Monday, April 1, 2013

Best, easiest tastiest Mac and Cheese ever.

Are you ready for this? It's the BEST - EASIEST - TASTIEST Mac & Cheese recipe ever for homemade macaroni and cheese. And not only is it easy, it's delicious!


Really! All you need are:

• 2 cups of pasta (we use shells)
• 2 cups cheddar cheese (so a package of it from the store)
• 2 cups milk
[you'll also want to add salt & pepper to taste]

THAT'S IT!

Here's a more detailed list of how to make it. . .

1. Combine 2 cups of pasta with 2 cups milk.


2. Simmer until noodles are cooked to your preference STIRRING OFTEN!


3. Do not drain the pasta! Add in 2 cups of cheddar cheese (and salt and pepper) to the pasta and milk mixture, and stir until it's all melted. 



See how easy that was???? And it's sooo tasty and creamy! You could, of course, use different kinds of cheese and pastas, but the recipe bones are simple. It's really creamy because you cook the pasta in the milk. 

Mike loves it.

I love it.
 

It's a crowd favorite. Go on, try it tonight! 

** UPDATE **
We recently tried mixing in some mozzarella cheese to the cheddar mix and it didn't turn out so well. It's much too soft and just doesn't MELT like cheddar does. I don't know the science behind it, but I will recommend not using it unless you're okay with clumpy mozzarella cheese. And if you are, then go for it! :)


Happy cheesing! 

107 comments:

  1. oh my gosh this looks amazing!! Never making mac and cheese the same way again!

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    1. I hope you try it! It's very good! You'll never want to use boxed mac&cheese again!

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  2. I'm going to try this tomorrow!!! Then I'm going back on my diet. LOL

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  3. Making this in the morning for my husband's work potluck (that he just told me about). Thanks for the easy recipe, I am going to add some bacon too to make it a bit "fancier". :)

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    1. YAY! I hope everyone loves it! Sometimes we make this then we throw it in a casserole dish and put bread crumbs on top and bake it for about 20 minutes or so. It's still OH SO GOOD!

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  4. Love this recipe! My kids loved it so much, I had to make another batch immediately after! Thank you :)

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    1. WHOOO HOOO! Love hearing things like this!!! Thanks for commenting!

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  5. I made this tonight. Not sure what I did wrong, but it was gritty like. Maybe I stirred it too much. Not sure, but didn't turn out. I'll try again though. :)

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    1. Maybe your heat was too high and you didn't melt the cheese slow enough? I'm not sure either!

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  6. Do you have to use whole milk for this or can you use 1% or 2%??

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    1. At my house, we only purchase skim milk so that's all I've ever used. However, I'm sure 2% or whole would be delicious as well!

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  7. Roughly, how long do you simmer the noodles? I'm a terrible cook without specific directions. ;-)

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    1. To be honest, I'm not sure... I'm going to guess about 20 minutes or so. It really depends how you prefer your pasta be cooked. I do ours al dente because we don't like the noodles mushy.

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  8. I was recently diagnosed with UC and I was craving Mac n cheers and my body does not do well with dairy so I used soy milk and veggie shredded cheese ( made for melting) not all veggie cheese will melt but mine came out pretty dang good and on top of that pretty healthy used gluten free noodles as well!

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    1. Carley, it makes me really happy to see you made this recipe work for you! I hope you loved it and continue to prepare it in your custom way!

      Thanks so so much for reading!
      Angie

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  9. Not sure what i did wrong but this did not turn out. :-(

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    1. Hm... hard to tell. What kind of milk, cheese and pasta did you use? Did you stir often? By "not turn out" what do you mean? Did it taste bad or have a bad texture?

      I'd love to remedy it, but need some more details :)

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    2. I can't speak for certain, but you must use cheese you shred yourself, and not the pre-shredded stuff. It has stuff in it that will cause the recipe to not be as good.

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    3. Most of the time we use packaged shredded cheese & we still love it. We made this last night as matter of fact!

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  10. you probably used pre-shredded cheese. You should grate the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese has a powder substance on it called cellulose. This is used to coat the cheese blocking out the moisture that causes them to clump. I would suggest trying it again but with your own grated cheese.

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    1. Great suggestion! I've made this recipe more times than I can count and we've done it so many different ways... pre-shredded cheese, shredded myself, SLICES of cheese, etc. I hope you try it again and find what works for you!

      p.s. I will say that this is much tastier made with 2% or fattier milk! I typically use skim at home, but it's so much creamier with the "thicker" stuff!

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  11. Trying this today with elbow mac. My 10 year old is CRAZY about her mac n cheese. I hope she likes it cause I feel much better making it rather then buying boxed!

