Macaroni and cheese is obviously one of the world’s greatest comfort foods. Nowadays it’s also an considered an easy-peasy convenience food… just grab a box at the store and mix it all up in one pot.
I love cheese, but to be completely truthful, I rarely eat the boxed stuff. It’s unappealing to me. I just make it because, well, it IS convenient and my son eats it well. I make homemade cheese sauces for just about everything else. From chicken dishes to baked potatoes, it’s not atypical for me to whip up a creamy cheese sauce to accompany dinner and it is always such a hit.
I had to dig deep to answer this question…Why do I cheat and make the processed boxed stuff when it comes to macaroni and cheese?? Why, I ask?! I decided it was time for this madness to end. I took the time to make macaroni and cheese from scratch last weekend and it was so completely worth the effort.
I grabbed 8 ounces of American cheese from my grocery store deli, mixed up a simple cheese sauce which I combined and baked with some cooked macaroni. The rest was family meal making history for us. No more boxes!
Macaroni and Cheese
- 2 cups dried elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- dash or two of black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- About 2 cups shredded American cheese (get the good stuff from the deli…no Velveeta!)
- 3/4 cup crushed Ritz crackers
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
2. Cook macaroni in boiling water until done but still firm. Drain.
3. To make the cheese sauce: In a Dutch oven, cook chopped onion in butter or margarine until tender.
4. Stir in the flour and pepper. Next, stir in the milk all at once. Allow to simmer until mixture is slightly thickened.
5. Add in the shredded cheese until it is melted into the sauce.
6. Fold in the cooked macaroni. Once the pasta is well-coated, transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish.
7. Top macaroni and cheese with crushed Ritz crackers. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until warm and bubbly.