When I was a kid, macaroni and cheese was the only thing that could get me to eat dinner when I didn’t want to. It still is today! My mom has been making it my whole life and this recipe is her own personal twist on classic macaroni and cheese with lots of spices thrown in for good measure (like black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika). This recipe will have you licking your plate clean – it’s the best in the world!
How to make it
There is nothing like the taste of a pan full of Mom’s Mac and Cheese. With hints of black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika mixed in with sharp cheddar cheese melted to perfection over buttered noodles – you will be licking your plate clean! This version has a little something for everyone: kids love that it tastes just as good cold or at room temperature as it does piping hot out of the oven; adults enjoy that you can make this dish ahead by prepping all ingredients beforehand so when dinner time comes around, they are ready to go into the pot without any fussing or hard work. It tastes great no matter how you serve it up!
- 1 1/2 c. (8 oz.) uncooked elbow macaroni
- 3 c. grated Vermont white sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 c. whole milk
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
Step by step Cooking Instructions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions and drain well; set aside.
- Melt butter in same pan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until blended then gradually add milk while continuing to whisk constantly or it will burn on bottom of pot! Cook until bubbly and thickened for about five minutes (you can also do this step in advance). Season with salt and pepper.
- Add cheese, stirring until melted before adding cooked pasta back into the mixture along with any additional ingredients you would like such as chopped onion, ham, etc., if desired. Pour mixture into an ungreased casserole dish that is at least two inches deep.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
- *If you want to make this dish even more of a family favorite for your kids or the people you cook with, try adding shredded chicken and broccoli in addition to some onion. This will give it an extra boost of protein.
- Serve warm garnished with chopped parsley.
Tips and Tricks
- Adding broccoli and shredded chicken is a great way to make this dish more nutritious.
- Another option for getting the macaroni noodles crispy on top is adding breadcrumbs before baking it in the oven.
- If you don’t want your cheese sauce to be too thick, try using milk or half and half instead of heavy cream. This will give you a healthier version with fewer calories as well!
***Tip: Make sure that when shredding your own cheese, buy blocks of cheddar instead of pre-shredded bags from the store which can sometimes contain additives like cellulose powder or anti caking agents*.
I hope you enjoyed our recipe for Mom’s Mac and Cheese. If you want more recipes like this, be sure to visit my blog where I post a variety of delicious dishes that are perfect for the whole family! And I have the healthier alternative options like this Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche Recipe, it’s all on my blog waiting for you! Happy cooking!