Revolutionary Macaroni and Cheese

macandcheese

Prepare to have your world rocked: this is the simplest macaroni and cheese recipe I’ve ever made and it is REALLY good!

Last year, I made a really easy mac and cheese that I was really happy with, but I think this recipe might top that one as my new favorite.

So why is it revolutionary?  You cook the pasta in milk, then stir in grated cheese, which means you skip the boiling and draining step.  I stirred in a can of tuna and baked it to make a tuna casserole, but you can also eat it just off the stove-top and it’s creamy and perfect.
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My kitchen here is pretty bare-bones so I don’t even have a cheese grater.  I just chopped the cheese into small dice and it worked really well.

Recipe:
(adapted from White on Rice)

2 cups dried pasta (I used bowties)
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup loosely packed shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 can tuna (optional)

Combine the pasta and milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, with the heat low for about 20 minutes (until the pasta is soft). Make sure the milk doesn’t boil!
Stir in the mustard, salt, and cheese (if you’re going to bake it, reserve about 1/4 cup of the cheese for sprinkling over the top).
Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes, then stir well to serve.

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If baking: put the pasta in an 8″ round pan and sprinkle with remaining cheese. (If you’re using tuna, stir that in before sprinkling with cheese).

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Put in 375 degree oven and bake about 10-15 minutes, or until cheese on top is nicely melted.

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54 Responses to “Revolutionary Macaroni and Cheese”


  1. 2 Melissa August 17, 2009 at 4:08 am

    What a great new way to make mac n cheese!!!

  2. 3 Jenny August 17, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Found your blog from thenest.com – this mac and cheese looks so good and so easy I’m going to pick up the indredients and have it for dinner! Thanks!

  3. 4 White on Rice Couple August 17, 2009 at 8:13 am

    We love your adaption of the recipe. The bow-tie pasta is such a nice touch, and the tuna variation is sounding super tasty. We might have to do that tonight.
    Glad you loved the recipe!

    T & D

  4. 5 Rebel August 17, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I think I’m gonna cry!

    Beautiful… so simple, so amazing.

  5. 6 BluePencil August 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

    I gotta try this! A bit dubious about the mustard, though–you know what an old-fashioned girl I am.

  6. 7 Colleen August 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Ooh I love this idea! I need to try it!

  7. 8 Molly Jean August 17, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Oh my. Sweet, sweet mac and cheese. This looks like a giant bowl of golden-cheesy-goodness!

  8. 9 Erin August 17, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Mmmmm… Now that’s comfort food!

  9. 10 Erin @ One Particular Kitchen August 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    This IS revolutionary!! Holy smokes!

  10. 11 Emily August 17, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Yum! This looks delicious.

  11. 12 Jackie at PhamFatale.com August 18, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Mac and cheese and my favorite comfort food. I also add mustard to my sauce for extra zing 🙂 Check my version at http://www.phamfatale.com/id_50/title_Le-Mac-and-Cheese/

  12. 13 Stephanie August 18, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing and revolutionary like you said! Totally trying this next time I want to make mac & cheese!

  13. 14 Cara August 21, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    This sounds great, I bet it was deliciously creamy. What a neat idea to cook the pasta in milk.

  14. 15 Sheila August 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I just made this, and I will NEVER go back!! Soooooo good!

  15. 16 mylinda October 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    pretty much the best mac & cheese idea ever. 🙂
    I’m off to make this right now.

  16. 17 Jenna November 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I am making this right now and really excited about it!

  17. 18 Susan October 11, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Can anyone provide the nutritional analysis for this recipe?

  18. 20 Cheryl December 27, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Hmm – with the tuna I’d call it Tuna Melt Mac!

  19. 21 Cheryl December 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I also like the way you cook the past right in the milk, which mean you are using that flavor starchy broth – probably with some B vitamins in it – instead of flour to thicken.

  20. 22 Leonora Parker April 13, 2013 at 4:36 am

    Best Mac ever! I can not believe how easy it was to make and how tasty. I could not believe the way the milk just thickened into a sauce.

    My hand was a bit heavy with the mustard and salt, so next time I’ll be more careful.

    I’m gonna experiment with Gruyere and Gorgonzola too and chuck in vegs.

