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Ditch the Box — 15 minute Mac and Cheese From Scratch!

Do you have a mac and cheese addict in your house? What about a secret stash of Arthur-shaped mac in a box? Hey, it happens to all of us–we reach for the box because we’re super busy, and, well, it’s dinner in a box. But what if I told you you could make creamy, cheesy, wholesome homemade mac and cheese in 15 minutes flat? Homemade beats the box every time, especially where kids are concerned. Whole wheat pasta and real cheese make it nutritious, and 5 simple ingredients mean you can have a breather.

The secret to any mac is the roux. For a long time I was scared of the roux, it seemed complicated and french. But really, you just need to whisk some flour into some melted butter and then slowly add milk. I don’t even think you really need to measure (though I did, of course, for this recipe). Go ahead, give it a try. Beats powdered cheese every time.

15 Minute Mac and Cheese
serves 4

1/2 lb. regular or whole wheat shells, or other smallish pasta shapes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or a mixture of your favorites)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Heat the butter in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. When it’s bubbly and fragrant, whisk in the flour. Mixture will thicken considerably. Turn heat to medium and slowly whisk in the milk, waiting until each batch is fully incorporated before adding more. When milk mixture is thick and creamy, turn off the heat, add the salt and cheese, and toss with the pasta. Check the salt levels and serve. Now, wasn’t that easy?

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