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    1. 10yr old approved! Loved it! I'd like to try different cheeses too! No more boxed!

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    2. Excellent!! Yea, we've used cheddar, mozzarella, swiss and colby-jack. One time I used all four at once. It's fun to try it different each time. I also think using 2% milk instead of Skim makes it taste a little better.

      I'm so happy your 10 year loved it!! Yes, no more boxed mac & cheese!

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    3. I just made this and had to comment! (I never comment on anything lol) its a new fave and has been requested that I make it weekly! So easy thanks for posting

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    4. EXCELLENT!!!! That's so great to hear! I'm so happy it is a new favorite!!

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  12. I'm sorry to ask this, but I'm not sure what it means to "simmer" until cooked. Is that over medium heat or lower? This looks great!

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    1. Milk has a low boiling point. I keep the heat between medium and medium-low. To simmer is to keep it under a boil. If it boils the milk will develop a film (which is gross). So if it begins to boil turn the heat down a little.

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  13. This looks amazing! Just wondering, about how many does it serve? Thanks!

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    1. Really it should yield 4 servings (one serving is 1/2 cup of pasta in general), but if I'm being honest, my husband and I can polish this off between the two of us. We like it that much!

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    2. Thanks so much! Making it tonight!! :D

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    3. Excellent!! I hope it works out for you!

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  14. I made this last night and it was really good. I put it in the oven for 20 minutes after cooking it on the stove top. I will definitely make this again.

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    1. Ooooh we love baking ours for a little while, too. Next time try adding bread crumbs on top with a little extra cheese, too. It's divine!

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  15. Pinned this earlier! Making tonight!:-)

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  16. I just made this. I cooked it on low for about 20 minutes and the milk and cheese separated right at the end and burned to the bottom of the pot. I'm still eating it, but it's not as smooth as I would have liked it. I think I'll cook it in my slow cooker next time.

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    1. It's really important to babysit the noodles and stir OFTEN. Milk burns so easily... Please let me know how it goes in the slow cooker! I'd be interested to try it if it works out!

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    2. Did you add the cheese at the beginning or the end? I think you only add the cheese once the noodles are done and just warm enough to let it melt in.

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    3. You add the cheese at the end, like I demonstrated, once the noodles are cooked to preference.

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  17. Could you double the recipe and still have it turn out okay?

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    1. I haven't tried doubling it, but if you do it please let me know how it works out!

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    2. I don't see why not! It's just lots more pasta and milk to babysit.

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  18. How well does this work with whole grain noodles and I would still like to know if anyone has tried doubling it or even adding an extra half batch into it.

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    1. I've done it once with whole grain and it was good!
      I've not needed to double the recipe, so I can't say how it turns out - but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

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  19. Do you know if Almond milk will work? Also, do you ever add veggies to it?

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    1. Kara, I don't honestly know since I've never cooked with almond milk. I've not added veggies yet, but I'm considering trying some add-ins after hearing how great it tastes from other followers. If you do either, please let me know how it turns out!

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    2. We only buy almond milk so I just made this tonight with it. Turned out great!

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  20. what is your absolute favorite kind of cheese to use? I am about to make this and I have a few different cheeses to choose from, I'd like to know your favorite :) also if I am only making this for two people would halfing it work or no?

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    1. MILD CHEDDAR!! We've used mozzarella, Colby-jack and Parmesan, but we always fall back on cheddar. I personally wouldn't cut it in half. If my hubs and I are hungry we can almost polish off this recipe on our own.

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    2. I'm cutting it in half right now (yes, at 9:45am I am making myself mac & cheese because this looks THAT good)...... it's only for me so 1/2 portion of your original recipe should be perfect for JUST me :)

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  21. Hi! I found your recipe on Pinterest earlier today and decided this was definitely what I was going to make for dinner! Mine came out perfectly! I used gluten free rice pasta and a little less cheese in mine (I'm a broke grad student and the thought of having to use up an entire bag of precious cheese...just wasn't gonna happen! Ha!). I sprinkled a bit of cheese on top along with some gluten free Italian bread crumbs and stuck it in the oven for 20 minutes, which gave it a nice little crunch! I'm stoked with the way it turned out. Boxed or frozen GF mac and cheese is pretty awful, so this was just perfect! Thanks!

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    1. Awesome!!!!! Our favorite way to finish it is to put bread crumbs on top and bake, too! I'm so happy you loved it!

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  22. Trying this now.!! Can't wait :))

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  23. Great recipe!! Thank you!! I actually used Almond Milk and saved a lot of calories. My girls even thought that it was too cheesy, so less cheese next time and we'll save even more calories! I'd much rather make this than buy boxed mac & cheese with who knows what in it!

