Menu Banner

Friday, October 5, 2007

Call for Recipes: Homemade Mac & Cheese

Today it’s all about what I want, and I want a good Mac & Cheese recipe! Homemade, with real cheese. You know, the GOOD kind. If you have such a recipe, please share!

This little bowl of Mac & Cheese was from Rock Bottom…it’s actually Mac & Chicken. It was very good, but I think we can do better. Bring it on, folks!


  1. 1

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the recipe from Martha Stewart. It uses gruyere. It’s so yummy.

    Cooks’ Illustrated also has one on their site that uses evaporated milk and eggs to make a custard base. If you want that one, I can e-mail it you. (I’m too lazy to go get it right now!)

  2. 2

    I made one awhile back that I loved. I also made one that had sausage in it that was quite tasty as well. You can find both on my blog under Main Dishes – Pasta.

  3. 3
    Jon & Sarah

    I got this recipe from a friend. It’s super easy and I love it!

    “Good Mom Mac”

    Cheese Sauce
    1 ¾ cup whole milk (I think a lower fat milk may curdle)
    2 Tablespoons corn starch
    1 8-oz bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    Pinch cayenne pepper

    Bring 1 ½ cups milk to a simmer in a sauce pan. Whisk cornstarch into remaining ¼ cup cold milk, and stir into hot milk. Bring to a simmer again, then remove from heat and stir in cheese. Add salt to taste.

    Stir cheese sauce into one pound of your favorite cooked pasta (I use whole wheat elbow macaroni).

  4. 4

    My favorite is from The New Best Recipe…

    Classic Macaroni and Cheese

    Bread Crumb Topping
    6 slices of good-quality white sandwich bread, torn into rough pieces
    3 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

    Pasta and Cheese
    1 lb elbow macaroni
    5 Tbsp unsalted butter
    6 Tbsp all purpose flour
    1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
    5 cups milk
    8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
    8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)

    1. Pulse the bread and butter in a food processor until the crumbs are no larger than 1/8 inch, ten to fifiteen 1 second pulses. Set aside.

    2. Adjust and oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the broiler. Bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add the macaroni and 1 tbsp salt and separate the noodles. Cook until the pasta is tender. Drain in colander and set aside.

    3. In now empty Dutch oven, heat the butter over med-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until the mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk; bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly (the mixture must reach a full boil to fully thicken), then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, unil thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the cheeses and 1 tsp salt until the cheeses are fully melted. Add the pasta and cook over med-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.

    4. Transfer the mixture to a broiler-safe 13 by 9 inch baking dish and sprinle evenly with bread crumbs. Broil until the crumbs are deep golden brown, 3-5 minutes (usually 2 minutes for me!), rotating the pan necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.

  5. 5

    I have been a lurker on your blog for a while now, and I love all the stuff you share! I grew up in El Cajon, so San Diego is my hometown! It makes me homesick when you talk about places you go.

    Anyway…I now live in Kansas, and there is a restaurant called J. Alexander’s that has the BEST mac and cheese I have ever had. This recipe is the closest thing to the real one, although I haven’t tried it myself. I just found the recipe, so I will for sure have to try it one of these days to see how it compares. If you try it, please post and let me know what you think!I swear that instead of bread crumbs, they used croutons though, because they were really really crunchy.

    2 cups (8 ounces) Barilla pipette pasta
    3 tablespoons butter — divided plus extra for greasing pan
    2 tablespoons flour
    2 cups heavy cream
    1/2 onion — minced
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 teaspoon paprika
    2 1/4 cups grated gruyere cheese divided
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

    Bring 6 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to rolling boil in medium saucepan. Add macaroni and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and put in large bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Stir in onion, bay leaf and paprika. Simmer gently, stirring often, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf. Stir in macaroni. Pour half of mixture into greased, deep 1 1/2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with half of remaining cheese. Top with remaining macaroni and remaining cheese. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and toss to coat. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over top of macaroni. Bake at 350: F. until bread crumbs are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.

  6. 6

    we love this one-

    3 cups sauce bechamel
    1 lb pasta ( we usually use penne)
    4 oz parmesan cheese, grated
    3/4 lb fontina cheese, grated
    salt and pepper
    1 cup buttered breadcrumbs

    3 T butter
    3 T flour
    1/2 onion, minced
    2 1/2 cups hot milk
    bay leaf
    grated nutmeg( these are all to taste)
    melt butter, add onion and cook over low heat (3 min) stir in flour and cook a few more minutes. slowly whisk in milk, sauce will thicken in a few minutes. add the spices, cook for 10-15 min. and strain.

    boil pasta. combine cheeses. butter a 3 quart baking dish. place 1/3 of pasta in dish, cover with 1/3 of cheese, pour over 1/3 of the sauce, grate on pepper. contiue layering this way, than sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top. bake at 350 for 15-20 min, until brown and bubbly.

    i know this seems like a lot of work, but after you’ve done it once, it’s not that hard. It really is good!

