The boxed stuff is convenient. It's easy. And goodness knows the kids love it! However … this recipe takes BARELY more time, and tastes a billionty times better, I promise. Make this old fashioned mac & cheese just once, and fall in love with your favorite old childhood comfort food again.
Start by cooking noodles to package directions. While those are boiling away, get to work cubing & shredding your cheeses, roughly in half inch squares. It'll all melt in the oven anyway, so you don't have to be too precise. I used pepperjack …
And a really tangy, sharp cheddar. Variety of cheese is really up to you, however this combo tastes the most like my childhood.
In a separate bowl, whisk together everything except the cheese. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add this mixture and the shredded cheese and stir well to combine. Mix in about half of your cubed cheese, as well.
Sprinkle the remaining cubed cheese on top, and press the whole mix lightly into the pan. I add fresh cracked pepper on this step, bit you don't have to! Put in oven at 375* for about 20 minutes (or until cheese is completely melted and starting to brown) on the middle rack.
When I have ten minutes left on the timer, I remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the top liberally with the cracker crumb mixture – because who loves CARBS, am I right?
Look at that Oooh. And Goo. And happiness. When you really want your family to know you love them, make this. Trust me. Then come back and leave me comments like, “Oh man, my family wasn't sure if I really cared for them. But then I made this mac and cheese, and we've renewed our familial bond! Siblings no longer fight, and the pets are all cuddled up. Peace has enveloped my entire neighborhood.” Or, you know, however you want to say that in your own words.
Half the time I write this stuff just to see if anyone's paying attention anymore. So ARE YOU?
Have a wonderful day, my lovelies.
Try this as a side dish with these great grilling recipes:
- 1 Pounds Cooked pasta
- 1 Pounds Extra Sharp cheddar
- 1 Pounds Pepper Jack cheese
- 2 Large eggs
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons All Purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon Red pepper flakes
- 1 Can Evaporated milk
- 1 Tablespoon Dried tarragon
- 1 Tablespoon Ground white pepper
- Sea salt & fresh pepper to taste
- ***Topping (mix these together)***
- 10 Crushed saltine crackers
- 2 Tablespoons Melted unsalted butter
- Cook pasta to al dente, drain, and return to pan.
- While pasta is cooking, cube half of the cheddar, shred the other half. Repeat for pepper jack.
- In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, red pepper, evaporated milk, tarragon, and white pepper.
- Pour mixture over cooked and drained pasta noodles, stirring well to combine.
- Add shredded cheese & half the cubed cheese, again stirring gently to mix the cheese in well.
- Pour whole mixture into 9×13 pan, and spread remaining cheese cubes across the top.
- Bake in preheated 375*(f) oven for approximately 10-15 minutes.
- While baking, melt 2 tbsp butter and mix well with crushed saltine crackers.
- Remove mac & cheese from the oven at the 10-15 minute mark, sprinkle top liberally with cracker mixture, and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or so. The cheese should be completely melted and just starting to brown on top.