Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is a creamy side dish that tastes amazing thanks to three surprise ingredients.
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I have not been paid to endorse pictured products.
Delighted to share the ingredients I purchased and used to make this delicious recipe.
All comments are my own.
AL DENTE ELBOW MACARONI
First, the elbow macaroni is boiled salted water until al dente (firm).
Overcooked, mushy macaroni will cause an unpleasant taste and texture.
SEASON THE MACARONI
Al dente elbow macaroni seasoned with salt and coarse ground black pepper.
Garlic powder is optional.
USE SLICED OR SHREDDED CHEESE
Slicing a block of cheddar cheese is faster than shredding in my opinion.
This is a matter of personal preference. Shred if that’s what you prefer.
THE INSPIRATION FOR THREE SURPRISE INGREDIENTS
Several years ago, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of my mega church. I was feeling very blessed after a phenomenal church service so I didn’t mind waiting for the thick traffic to subside.
Next to my car, a friendly sister was also waiting.
We rolled down our windows and began talking about what we were having for Sunday dinner.
We talked about our mutual love for mac ‘n cheese. She suggested I try buttermilk instead of whole milk. That ANGEL was right on!!
Never seen the dear sister before and haven’t seen her since that enlightening conversation.
THREE SUPRISE INGREDIENTS
I’ve made mac ‘n cheese with whole milk, 2% milk, and heavy whipping cream. The taste always felt like something was missing.
The BEST taste is provided by whole cultured buttermilk.
Since I love to experiment, I tried a combination of sour cream, cultured buttermilk and fat free buttermilk.
All three combined make a great tasting creamy cheese sauce. Feeling blessed to have discovered another way to make great tasting mac ‘n cheese… and to share it with you. Must try at least once!
My Homemade Macaroni and Three Cheeses recipe calls for cultured buttermilk only. Must try at least once because it’s also very good.
USE AN EGG AS A THICKENER
One egg (beaten) provides the thickening. No need for flour. In my opinion, the egg tastes much better.
I’ve heard many famous chefs say egg doesn’t belong in macaroni and cheese.
This self-taught cook totally disagrees. Never had formal training and proud of it.
I was born and raised in the south where most southerners add an egg to their mac and cheese. I love the taste and texture!
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Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 box ( 8 ounces) elbow macaroni Or use two cups of elbow macaroni cooked according to instructions printed on box.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt more or less as preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper to taste more or less as preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 2 blocks (8 ounces each) medium cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 blocks (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese Or use 1 packages (8 ounces) of Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese.
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1-1/2 cup fat free cultured buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons cultured buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Boil elbow macaroni until "al dente" by following instructions printed on the package. Avoid overcooking until mushy because it will negatively impact the taste and texture of this side dish.
- Pour cooked/drained elbow macaroni in an ungreased 9 x12 casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with salt, coarse ground black pepper, and garlic powder (if using). Stir until well combined. Set aside.
- Prepare the cheese. Thinly slice or shred ONE block of cheddar cheese and ONE block of Monterey Jack cheese. Layer slices over top of seasoned elbow macaroni. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl or large measuring cup, beat one egg. Add fat free cultured buttermilk, cultured buttermilk sour cream, and one egg. Stir together until well combined.
- Drizzle liquid mixture over top of cheeses. Stir until well combined.
- Place in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes OR until cheese is melted.
- While dish is in the oven, cut remaining block of cheddar cheese into thin slices.
- Carefully remove hot casserole dish from oven. Stir mixture until melted cheese is evenly distributed.
- Layer remaining cheddar cheese slices over top. Place under broiler for 5 to 10 minutes OR until cheese has melted and formed brown spots.
- After baking, the Homemade Macaroni and Cheese should be soupy. After cooling 10-12 minutes, it will thicken to a creamy cheese sauce.
- Serve warm or hot.