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Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • ΒΌ cup onion minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups dairy product skim, 2%, whole milk, evaporated milk, half and half, cream or any combination
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cheese of your choice grated, more or less, depending on how much you like cheese

Instructions

  • In a pre-heated heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat the butter until bubbly.
  • Stir in the onion, salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until onions have softened and are translucent.
  • Stir in the flour, mixing well with the butter and onions. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the dairy and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn the heat down to low and let simmer until the sauce is as thick as you want it, stirring occasionally.
  • Off the heat, stir in the grated cheese, a bit at a time. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

To Make Macaroni and Cheese

  • Cook 8 ounces of your favorite pasta shape in boiling, salted water, until just barely al dente. I usually stop cooking 2 minutes before whatever time the package directions state.
  • Drain the pasta well and combine with the hot cheese sauce.
  • Warm over low heat for about 5 minutes, just so the pasta is cooked through. Make sure it doesn't boil, or your cheese sauce will separate.

To Sneak in Extra Vegetables

  • Puree one cup of roasted butternut squash and whisk that into the Mornay sauce. Season with a bit of nutmeg.
  • Stir in one cup of pumpkin puree to the Mornay sauce. Season with a bit of sage or poultry seasoning.
  • Puree one cup of steamed cauliflower and add to the sauce. Season with a little nutmeg.
  • For all three variations, no additional baking is necessary. Just heat the sauce with the hidden vegetables together with the pasta and serve.

Ideas for Variations

  • Use jack cheese in your cheese sauce and stir in a can of drained tomatoes or Ro-Tel (tomatoes and chiles) along with a bit of chili powder and cumin.
  • Stir in a cup or so of any cooked vegetable that your kids like. Cauliflower, peas, bell peppers, broccoli, green beans, etc, would all work well.
  • To up the protein, stir in cooked diced turkey or chicken, or add in a some drained canned tuna.
  • To change things up even more, vary the starch you use to make this. For example, you can substitute cooked white or brown rice, Israeli couscous, or even cooked barley or wheat berries for the pasta.