Macaroni and Cheese


Ah, the ultimate comfort food: macaroni and cheese. For years I tried out different recipes- recipes like one from Martha Stewart that was very tasty, but overly complicated (frying the bread crumbs in pancetta?!!) and super expensive (the amount of gruyere required is not for the faint of heart). My favorite is a recipe I adapted from a friend of Andrew who passed on her winning mac & cheese years ago. I have adapted it to what I think is the perfect mac & cheese: full of gooey cheesy goodness with just the right amount of crunch on top.

I am embarrassed to admit that the recipe I love involves a lot of processed foods. Generally I frown upon processed foods, opting as often as I can to feed our family whole foods (and preferably whole foods I can trace back to somewhere other than a factory?). But this is a treat, and a decadent one- this is no diet food with no shortage of richness. Such is comfort food, no? It is my most-asked-for recipe; when I serve it at social gatherings, at least one person asks for the recipe, usually two! I think I have passed it around the world by now! So here it is… my favorite macaroni and cheese!

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 box macaroni noodles
  • 2 bags shredded sharp cheddar (or about 4 cups)
  • 1 bag Velveeta shredded cheese (about 1.5 – 2 cups)
  • 1 bag shredded 3-cheese cheddar (about 2 cups)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can cream of cheddar soup
  • 1 Tbsp Better than Bouillon chicken or veggie bouillon (or use 2 bouillon cubes- veggie or chicken is best)- trust me on this one!!!
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup homemade whole wheat bread crumbs* (the equivalent of 2 slices of bread)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large pot, bring water to a rapid boil. Boil macaroni noodles for 7 minutes, or al dente. Drain in colander and pour noodles into a large baking dish (I usually use a disposable foil lasagna pan if I am taking it to someone else’s house- that way there’s no stress about returning any dishes).

Using the same large pot (which will still be hot), melt butter over medium heat. Add evaporated milk, whisking until incorporated. Add cream of cheddar soup, allowing to melt and continue whisking. Add chicken bouillon, stirring until dissolved. Once this is nice and warm and mixed up, add the bags of cheese one by one, stirring well until each is melted before adding the next. Once all the cheese mixture is melted and easy to stir, pour every last bit over the noodles in the pan. Using a wooden spoon, mix the noodles with the cheese until well blended. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top, and bake uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes.

Enjoy with a great big green salad… even though who’s kidding, the salad can’t possibly undo all of this naughtiness!

Shown below is a half portion of the above recipe, cooked in an oven-proof dish- this always proves to be more than enough for our family!DSC_0056

*To make homemade bread crumbs, toast 2 pieces of bread, then process for a minute. Toss bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, and bake at 400 for 5 minutes, turning with a spatula after 3 minutes so the edges don’t burn. 

16 thoughts on “Macaroni and Cheese”
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  1. I have been thinking about mac + cheese for months now, realizing that while I love it, I have never really made my own. It’s own of those comfort foods that we don’t eat often but when we do I want and need to have an awesome recipe ready. I can’t wait to try it! Every once in awhile comfort and taste outweigh nutrition, and this one sounds worth it:)

  2. Hello! I’ve been a long-time lurker, and this is my first comment!
    I’ve never had mac and cheese, it’s not really a thing in Europe (or at least the two EU countries I’ve lived in) and I’m curious. Is it basically just pasta with cheese sauce that’s then baked? It seems so enigmatic to me, like that couldn’t possibly be it! Also, how many grams in a bag of cheese (haven’t seen those around either)? I think I’ll try make it sometime this week (:

  3. Ooh, this looks like a goodie. I’m always searching for a really good mac n cheese recipe, as my husband thinks he doesn’t like it. So strange! I’m going to give this a go this weekend and maybe make him change his mind.

  4. Rachel, thank you for commenting! And yes, mac & cheese is a kind of pasta dish with cheese, though more of a cheese sauce that’s gooey when baked. I would estimate 150 grams per bag of cheese, so use about 600 grams of cheese (I know, it’s a lot!) and feel free to use whole milk in place of the condensed milk if you prefer. Good luck and I hope you like it!

  5. This looks heavenly! My family adores Mac & Cheese, and I am slowly weaning them away from the $0.32 Meijer brand. 😉 This looks like a recipe to keep in my back pocket for sure. Thanks!

  6. I made this tonight and it was incredible. The full recipe is huge! Have you tried freezing the leftovers? I’m thinking we can get a second meal from this for sure. Thanks!

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