Today I'm re-posting this baked macaroni and cheese recipe in honor of my Mom, who passed away recently. When cleaning out her house we came across the hand-written version that she sent me when I originally posted it:
My Mom is asked to make this baked macaroni and cheese recipe everywhere she goes, she's a great cook, unlike myself – I have to really work at it! She originally got the recipe from my Grandma (her mother-in-law), and adults and kids both love it. Whenever I try making it, I always think I have to change one little thing (using whole wheat pasta, different cheese that I have on-hand, or whatever), and probably because of that I don't always have good luck with this recipe – the milk sometimes curdles or it all tastes too heavy. Maybe it's just me, and if you change something it may come out fine. You wouldn't think something little should mess the whole thing up, but I'm just warning you, while this looks like a no-brainer recipe, I'm not the only one who has struggled with it! (See my updated note below!)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 1/2 cups Kroger elbow macaroni (Mom said Grandma always insisted that it had to be Kroger brand…???) These days I love Einkorn pasta and it always turns out!
- Cold butter for greasing your dish (Mom uses a can of no-stick spray, but a cold stick of butter is just as easy and without the chemicals…there I go again, trying to change just one little thing…)
- Sea salt & pepper to your taste
- 2-8 ounce packages of shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
- Milk – about 1-2 cups
- Few slices of colby cheese for the top
- 5 or 6 pats of butter for the top
Boil water in a large pan, add olive oil. Add macaroni and stir well several times during the 8 minutes it cooks. Drain well in a colander, running hot water over the macaroni. Use a cold stick of butter to grease a large 4 quart glass bowl and add the macaroni. (See my updated note below about the size of pan I use these days.) Add sea salt, pepper, and the cheese, stir well. Add milk just until you can see it coming up the sides of the macaroni. Put colby cheese and butter on top. Bake 375*-400* for about 1 1/4 hours, depending on how hot your oven is – it should be just light brown on top.
UPDATE: I made this for a meatless Friday during Lent and it turned out GREAT, I didn't even use Kroger macaroni! I ended up making a huge batch and froze one for later. Also, I baked it in a big 10×14 stainless steel baking pan, because my favorite part is the browned cheese on top, and this way there is a lot more of the yummy cheese in each serving. Everyone cleared their plates!
- Here's an easy stovetop mac & cheese recipe, it's faster, but not quite as good the baked macaroni and cheese recipe
- Healthy snack ideas
- All about cod liver oil
- My “food conversion” story
- School lunches – healthy alternatives
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