  7. 7

    This is a stovetop one from the Joy of cooking pasta. We love it.

    Stovetop Mac n cheese(from the joy of cooking pasta)

    4-6 main course servings or 8-10 side dish servings

    in a large pot ( large and wide is best, like a 7qt dutch oven or something)
    bring 12 c water
    1 T salt to a rolling boil.
    Add and cook just until tender
    2 c. ( 8 oz) elbow macaroni

    Drain and return to the pot. Add

    4 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    Stir until well blended. Add and stir together until smooth:

    12 oz evaporated milk
    12 oz grated extra sharp cheese
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 t dry mustard dissolved in water (or a squirt of some nice dijon if you don’t have the dry)
    3/4 t salt
    1/2 t cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes or to taste (my kids don’t even notice the red pepper)

    Set the pot to very low heat and stir constantly. Bring mixture to the first bubble of a simmer, 5-10m.
    It should thicken noticeably.
    Increase the heat slightly if it’s still soupy after 5 min, but keep a close eye on it. If you have an instant read thermometer don’t heat past 170 or it will curdle.
    Serve immediately
    If you aren’t, press plastic wrap over the top of the macaroni and then cover with the lid until ready to eat.

  8. 8
    Jane Maynard

    these are looking like GREAT recipes…I don’t know where I’ll begin – thank you!

  9. 9

    The very best recipe is teh Martha Stewart one. Double the nutmeg. It can not be beat. make this with her recipe Ceasar Salad and be prepared to be adored by all you serve!

  10. 10

    Which Martha Stewart recipe is it? She has quite a few. Thanks

  11. 11

    I will have to try some of these; I’ve been relying on Amy’s brand frozen for far too long.

  12. 12

    First of all – LOVE your blog!!! Soooo glad I stumbled upon it! 🙂

    My favorite Mac & Cheese recipe comes straight out of my Patti LaBelle cookbook. It’s called…

    Over-the-Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese

    1 Tbs. vegetable oil
    1 lb. elbow macaroni
    8 Tbs. butter + 1 Tbs.
    1/2 cup (2 oz) Muenster cheese
    1/2 cup (2 oz) mild cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup (2 oz) sharp cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup (2 oz) Monterey Jack cheese
    2 cups half-and-half
    1 cup (8 oz) Velveeta, cut up
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
    1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a deep 2 1/2 qt. casserole. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the oil, then the macaroni, and cook until just tender. You can use this time to shred all your cheeses. Drain your noodles well and return to the cooking pot. Melt the 8 Tbs. of butter and stir into the macaroni. In a large bowl, mix your cheeses. To the macaroni, add the half-and-half, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cubed velveeta, and the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the buttered casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and dot with the remaining 1 Tbs. of butter. Bake until it’s bubbling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4-6 servings

    (she says that on special occasions, she will sometimes add an extra stick of butter to take this recipe “over the moon”. She says that if you do this, substitute the milk for the half-and-half.)

  13. 13

    I’m also a long-time lurker. My husband and I love your recipes and find great ideas here.

    I thought I had the world’s best M&C recipe until I found this. It’s pure, unadulterated heaven.

    The article it came from is a good read, too: Macaroni and Cheese

    Published: January 4, 2006

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 cup cottage cheese (not lowfat)
    2 cups milk (not skim)
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    Pinch cayenne
    Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    ½ pound elbow pasta, uncooked.

    1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.

    2. In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together. Reserve ¼ cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

    3. Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

    Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

  14. 14

    Does anyone know the recipe for the Rock Bottom Mac and Chicken?

  15. 15

    I just found your blog and love it! So here’s the BEST recipe because it tastes delicious and is simple and easy and can be made in the microwave! Whoo-hoo! Grab a bowl and fill with 2 cups of milk (any kind), whisk in 6 tblsp flour, 1 tsp salt, and then gently stir in 2 cups of shredded cheese. Microwave 1-2 minutes at a time, whisking after each time so the cheese incorporates nicely into the sauce. Then you’re done! Appropriate amount for about one package of pasta.

  16. wow, that IS easy! thanks, cailean!

  17. 17
    Georganne Deis

    Paula Deen’s recipe for crockpot mac and cheese that is to die for, and so easy.I’ve made it three times and never had leftovers. Hop you like it.
    Georganne(nickname Jan but spelled Ganne

  18. 18
    karen haskell

    I love the one pioneer women makes.

Leave a comment

2 Trackbacks