Homemade Macaroni and Three Cheeses is a delicious cheesy side dish with a pleasant creamy texture. A surprise ingredient is the key to this mouth watering classic.
You must try this recipe at least once. When you do, kindly share your results in the comments section.
EDITOR’S NOTE (July 21, 2021): Added four new photos (removed the old ones). Updated the recipe and instructions.
DISCLAIMER (NOT SPONSORED): I have not been paid to endorse any product pictured on this page.
I did accept a complimentary cast iron skillet from Lodge Manufacturing to make the original recipe.
Prepare macaroni according to instructions printed on package. Cook until al dente (firm). Mushy noodles will not work in this recipe. After cooking the noodles, drain and pour into a buttered casserole dish.
The surprise ingredient is buttermilk (read back story below). I stir in a tablespoon of sour cream. This combo takes the taste to another level. You must try at least once (repeat). 🙂
I love coarse ground black pepper. Some people don’t like the black specs. White pepper is an excellent alternative.
After placing macaroni noodles and milk mixture in buttered casserole dish, layer sliced (or shredded) cheese over the top.
Place in HOT oven for about 8 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Remove from oven and stir until evenly combined.
Sprinkle shredded (or thinly sliced) cheeses over top. Return to oven and bake until bubbly.
BLACK RIND HOOP CHEESE The black rind is sharp cheddar cheese. The red rind is mild. ‘Hoop’ cheese is a firm, dry cheese made directly from milk, with no cream or salt. It’s real cheese with a hearty flavor. I like the Royal Foods brand.
‘Hoop’ is the shaping molds used in making cheese. Made in wedges or large twenty-pound wheels.
Packaged shredded cheese has a special coating to prevent caking… which isn’t tasty in my opinion.
I prefer to purchase blocks of cheese. No problem to shred and/or slice. The taste is worth the extra effort in my opinion.
BACK STORY: HOW I DISCOVERED SURPRISE INGREDIENT
Several years ago (2006 or 2007), I had a pleasant conversation with a church member while we were in our separate cars parked in the parking lot. We were waiting for traffic to subside after a powerful service.
Our windows were rolled down while we talked to each other. It was during the summer and the weather was pleasant (not too hot).
At the time, our mega church had over 18,000 members. I had never met this sister.
She provided a delicious nugget of info that would forever change how I make macaroni and cheese.
We talked about Sunday dinner. She asked if I ever used buttermilk to make macaroni and cheese. I said no.
The friendly sister was right when she told me that after I try buttermilk, I’ll never use whole milk again.
I’ve never seen her before or after that day. An angel? I like to think so!
After she told me to try buttermilk, suddenly the traffic lightened up. We said our goodbyes before driving away.
I feel like she was an angel sent from heaven to help me make the BEST Homemade Macaroni and Three Cheeses I’ve ever tasted!
I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do.
How To Read & Follow A Recipe: Tips for Beginners
Reading a recipe is an important life skill that requires properly reading a recipe’s ingredients, and instructions. Plus, knowing how to prep ingredients and what equipment to use.
Start with clean hands and organized kitchen. Wash hands thoroughly. Make sure kitchen and countertops are clean before making a recipe.
Create a relaxing environment. Play favorite music while in the kitchen. I love listening to classical or gospel music.
Read the entire recipe so you understand it and to make sure you have each ingredient.
If you see ingredient that you and your family don’t use for whatever reason, use a substitute.
Watch Recipe Videos. If you’re a visual learner (like me), watching a video tutorial is a great way to see how a recipe is made.
Mise en place is a super time saver. This French cooking term translates as “putting in place.” It means prepping/measuring ingredients and chopping food before you start cooking.
Make notes in your recipe. Note any special prep instructions and highlight cooking times. Make note of ingredients omitted, favorite substitutions and creative twists. The notes will be very helpful the next time you make this recipe.