A favorite side dish in my house is macaroni & cheese. Homemade macaroni & cheese. It is the perfect comfort food and I love making it from scratch because I can control the ingredients in it. (Versus using a box with the powdered cheese ;)) With very little effort, it is easy to make a creamy side dish that is sure to please a crowd. I typically make this for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter as a side dish Then a couple of times throughout the year when me or hubby are craving it, I will make it to go along with grilled chicken or burgers or soup. I always make this with two bars of Cabot White Cheddar Cheese. You do not have to use Cabot, in fact you don’t have to use white cheddar or even block cheddar. Shredded cheese would work perfectly as well!
- Always purchase pasta when it is on sale and stockpile it away. I try to purchase pasta when it is on sale BOGO and there is a coupon to use with the sale. Typically regular pasta is around $0.50/box or less shopping like this.
- Cheese is an item that you can very often find coupons for. Check out Addicted to Saving’s coupon database to see the available cheese coupons. The two blocks of Cabot cheese I used in this recipe were on sale 2/$5.00. I had two $1.00 off coupons so I was able to get the cheese for just $3.00. When I am able to get cheese on sale like this, I will freeze it. If I cook with thawed cheese, I will not notice any differences from fresh cheese.
- Macaroni & Cheese does not have to be as calorie filled as you would think. I use skim milk. (In fact, I always cook with skim milk.) I also use two different blocks of Cabot cheese. One block is 50% Reduced Fat and the other block is Sharp. And I will also use either whole wheat pasta or for this recipe, pictured below, I used brown rice, gluten-free pasta! Hubby didn’t even realize the difference! I would not recommend substituting the white flower in this recipe with whole wheat flower. (You all know that I love to substitute whole wheat flower whenever possible.) Whole wheat flour changes the color of the sauce and gives it a murky color. And the flavor of the whole wheat flower comes out in the sauce and it isn’t the most pleasant.
Homemade White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese
3 c Macaroni (cooked & drained)
2 blocks Cheddar Cheese – shred our cut into cubes (I prefer Cabot and use one block 50% less fat and one block extra sharp)
1/4 c Butter or Margarine
1/4 c Flour
2 c Milk
1 t Salt
1) Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spray 1.5 qt casserole dish with non-stick spray
2) Cook macaroni & drain
3) Shred or cube cheese
4) Alternate layers of pasta and cheese in casserole dish
1) Melt butter in medium sauce pan
2) Remove from heat and blend in flour
3) Return to stove and gradually stir in milk and seasonings.
4) Bring to a boil, stir, and boil for one minute until sauce thickens (Keep stirring to prevent sticking)
5) Pour sauce over pasta and cheese in casserole dish. Stir everything to insure sauce is spread throughout entire dish.
6) Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
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