I love mac and cheese. HOMEMADE mac and cheese, that is. My kids love the boxed stuff, but the cheesiness of the homemade kind makes me so happy. (I may have an unhealthy love for cheese.) I set out to find a really yummy mac and cheese recipe, found one, and then I lost it. I did not bookmark the website, don’t remember the name of the post/blog/site, nothing.
Sooo, I had to come up with my own super cheesy dish that we would all love. I am sharing what I came up with. It is pretty close to the original one I found and used, but I did make some additions like the topping and adding in meats from time to time. You can add shredded chicken or crumbled bacon or taco meat or ham. Or leave the meat out and you have an inexpensive meatless meal!
Mac and Cheese Casserole
1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked
2 cups milk
4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP flour
2 (or more!) cups shredded cheese, any flavor (we have used gouda, white cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan. typically a cheddar and gouda combo is what I use.)
1 sleeve round crackers (like Ritz)
3 TBSP butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt 6 tbsp butter. Add in flour and whisk(making a roux). Slowly pour in a little milk, stirring with each addition, until fully mixed in.
- When milk is thickening, turn off heat. Add in cheese and stir (with a spoon, not a whisk).
- Place cooked macaroni in 9×13 baking dish. Pour cheese sauce and stir with noodles.
- Smash the crackers (I put them in a gallon size Ziploc bag and then roll with rolling-pin). Mix with butter in a bowl. Sprinkle over mac and cheese.
- bake until warmed through, about 10-15 mins. Remove from oven and sprinkle with more cheese, if desired.
Variations – add in a little cream cheese when you make the sauce. Makes it super creamy! I have not measure this. I just add a spoonful and taste, then add more and taste. 🙂 Our favorite style of this dish is with crumbled bacon mixed into the casserole, cream cheese added in the sauce and Parmesan sprinkled over the whole dish after I take it out of the oven. Lots of creaminess and the Parmesan adds a really nice saltiness to the already-salty cracker topping. 🙂
THIS DISH IS NOT REALLY HEALTHY….AT ALL! just wanted to warn you!
I use almost 3 cups of cheese each time. Our sauce is usually thick and creamy. If you prefer less goopy-ness (not a word), don’t add all of the sauce to the pasta. Save the leftover sauce and use it as a dip with tortilla chips. MMM!
Ok, I am getting super hungry.