Does anyone know who invented macaroni and cheese? Were they given a Nobel Peace Prize? If not, they should have. I'm pretty sure Mac n Cheese can solve just about any problem (at least temporarily). Now, I'm not condoning drowning your sorrows in food, but ya know, I'm keepin' it real here. Trouble in your relationship? Talk it out over macaroni and cheese. Because this stuff makes everyone a little more agreeable. Even if you don't fix your relationship, you are at least soothed by the cheesy gooey love of mac n cheese. Bad day at work? Car broke down? Kids not listening to you?
Bust out a plate of this goodness, and the problems go to the back of your mind (for at least 15 minutes anyway). And sometimes that's all it takes to feel like yourself again. Now, my family has absolutely no qualms about eating the boxed stuff. I grew up on the boxed stuff and we still eat it today. But when you have growing kids in your house (and us older folks too), the calcium and Vitamin D you get from the cheeses and milk in the homemade stuff makes you feel a little better about indulging in this favorite dish.
Over the years, I've found some ways to simplify it but still keep it gooey and cheesy. The key to this recipe? You aren't going to boil the macaroni beforehand. Did you copy that? Do not boil the macaroni beforehand. This is going to not only save you time, but you aren't gonna have to also wash up a pot and strainer too.
2 cups macaroni, uncooked
4 cups milk (2% or higher)
4 tbsp. salted butter, melted
1 tsp. table salt
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed or shredded
4 cups shredded cheese (2 cups cheddar, 2 cups mixed cheeses)
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
(dry mustard not pictured)
Now, when it comes to the cheeses you can pretty much use whatever cheese you like. For the shredded cheeses, I usually go with whatever is on sale or what I have a coupon for. Sometimes I'll use the pre-shredded stuff, other times it's cheaper for me to shred it myself. I generally like to use a mixed cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, mozzarella) to be mixed with the Velveeta and then a cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top. If you want to save on money, try just using just the Velveeta and skip the second bag of cheese. Or skip the Velveeta and just use the one bag of cheese in the noodle mixture. The extra cheese just makes it super cheesy.
A whole 16oz. block of Velveeta is being pictured here. You're only going to use half of that (8 oz.) or you can use those Velveeta shreds that are in bags and ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cut up your Velveeta cheese into small 1/2-inch cubes (or you can shred it)
In a medium bowl, combine milk with melted butter.
Add in salt and dry mustard powder.
Pour in uncooked macaroni.
Now add in Velveeta
Next add in 2 cups of shredded mixed cheeses.
Give it all a good stir.
Pour the mixture into your baking dish.
Cover with aluminium foil.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes (until macaroni is cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed). I usually stir it a time or two while cooking. Oven times vary so check it around the 40 minute mark.
Take it out of the oven, remove foil, and top with 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Put it back in the oven (uncovered) for another 10-15 minutes (until cheese is melted, bubbly and golden).
Comfort food at it's finest.
Printable Recipe Here
Printable Recipe Here