I have been making homemade mac and cheese since I was a teenager. It wasn’t until I was first married that I tried boxed mac and cheese. Go ahead and say what you’re thinking, I was a spoiled brat growing up. True. All true.
Boxed Mac and Cheese Takes Just as Long as Homemade
The first time I bought a box of mac and cheese, I was shocked when I looked in the box. What did I find? Uncooked noodles. I have no idea what I was expecting, exactly, but is sure wasn’t uncooked noodles.
I thought the store bought stuff was supposed to be faster than homemade. Boy was I wrong about that. Not only did I have to cook the noodles, I couldn’t get the cheese powder to mix up smoothly. Talk about a fail. After that day, I decided homemade mac and cheese was just as simple and fast as boxed.
Ingredients for Homemade Mac and Cheese
There are some basic ingredients you need to make this recipe. You can switch things up with the spices. I am known for never sticking to a recipe.
1 16 oz box of pasta (I prefer rotini or shells)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cup milk
6 oz Velveeta cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
How to Make the Recipe
Use a microwave safe 9×9 square baking dish to make the cheese sauce. I’ve always done this in the microwave. I guess you could put it on the stove to cook, but I don’t have any real insights to give you for the method.
Cook box of noodles according to package directions. Get this started before you start the cheese sauce. The noodles should be done about the same time the sauce is ready.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the baking dish in the microwave. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour and mix thoroughly. This is called a rue. It is the same method you would use to start gravy.
Add 1 1/2 cups milk gradually to the rue you made. Mix well. If you have a little bit of clumps, scoop it out or don’t worry about it. I usually do not worry about it. Microwave the mixture for 5 minutes.
Add in 6 oz of Velveeta and all of the spices to the milk. Microwave for another 6 minutes or until the cheese is melted and blend in the milk. Microwave a little longer if need be.
Stir cooked noodles into the sauce. Place in the microwave for about 3 minutes just to get it hot. Sprinkle the 1 cup of cheese on top of the noodles and cover for a few minutes. The shredded cheese will melt from the heat of the mac and cheese.
Variations For This Dish
There are several variations you can do for this recipe. I like to add chipotle spices to my sauce in place of the ground mustard and garlic. Of course, I like to add Weber gourmet burger seasoning sometimes. You know that is my favorite spice. I also like to add a spice called soul food seasoning. It is found at the Dollar General, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else.
You can add cubed ham to the sauce for extra flavor. Spinach or peas are a good addition if you want a vegetable in the mix.
Everyone that comes over always loves this dish. Anyone that sees me make it are floored at how simple it is to make. Let me know how it turns out for you.