Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy

I was going to call this "easy as box mac and cheese".....but I over think things....I'm not sure if it really is as easy as box...It takes about the same amount of time as the box mac and cheese.However, instead of waiting around for the water to boil and the noodles to cook you need to be grating cheese. So really it's only "takes the same amount of time as box mac and cheese", not quite the same ring to it.....

I told you I over think things.

It worked out well though, because I got to use rhyming words. I like rhyming words, they make me giggle.

Anyhoo, this is the only mac and cheese my kids will eat, and I have to thank my friend Stefanie for giving me the idea. She served something very similar for Easter one year and when she told me how simple it was (1lb noodles, 1lb cheese, butter, garlic salt, and pepper) I had to try it out. Of course I added a 16oz bag of frozen organic veggies, and sometimes I add other things*.

What you need:

1lb dried noodles
4 cups of shredded cheese (shred mine while I'm waiting for the water to boil)
16oz frozen organic veggies of any kind. (I have used broccoli, peas, mixed veggies, and even a bag of stir fry veggies.)
3tbs butter
garlic salt and pepper to taste

Here's the tricky part. Depending on the type of noodles you use and the type of veggies you use your cooking times/when you add the veggies will vary. I am calculating this for the cook times on the organic penne I bought, and the pea/carrot/corn mixture I bought. Please do your own math to adjust for different types of noodles and veggies. The penne had a 12 minute cook time and the veggies had a 6 minute cook time, so I just dumped the veggies in half way through. Twelve minutes might be too long for regular elbow macaroni noodles.

Boil the water and shred the cheese.

Add the noodles and cook for six minutes.

Add the veggies and boil for six more minutes.

Drain and return to pot.

Add the butter one tbs at a time and stir in the cheese a little at a time so it melts and doesn't turn into one big clump o' cheese.

Add garlic salt and pepper to taste.

My kids love this. I've even given it to their veggie hating friends with success. My kids won't eat box mac and cheese, so when I'm tired this is a great go to meal. It's easy, fast, cheap, and I usually have everything on hand. Make sure to use garlic salt instead of plain old salt, I believe that's what gives it flavor and turns it from noodles and melted cheese into a real dish.

*Variations include "chili mac", where I stir in leftover chili after I add the cheese, and "baked bean mac"....you get the picture.


  1. Take two - I guess I can't comment before I sign in...that would be too easy! Anyway, I have always wanted to try homemade mac and cheese, but thought it was more difficult than this. I am for sure going to try it soon! I will let you know how it goes. :)

  2. I've made some more complicated ones before, but the kids love this stuff, and I think it's a good counter to the argument that processed is quicker. This comes together really fast.

  3. Macaroni and cheese always brings a smile to my face. Once I was going to invite the neighbor over (he's a bachelor and eats spam) to give him a break in his diet. I asked him what his favorite food was and he said a box of macaroni and cheese and onions. The idea repulsed me so much that I wasn't able to ever look at Macaroni and Cheese in the same light again. Eventually I healed and fixed him real macaroni and cheese baked in my oven and he thought that was a lot better. Ya Think?
    So when I saw your recipe today. I just had to share :)

  4. Ah I thought there was something different about yoour blog. You've changed the name and the header.

  5. Yes, the later in "I'll think of something more appetizing sounding later" finally came to pass. :)


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