Easy Cheesy Homemade Mac and Cheese

Mar 2, 2021 | 0 comments

Easy Cheesy Homemade Mac and Cheese

My kids are obsessed with their Grandma Richins easy cheesy homemade mac and cheese. They ask her to make it for them every time they eat at her house.  I attempted to replicate it at home and never could get it quite right.  Turns out I was trying to make it more complicated than it needed to be.

One day I had my mom come over and show me exactly how to make it.  She combined the ingredients and baked the homemade mac and cheese all within in the same pan.  Less clean up? I am here for that!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that she only used 3 ingredients!

  • Pasta.  My preferred pasta for this dish is cellentani or penne pasta.  That said, you can use whatever variety you love most.
  • Shredded cheese.  This ingredient was the one thing my mom was particular about.  She says you get the best gooey cheesy texture and flavor from pre packaged, shredded cheddar – monterey jack cheese blend.  I have found this at every grocery store.  Sometimes the bag is made up with only cheddar and monterey jack cheese and sometimes it is a “fiesta blend” or “mexican style.” Any of those varieties work well.
  • Milk.  Skim, 1%, 2%, whole milk all work for this recipe.  I always have skim milk in my fridge so that is what is usually use.

Ingredients for homemade mac and cheese, 3 ingredients grated cheese, cooked pasta, and milk.

 

How do you make easy homemade mac and cheese?

 

Step 1:  Cook the pasta

Cook the pasta noodles according to the package instructions for al dente. Be sure to add about 1/2 tsp salt to the boiling water. It may seem like an insignificant step, but it makes a huge difference in the overall taste of this easy homemade mac and cheese (or any pasta dish for that matter)!

Step 2:  Combine noodles and cheese

Drain pasta and pour noodles into a 9×13 pan and add half of the shredded cheese.  Using a fork or spatula lightly stir and fold the cheese into the pasta until evenly distributed.  Add the remaining shredded cheese and repeat the process of folding the cheese into the pasta.

cooked pasta noodles in pan with half of the cheese mixed in.

Step 3: Add the milk

Pour milk into the noodles and cheese and stir into mixture. My mom said you know when you have the right amount of milk when you move the noodles and at the bottom you can only see a little milk right around the noodles. Start with 2/3 cup and if after mixing you don’t see any milk around the noodles at the bottom, add another ¼ cup milk.  

picture of noodles and cheese mixed in before baking

Step 4: Bake

Take a piece of tin foil and spray with cooking spray and place that side down so that the cheesy goodness does not stick to the foil. At this point you can leave in the fridge until you are ready to bake or straight away.

Set the oven temp to 350 degrees and your rack in the middle of the oven, once it is preheated bake for 25 minutes then take the tin foil off and bake for another 5 minutes.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy!

Serve this homemade mac and cheese recipe all by itself for an easy lunch or dinner!  You can also serve this homemade mac and cheese as an easy side dish for a BBQ or potluck!

Easy Cheesy Homemade Mac and Cheese

Easy Cheesy Homemade Mac and Cheese

Easy Cheesy Homemade Mac N Cheese

This easy cheesy homemade mac and cheese is a one and done dish made with only 3 ingredients! Its the meal my kids are always begging for!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box (16 oz) preferred pasta, I like cellentani or penne pasta
  • 15 oz or 4 1/2 cups pre-packaged shredded cheese (Mix of Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese)
  • 2/3 + ¼ cup milk

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta as directed on the package to al dente. Be sure to add about 1/2 tsp salt to the boiling water. Once the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander and rinse lightly with water.
  • Drain pasta and pour noodles into a 9x13 pan and add half of the shredded cheese.  Using a fork or spatula lightly stir and fold the cheese into the pasta until evenly distributed.  Add the remaining shredded cheese and repeat the process of folding the cheese into the pasta.
  • Pour milk into the noodles and cheese and stir into mixture. My mom said you know when you have the right amount of milk when you move the noodles and at the bottom you can only see a little milk right around the noodles. Start with 2/3 cup and if after mixing you don't see any milk around the noodles at the bottom, add another ¼ cup milk. 
  • Take a piece of tin foil and spray with cooking spray and place that side down so that the cheesy goodness does not stick to the foil. At this point you can leave in the fridge until you are ready to bake or once the oven is preheated bake straight away.
  • Set the oven temp to 350 degrees and your rack in the middle of the oven, once it is preheated bake for 25 minutes. Then take the tin foil off and bake for another 5 minutes.

Notes

  • Making mixture ahead of time, add the full amount of milk and store in the fridge. Take out of fridge while oven preheats, then bake.

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