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    1. Good to know that almond milk tastes great, too. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Can you make it ahead, and reheat it later in the microwave? :)

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    1. You sure can but it won't be as creamy for round 2. It might dry out a bit (in my experience this is true when reheating any pasta dish).

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    2. I would add a little milk to it when you microwave. That is what I do with any pasta dish (like alfredo and spaghetti) and it turns out well. It gives the sauce a little more life after being cold and condensing in the refrigerator.

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  25. This is the best Mac and Cheese I have ever tasted!!! Thank you!!
    I kept adding milk as it was cooking to make more "sauce" when the cheese was added. This is a 12 on my scale!! :-)

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    1. A 12?? Woo hoo!! I'm so happy to hear that you love it as much as we do! Thanks for commenting.

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  26. I made this...but the texture was a little weird. Thinking maybe i need to add the cheese little by little...but also thinking I overheated the milk...AHH...help!

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    1. Yea, unfortunately if the milk gets too hot it can change the texture. It's very important to heat the milk & pasta slowly and keep an eye on it. If it starts boiling, it's too hot and you should turn the temp down.

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  27. it was delicious and we all loved it but how can I make it stick together less?

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    1. You could make it less thick by adding more milk to the mix. That would help. (Is that what you meant?)

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  28. i hope you can answer this now, as I am preparing to make, but am I correct if you don't boil, just simmer?? how long will or should it simmer for??

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    1. I am just seeing this, sorry! Yes simmer! Do not boil! If you boil, the milk will start to film and it's no good for anyone.... I've never timed it but I think it usually takes about 20 minutes to get the noodles cooked to where we like them.
      I hope this turned out delicious for you!

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  29. I found your recipe on Pinterest. I made it for dinner, and it is SO GOOD! We have eliminated most processed foods, and I feel like I do nothing but cook and do dishes....but this was SO EASY and well worth it! Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Anonymous... I don't know if you'll see this, but I TOTALLY get shat you're saying about feeling like all you do is cook and clean up after! I swear if anyone asked me what my job was, I'd say that I cook full time. Not using processed foods it such a time consumer! I totally understand why, when the boxed stuff started making an appearance, why housewives got so excited about it all. :/ Now, people are getting back to the slow eating way of life and while it's SO much better in almost every single way, it's so darn time consuming!

      Anyway, I just found this recipe and I can't wait to try it! THank you so much for sharing it, Angie!

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    2. I hope you love it! We enjoy cooking at my house, so taking our time is nice. That will change, I know, once the baby is born, but for now we like it.

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  30. I want to try this recipe tonight....I have some heavy cream in the fridge or would that be too much? I can't wait my daughter loves mac & cheese.

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    1. I've not used heavy cream for this but my instinct says it might be too thick or rich. However, that depends on your personal taste and preference. I hope it works out for you!

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  31. I found You on Pinterest..this Is very good! I used Tri color rotini and added browned burger meat after the cheese melted..better than hamburger helper. I will use a little extra milk next time since the rotini takes longer to cook.

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    1. I love the idea to add hamburger! I've added broccoli before and it's yummy.

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  32. Husband made this tonight and it was delish! Kids loved it! I shared it on my blog (hope that's okay) :) It's not often you find a quick and easy meal for the weeknight that can be used with non-processed foods and really good! Thanks for sharing! -Vanessa

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    1. Awesome awesome awesome!! Glad you loved it and honored you shared it on your blog. Thank you!

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  33. Awesome recipe! Brilliant idea to boil in milk. I made this last night- with a twist. I added sour cream, ricotta cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, Mexican cheese and pepperoni! Then when it was finished cooking I baked it in individual miniature pans with bread crumbs and more cheddar on top. My son loved it!!! Thank you! ♡♥

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    1. Thank you. I love your choice of cheeses for this, sounds delicious! So glad you loved it!

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  34. Just made this for lunch. I think I got the heat too high, or didn't use the right kind of cheese. The cheese almost has the texture of small curd cottage cheese. But it tastes good. The milk got kind of frothy, so even though I turned down the heat, I think it was too hot. And I used a mexican blend of pre-shredded cheese. advice?

    My daughter, a very picky eater just said, "That's good mac and cheese! More please?" and my husband, who is a mac and cheese snob (sticks with just the blue box), said, "Hey, that's pretty good. Gonna have to add that to our normal menu." This is great. I was looking for an easy alternative to boxed mac and cheese, since even the maker says it's been linked to behavior disorders in kids! Thanks so much!!

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    1. I would say your heat was too high. If the milk got frothy, it was just a wee bit too high. And if the milk was too hot when the cheese joined the party, then the cheese could have been melted too quickly resulting in the chunky or "curd" like texture. I'm so happy to hear that your family loved it, regardless! Try using different pastas and cheeses (I don't recommend mozzarella, though) and see how you like it.

