mac.
2) I wanted it creamy and cheesy like Noodles & Co.
3) I wanted it to taste as great as the Velveeta stuff.
4) Lastly, and most importantly, I wanted it healthy!

With the recipe below, I nailed all 4 things I was going for, not to toot my own horn or anything. No more boxed mac & cheese in this household! :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag/box of Shell Pasta (or elbow is fine too)
  • 2 tbsp. of Butter
  • 2 tbsp. of Flour
  • ¾ cup of Fat Free Milk
  • 1-1 ¼ cup of Shredded Cheese (we use Cheddar & Mozzarella)

Let Us Begin:

Start boiling water and then pour in the shell pasta to begin cooking.

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While the pasta is cooking, in a medium-sized pot, melt the butter over LOW heat.

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After it is melted, add the flour and whisk to form a paste. Make sure you are still on LOW heat. Then pour in the milk and again whisk to combine.

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Continue whisking until it is completely combined and lump-free.

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Finally, add the shredded cheese. Definitely add at least 1 cup, and then continue adding more depending on how cheesy you want it.

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Continue to whisk while it melts. All of this should be done over LOW heat still.

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At one point, it should be all melted and can be left while you deal with the noodles.

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Drain the noodles and return them to their pot, but NOT back on the burner.

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Add the cheese “sauce” to the noodles and stir.

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I usually add a pinch of salt and pepper for some flavor, but it is completely optional. Sometimes I make the Mac & Cheese with homemade chicken nuggets, while other times I make it with Homemade Corndogs. Enjoy!!

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Do you want to save this great and easy recipe in your kitchen? Print off the PDF recipe card here: Homemade Mac & Cheese Recipe Card

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