I have to admit to you I have been in the mood for some comfort food. It’s kind of gloomy out and when the clouds appear I am in the mood for cozy. So today I thought I would share with you one of my favorite comfort foods, homemade mac & cheese. No, not the stuff in the blue box, but the stuff made with milk and real cheese.
This macaroni and cheese, is creamy, flavorful, full of cheesy flavor and ohhh, weeeeee I love it! I of course lightened it up a little bit because after all this girl is trying to watch her waistline.
To lightened it up I used non-fat milk and reduced fat cream cheese to thicken it up, but I did use full fat sharp medium cheddar cheese for the star of this dish. I debated about using reduced fat cheddar cheese, but I really wanted a cheesy, real flavor. Sometimes you do need to splurge. After making this dish, I came to the conclusion what traditional mac and cheese is for calories, and I think it can be kind of scary. So thank goodness I came up with this recipe.
This recipe makes 6 servings at about 1 1/2 cups, which is simply perfect. It’s very filling and makes for a wonderful side dish or as a main dish if you’re having it for lunch. After making this dish I also realized how you can really zip it up. If you’re not a fan of cheddar cheese, I bet a spicy pepper jack cheese would be fantastic and maybe throw in some jalapenos and maybe even some chicken. You know my mind is spinning with all of the possibilities.
- Serves: 6 servings
- Serving size: 1½ cups
- 4 cups uncooked medium elbow macaroni
- 3 tbsp whole what pastry flour or all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2¼ cups fat-free milk
- ¼ cup ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1¼ cups shredded cheddar cheese, I used medium sharp cheddar
- Cook noodles according to direction. Once cooked, drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.
- While noodles are cooking, start the cheese sauce. In a large pot add flour, salt and pepper, stir in milk. Drop in cream cheese a teaspoon at a time; whisking until melted, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, until melted. Taste test it, I felt I needed to add a pinch more salt & pepper. Add cooked noodles to cheese sauce and mix until combined.
I have to admit as a kid I never liked homemade mac and cheese. It had to be the box stuff. I didn’t even like Velveeta mac and cheese, but as I got older I really appreciated homemade mac and cheese. I mean nothing really compares to the homemade kind. So next time you’re looking for a side dish and craving cheese like I do all the time, whip up some stove top mac and cheese, you won’t be disappointed.
Have a great day!