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  35. I have a big family, so I'm going to be doubling (or maybe even tripling) the recipe for dinner tomorrow night... I hope it works, but either way I'll be back to let everyone know! :)

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    1. I'm back, as promised. I ended up doubling the recipe and found that I needed more than four cups of milk, I think I ended up using closer to five cups. I don't know the exact amount because I just kept adding in little by little as needed. I'll tell you right now, "al dente" for 4 cups of noodles takes about 40 minutes... and when you use whole milk, you basically have to stir the ENTIRE TIME. My kids don't like al dente, so I basically stood at my stove for literally an hour to make it. Also, I used four cups of mozzarella for it, and had (thankfully) read the but about it being clumpy beforehand so I took a metal bowl, all my cheese, and a generous splash of milk and whenever I let the pasta rest to cook a little, I threw the metal bowl on top of my pot to melt the cheese (using a wisk to mix the cheese)... It worked REALLY well... but my shoulder hurts A LOT from all the mixing (but to be fair, I'm a crock pot person, so my shoulder isn't used to all the mixing haha)... Anyway, it was really yummy, but unless I get help with the mixing I wont be making this recipe again for a while haha

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    2. I'm glad you liked it but I agree. That is a long time to stand and stir!

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  36. Found this on pinterest, can't wait to try it tonight! Can it really be that simple...? Thanks, Angie!

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  37. Thank you for this recipe, my 3 year old daughter loves mac n cheese but usually does not like my homemade version. She likes the Annie's whole grain but I still prefer to home make so I know exactly what is in it. I used whole wheat elbow noodles & mix of mozz & cheddar and she liked it! It wasn't my favorite flavor I think bc of the whole wheat noodles but could def. eat it and will make it for her again for sure!

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  38. How many servings is this? Two cups looks like a lot, and it's just my boyfriend and myself. I'd hate to make more than what we will eat!

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    1. Really it should yield 4 servings (one serving is 1/2 cup of pasta in general), but if I'm being honest, my husband and I can polish this off between the two of us. We like it that much!

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  39. I made this tonight and it was delicious! I boiled some chicken thighs first and shredded them. Then I added the chicken, some crumbled bacon, sauteed onions and mushrooms and some frozen peas and baked it with some bread crumbs on top! So good!!! A meal in itself!

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  40. Can I adjust this? Like use 4 cups of each instead? Will it come out the same?

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    1. I don't see why not! Let me know how it turns out. I hope you love it!

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  41. Hello, I absolutely love the idea of one pot and no draining! I just made this for lunch, I had to keep adding milk cause it was getting to thick to cook the noodles. Not knowing for sure if I was doing it right or not I got frustrated and added a bit more milk, gave it a good stir, put a lid on it, turned off the heat and came hear to check the instructions when I went back the noodles were done it was really thick so added more milk again the cheese and stirred and added even more milk lol and it was still to thick but next time I might double the milk and try a different cheese. I still love it though :)

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    1. Wow! Sounds like a lot of milk. I wonder why it was so think... though we don't like ours runny, so maybe I don't even think it's "thick" but you might. I'm glad you loved it!

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  42. My boyfriend is a mac and cheese SNOB! I cant wait to try it out and see if he likes it. If he does its a total winner and I wont have to go to Panera Bread for mac and cheese anymore lol.

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    1. Oh, how I love me some Panera mac & cheese.... I encourage you to try out different cheeses, not just cheddar. I know Panera uses a blend (if that's what you're trying to copy). We love cheddar, jack and colby.

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  43. Has anyone made it with soy milk or almond milk? Curious if it'll make it taste bad.

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    1. Since almond milk is not dairy milk I'm not sure how this would work out. I am unaware of the boiling point for almond milk or if it would absorb well into the pasta. I have zero experience with soymilk. If you do try it with one of the two please come back and let me know how it turned out.

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    2. Original almond milk tasted great when we tried it. Haven't tried the unsweetened or vanilla flavored & probably won't because original tasted so good.

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  44. As a mac and cheese fanatic I wad so excited to try this recipe! I've now made it two nights in a row! Amazing! Second time I added a bit of mustard powder, its a nice touch. Also perfect recipe for me being a college student! Thank you!

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  45. I made this last night for the BF who loves mac and cheese and I hate all the artificial ingredients in the boxed stuff. The taste was good but the cheese all melted together in clumps-is this supposed to happen? If not, anyone have any tips to avoid it in the future? I was wondering if I should shred the cheese finer or add it in more slowly. It was also really runny, which we didn't mind but I'm not sure if it's supposed to be. Thanks!

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Thank you for reading! I welcome your comments and suggestions.