Easy, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese


I have 3 children who love macaroni and cheese in any form.  Boxed? Love it.  Homemade? Love it.  School cafeteria? Love it. Microwave? Love it. I didn’t grow up eating macaroni and cheese, but I’ll tell you my children will sniff it out anywhere it’s available. 

Simple and Easy Cooking

I love simple, easy meals! My kind of cooking is using a recipe that is quick, requires ingredients I have on hand, and is a crowd-pleaser. Because of my children’s love for macaroni and cheese, I wanted to have a way to prepare homemade pasta and cheese that fits these criteria. This recipe does just that and I wanted to share it with you. I like that it has basic, wholesome ingredients and you can decide if the broccoli goes inside the dish or on the side. It was adapted from a Real Simple recipe I saved from the actual magazine many, many years ago. I usually use small pasta shells, but any small pasta would work. 

The Recipe of 2’s

I don’t have to open a cookbook for this one, because I just remember that I need “2” of everything: 2 Tablespoons of butter, 2 Tablespoons of flour, 2 cups of milk, 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 2 pinches of nutmeg, and 2 small heads of broccoli (optional). What doesn’t fit into the 2’s rule is the 1 pound of pasta. I will often double this recipe when I make it, because leftovers in thermoses for lunch is a big hit!  

Directions: 

Step 1: Boil Water.  Add plenty of salt to the water.  I always think of Samin Nosrat’s fabulous cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat when I salt my pasta water. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. 

 

Step 2: In a large skillet, make a roux. (I love teaching my children about what a roux is. It’s something they will be able to use when cooking in the future.) Melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter and then add 2 tablespoons of flour. Using a whisk, stir the two together for 1-2 minutes until it is light brown.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Keeping at medium-low heat, slowly add in the 2 cups of milk, whisking as you go. 

 

  

Step 4: Cook for 4-5 more minutes until slightly thickened. 

Step 5: Add in 2 cups of cheese, reserving a little to sprinkle on top. Add 2 pinches of nutmeg. Stir until the cheese is melted. 

Step 6: Pour drained pasta into the cheese sauce and combine. At this point, you can also add steamed broccoli with the pasta to combine with the cheese sauce. 

Step 7: Pour cheesy pasta into a 9×9 casserole dish and top with a little shredded cheese. 

Step 8: If serving immediately, put under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese.  Or, this dish can be made ahead of time and pulled out of the refrigerator before serving.  In this case, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat up the pasta and cheese for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Turn on the broiler to melt cheese on top.  

Serve with broccoli or another fruit or vegetable on the side.  Pro tip: Apple slices with the cheese sauce are a wonderful duo!

Are you looking for more easy recipes and meal ideas?

Check out a few of our previous posts.

Pasta with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

Go-To Meals

Go-To Meals – Part 2

Go-To Summertime Meals

 

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Easy, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Easy, homemade macaroni (or any pasta) and cheese

1 pound box of small pasta

2 Tbs butter

2 Tbs flour

2 cups milk

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 pinches of nutmeg

2 small heads of steamed broccoli (optional)

Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. For the pasta, fill a large pot with water. Add plenty of salt to the water and bring to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. 
  2. Melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of flour. Using a whisk, stir for 1-2 minutes until it is light brown.  
  3. On medium-low heat, slowly add in the 2 cups of milk, whisking as you go.
  4. Cook for 4-5 more minutes until slightly thickened.
  5. Add in 2 cups of cheese, reserving a little to sprinkle on top. Add 2 pinches of nutmeg. Stir until the cheese is melted.
  6. Pour drained pasta into the cheese sauce and combine. At this point, you can also add steamed broccoli with the pasta to combine with the cheese sauce.
  7. Pour cheesy pasta into a 9×9 casserole dish and top with a little shredded cheese.  If serving immediately, put under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese.  Or, this dish can be made ahead of time and pulled out of the refrigerator before serving.  In this case, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat up macaroni and cheese for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Turn on the broiler to melt cheese on top.  

Did you make this recipe?

 

 



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