• Jenn

The Easiest Mac and Cheese on the stove. I promise

Well, for many of you, fall means, school, sports, music, meetings, and anything that can fit into that short amount time between sleeping. So here is the mac and cheese I make anytime I feel “lazy” about dinner. And honestly, it’s not much harder than the powder stuff in the box.

Ingredients

  1. 16 oz of Elbow Macaroni

  2. 8 oz of Cream Cheese

  3. 8 oz of Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

  4. About 3 Tablespoons of flour

  5. About 3 Tablespoons of olive oil/butter

  6. About 2 cups of Whole milk

  7. Seasoning Salt and Pepper to taste

First things first, you’ll need to cook your pasta. I realize for many this is a no brainer, but for anyone new to cooking, I’m putting it out there. If you’ve never cooked pasta before, follow the directions on you pasta box carefully. You want the pasta to be 2 minutes less than al dente (that means that if you bite into a noodle it’ll be soft outside, but a little hard in the middle).

While your pasta is cooling you can take a minute and cube your cream cheese. It’s ok if it gets warmer. it’ll melt faster.

Once your pasta is done, you will want to take a coffee cup and carefully dip it into the pot to get almost a full cup of water. To do this, I suggest carefully sliding against the side of the pot so you get water and no noodles. Your other option, would be to put a larger Heat safe liquid measuring cup in the sink, then put your strainer on top and pour the pot of pasta into the strainer, the measuring cup should catch plenty of water. If you choose the later, please be VERY CAREFUL! The measuring cup will be very hot because you just poured BOILING HOT WATER over it.

If you haven’t yet… Drain the pasta (leave in the strainer for now).

Turn heat to medium. In the same pot add butter/olive oil. Once hot, add flour and whisk until a thick paste. The thing to remember here is you need a 1:1 ratio fat to flour. so if you decide you want it thicker, you would do 3 tablespoons of each. If you decide you want it thinner, you would do 1 or 2 Tablespoons of each. Just make sure, you match the amount of oil/butter to the amount of flour. Too much oil, it’ll be greasy at the end and have an oily texture when you eat it. Too much flour and it will taste like flour and be lumpy.

Slowly add the milk while continuously whisking. Add the cream cheese and continue whisking until completely melted in.  This will also create lumpy sauce if you don’t whisk continuously. (This does take practice, so if you do end up with lumpy sauce, just take your immersion blender and blend away. It should make it smooth again. Yes… in my beginnings of gravy making, I had lumps that were not from sausage… and yes, I did this trick. So I know it works – You’re Welcome).

Add half of the pasta water (about half a cup) to the sauce. Stir until incorporated. Save the rest of the pasta water, just in case*. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Add the noodles to the sauce and stir until completely mixed, then turn off the heat.

Add 3/4 of the cheddar cheese to the mixture, fold until fairly mixed together.

Top with remaining cheese.

ENJOY!

 Things to keep in mind…

  1. Add salt to the boiling water before cooking the pasta (you need to add a good amount so the pasta has good flavor as well.

  2. Make sure you’re pasta is slightly less done than al dente so it doesn’t over cook as you continue cooking the pasta after you make the sauce. It will also cook a little in the strainer as it waits for you to add it back into the pot.

  3. *the reserve water is just in case the pasta sits for a little. if you add the water to it as it gets thick and clumpy it’ll re-constitute. Again… You’re Welcome. 😉

I hope you enjoy it! Please comment below if you have any questions, or if you found anything great to add to it.


Print

The Easiest Mac and Cheese on the stove. I promise

The "lazy" homemade mac and cheese.

Course Main Course, Side Dish

Cuisine American

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4 people

Author Smith Country

Ingredients

  1. 16 oz of Elbow Macaroni

  2. 8 oz of Cream Cheese cubed

  3. 8 oz of Cheddar Cheese shredded

  4. 3 tbsp of flour (about)

  5. 3 tbsp olive oil/butter (about)

  6. 2 cups Whole milk (about)

  7. Seasoning Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Boil the pasta 2 minutes less than al dente (take a coffee cup and reserve some of the pasta water before draining)

Drain the pasta (leave in the strainer for now.)

Turn heat to meadium. In the same pot add butter/oil. Once hot, add flour and whisk until a thick paste.

Slowly add the milk while continuously whisking. Add the cream cheese and continue whisking until completely melted in.

Add half of the pasta water (about half a cup) to the sauce. Stir until incorporated. Save the rest of the pasta water, just in case*.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the noodles, stir until completely mixed. turn off heat.

Add 3/4 of the cheddar cheese to the mixture, fold until fairly mixed together.

Top with remaining cheese.

Serve immediatley

Recipe Notes

Things to keep in mind...

  1. Add salt to the boiling water before cooking the pasta (you need to add a good amount so the pasta has good flavor as well.

  2. Make sure you're pasta is slightly less done than al dente so it doesn't over cook as you continue cooking the pasta after you make the sauce. It will also cook a little in the strainer as it waits for you to add it back into the pot.

  3. *the reserve water is just in case the pasta sits for a little. if you add the water to it as it gets thick and clumpy it'll re-constitute. You're welcome. 😉

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#side #Pasta #easy #Macandchese #dinner

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