Sometimes you get home from work. You’re tired. You’re cold. And you want comfort food. You want a cheesey, gooey, steaming plate of macaroni and cheese. But wait…a box of Kraft or Velveeta is no where in sight! Probably because you don’t believe in buying that crap. Neither do we. It’s gross. No real cheese in the world looks like the neon dust that pours out of those little packets.
So, let’s make homemade mac ‘n cheese. It takes the same amount of time, but uses real ingredients and tastes infinitely better.
What you need (2 servings):
- 1 lbs of pasta (We like Sfoglini’s from Rodales)
- 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp of butter, or substitute
- milk & greek yogurt, or non-fat half and half
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pinch of paprika
- 1 shallot
- cheese (Use what you have! We used a combination of swiss, manchego, and cheddar)
- steamed or sautéed veggies (optional. We used mini sweet peppers, but peas, green beans, or spinach are recommended)
- 2 pots
- 1 pan
- wooden spoon
- pasta strainer
Fill a large pot of water with water, bring that to a boil and salt it. It’s important to do this first since it will take the longest. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Some pasta takes longer to cook than others.
While the water is heating up, sauté 1 finely chopped shallot in 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil or butter. This will add a slightly sweet flavor to the sauce.
Start making a roux: In the same pan, combine 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of flour. Whisk until the consistency is a smooth paste, – about 1-2 minutes. Hint: A roux can serve as the basis of any sauce. The flour works as a thickener, and it will also prevent the cheese from separating or congealing.
For a low-fat option: You can use skim milk and non-fat Greek yogurt. Just add a couple splashes of milk and a 2 handfuls of cheese. Use a wooden spoon to stir until all the cheese has melted and the ingredients flow smoothly together. If the sauce is too thick, add some milk. If the sauce is too thin, add more cheese or more flour. Then whisk in the yogurt to thicken and make it creamy. Salt and pepper to taste, and for extra flavor add a pinch of paprika.
For regular Mac ‘n Cheese: Use non-fat half and half in place of skim milk and Greek yogurt.
When the pasta is finished, drain thoroughly and add to the cheese sauce. This is where you can also stir in some veggies, if desired. Place into serving bowls and enjoy!