Nope. Don't even try to tell me there is something quite as good for a family dinner as macaroni and cheese. EVERYONE loves it. Sure, mom doesn't want to admit she loves it. All she is thinking about is those extra calories. But straight-up...everyone loves macaroni and cheese!
For all you mom's I added a leafy green to the plate to trick your brain into ignoring your better sense. But let me tell you, check out those nutrition facts. This recipe is actually quite kind to your calorie counting. Have a serving and feed your soul!
How do you make baked mac & cheese creamy?
In this recipe, I've added cream cheese to help keep it creamy but the very best way to have the most creamy of creamy?....
I hate admitting this but...with Velvetta in place of the Mozzarella. I can't even believe I'm saying that.
My childhood as the oldest of 10 was during the Kool-aid and Velvetta era. Budget-friendly food was chock full of chemicals and dyes. I get it, my mom had to feed alot of us and EVERYONE was eating hotdogs and Velvetta and bologna.
Today, in my house, Velvetta is a 4 letter word. And let me never see another package of Kool-aid again!
But I'm gonna come out and say that it really is the best way to get creamy mac and cheese. Sigh. I never thought I'd see the day :).
Macaroni and Cheese is life. Straight up soul food. Regardless of if you are from the South or the East Coast or from the Midwest...we all appreciate a good Mac & Cheese.
In fact, learning how to make a homemade Mac & Cheese should be a life skill.
Think about it, your kid breaks the neighbor's window...goes home and makes Mac & Cheese...brings it over with a note...all is forgiven. And, your son is the neighbors fave.
Your daughter wants to make friends in college...she makes a batch of homemade Mac & Cheese in the dorm kitchen...surprise! everyone is hanging out wanting to chat.
Or, you rarely see your family and feel like a bad mom...make a batch of homemade Mac & Cheese for supper...BAM! Mom of the Year again.
I'm telling you, NOTHING is as good as a mean batch of Mac & Cheese. Universal soul food.
Oh wait, I do have a macaroni and cheese pizza recipe. Yes, kids go crazy for that!! Might possibly beat plain ol' mac & cheese. But when you combine pizza AND mac & cheese, it's bound to be epic!
What is the best cheese for macaroni and cheese, you ask?
My faves are: parmesan, the cheddars, gouda, fontina, gruyere, and parmigiana reggiano.
This recipe uses 3 of my faves and Mozzarella. Why the Mozzarella? Because it's a budget saver. And when you are making this for a family, that cheese can get pretty darn spendy.
Truth be told, you could make a blue box of Mac & Cheese and be a winner, in my book. But maybe you want to up your game and try something a bit more glamorous for supper tonight?
This recipe has multiple cheeses to take it from kiddie food to adult-ish food. We are baking it to help give a bit of time to clean up the kitchen and set the table while it bakes. Bonus, the family smells it cooking and finds their way into the kitchen without you having to round them up.
Have you ever tried making macaroni and cheese on the campfire? I have. It totally rocks!!
Macaroni and Cheese is where you can easily make a few subs for nutrition and your family won't even notice. Promise! My 15 year old, to this day, hasn't figured a few of mine ;).
- add squash (heck, baby food squash is great for this!)
- sub whole wheat noodles for white
- better yet, swap out steamed cauliflower for some of the noodles (just barely start their cooking process and let them finish in the oven)
- try chicken broth instead of any milks
homemade Four Cheese Baked Mac & Cheese
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella shredded
- ½ cup parmesan shredded
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare pasta according to the directions, reserve ¼ cup of the water before draining pasta.
- Drain pasta and return to pan.
- Mix in the butter and cream cheese until melted and combined.
- Add in seasonings and water.
- Add in ½ of the shredded cheddar, all of the mozzarella, and all of the parm. Mix just until the cheese melts.
- Pour into an 9 by 13 pan.
- Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes.