Recipe by Lindsey Chester. Photo by MegaBeth.
Cary, NC – If you’re like me, the only macaroni and cheese you’ve ever made came from a box and involved an orange powder. But I was inspired this week to make it from scratch – I was surprised just how easy (and cheap!) this dish was to make.
I shop at Aldi often- it is the best bargain grocer in Cary – and in the pasta aisle I picked up a 32 oz. box of macaroni, and on the back was a recipe for “Easy Baked Macaroni & Cheese”. I know both my daughters like mac & cheese, so I thought, “Why not?”
The ingredients listed were items I already had in my pantry: shredded cheddar cheese, milk, butter, bread crumbs and macaroni; plus flour, salt and pepper. The box called for only 8 oz. of macaroni, but the box was bigger, so I did some fuzzy math and increased the recipe. It came out awesome – and was plenty to feed us twice and a lunch or two.
You’ll need about an hour, so make sure you have the time.
- 32 oz. box macaroni
- 1 stick butter (8 oz.)
- 8 T flour
- 4 C milk (I used 2%)
- 1 t salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 4 C shredded cheddar cheese (or your choice)
- 1 C breadcrumbs
- Get a big pot of water and boil the macaroni- rolling boil for 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Butter a large (like BIG!) casserole dish and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In another large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the flour gradually, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until well blended (this makes a white roux).
- Gradually add all the milk, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil for 2 minutes (continue to stir). Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. This will be a thick mixture.
- Gradually add the shredded cheese and stir until melted and well blended. Simmer an additional 5 minutes.
- Turn off the flame. Add the drained macaroni to the cheese mixture in the pot. Make sure pasta is well coated.
- Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
- Bake 20 minutes until top is golden brown. This makes at least 10 good sized servings.
This recipe is a keeper and this will become my “Go To” recipe for a crowd of hungry teens. If you want some variety, try adding diced ham or peas for a more complete meal.