Thursday, August 9, 2012

Easy Homemade Mac 'n Cheese

Becca here with one of my family's favorite recipes!  And once you've tasted 'real' mac 'n cheese, you won't ever want to go back to the boxed stuff again!  Not to mention that this is a pretty 'clean' recipe, and is really quite easy to make in just one pan.  When we were little, our Mom would add chopped ham, to make it an even heartier main dish.  I like to serve frozen green peas with it, and fruit for 'dessert' for a quick & well rounded meal.  My daughter commented on how filling and yummy this was!  This recipe makes a large batch, and it tastes just as good or better reheated the next day!  My family of five usually has it for the 'main dish' for one meal, and a side dish later.  Enjoy!!

Easy Homemade Mac 'n Cheese

1 package your favorite pasta (12-16 ounces)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (I would highly recommend shredding your own)
2 cups milk (I use whole)
1 cup Greek Yogurt (I use Fage 0% sour cream could be substituted)
2 heaping Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter

In a large pan, cook pasta according to the package directions.  Drain into a colander, and return now empty pan to the stovetop.  Over low heat, add butter.  When it is melted, stir in flour.  Continue to stir until mixture is smooth, thickening, and bubbling.  (This is called making a roux, pronounced "roo" and the base to most cream sauces).  Slowly pour milk into your roux while constantly stirring.  Add cheese, shredded, and Greek Yogurt.  Continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted and sauce is a thickening, creamy mixture.  You don't want this to boil, the texture will be a bit grainy from the milk separating if it comes to a boil.  Pour your cooked pasta back into the creamy cheese sauce, and stir well to combine.  Enjoy!!

*To make this dish 'extra special' and be able to prepare it ahead of time for company, in the cooler months when you actually don't mind turning your oven on, prepare as directed, and then pour prepared mac 'n cheese into a large baking dish and top with a bit more shredded cheese, or breadcrumbs dotted with butter, salt, and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours, until you're ready to bake it.  Then, just uncover and put straight from the refrigerator into a cold oven preheated to 350 and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through.  Enjoy!!

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