    THANKS

  21. 23 Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories July 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    My son just asked me to buy boxed mac and cheese for the convenience and he likes to make it. I’m so glad this healthier version is just as fast as the artificial stuff and way better tasting! I love simmering the pasta in the milk and skipping steps. very creamy and delicious! thanks for sharing!

  22. 24 Pat July 10, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Receipe sounds awesome but not printer friendly. Will write it down manually.

  23. 25 valerie July 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Since I found this recipe, I will never make box stuff again nor will I spend money on extra ingredients and bake Mac n cheese. I do add butter and cream cheese to mine but omit the mustard. To the milk, I add salt, pepper and paprika as it cooks the pasta. Very simple, yet amazingly delicious and most definitely comfort food!

  24. 26 Brittany July 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Tried this tonight and it is quite good! Cooking the pasta in milk is a slower process but worth it. I didn’t realize I didn’t have any Dijon mustard but added some herbal seasoning and it is really good. Thanks for sharing!

  25. 27 Gisele July 29, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Made ths tonight…definitely needed more than 20 mins to cook the bow ties and the sauce isn’t as nice looking and tastes a little grainy.
    I might try experimenting with this a little further…

  26. 28 Tracy July 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Can I omit the mustard? If so, do I have to replace it with anything? Thanks 🙂

  27. 29 Jenny July 30, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Made this tonight and it was great. My 3 year old who only eats Kraft also approved. I made it using muenster cheese and omitted everything but milk, cheese and noodles. Fantastic!

  28. 30 Shreela August 2, 2013 at 6:22 am

    You’re awesome! Next, I hope you come up with a way to cook pasta in spaghetti sauce lol

  29. 31 Travesaou August 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Sorry to burst your bubble but… this isn’t revolutionary at all. People have been making macaroni with cheese like this for long years in the Caribbean. My cousins were also pleasantly surprised when they came to visit especially at the fact that all our ingredients were fresh, nothing boxed or canned. But after making ‘mac an cheese’ their way for us to try I realised why they thought ours was so good. That boxed stuff is just sad. Cooking it in milk is a great, delicious way to change the recipe but not as revolutionary as you think. It’s been done (and still is being done) tons of times before.

  30. 32 Andrea August 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    What do you think about almond milk with this? I don’t use regular milk

  31. 34 Christa August 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

    This looks delicious!
    Question through, I am making it tonight but only have whole milk. Would it still work? Or would it be too thick?

    Thanks!

  32. 36 Leane August 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    double the recipe, used macaroni. did not work. awful. waste of milk and cheese.

  33. 37 Ashley August 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I just tried this recipe. Mine unfortunately did not turn out as pretty as yours did. The milk began to thicken before the pasta was entirely finished cooking, so the centers of my little bow ties were a bit stiff. After adding the cheese, my pasta was one big sticky ball. My husband and I sat down to eat it. 5 minutes later, my stomach was sick and my husband didn’t finish his portion, which isn’t normal as he is a huge Mac and cheese fan. Unfortunately, I think we have a Pinterest fail, and it ate up the rest of my cheese which is making me cranky because I was keeping that for another recipe. Oh well!

  34. 38 Ashley August 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I also meant to add that we could have done without the Dijon mustard. I realize this is only a matter of opinion but neither one of us liked the addition.

  35. 39 Patti September 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    made this tonight…and I have made mac n cheese a bunch of ways..this was the creamiest dreamiest! highly recommended!

  36. 40 Wendy B September 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Found you on pinterest. Made it tonight. It was a HUGE hit with the family. Even my picky eater loved it! (Of course, mac and cheese is her thing so couldn’t really go wrong.) I made some changes based on what I already had in the pantry/fridge – usef penne pasta, 1% milk, velvetta cheese with what little shredded cheddar cheese I had, rotisserie chicken, and spicy brown mustard. Loved not having to drain the pasta! My 9 year old future chef helped me stir and add ingredients. What a great, easy, fun recipe to make together!! Thanks for posting it.

  37. 41 Ann September 29, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Shreela,
    My mom has always cooked her spaghetti noodles in the sauce. It takes longer to soften them up, but she just adds them in after the sauce is ready and continues to cook them, stirring occasionally until they are ready. It is delicious.

  38. 42 Tracy October 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    My husband and I really enjoyed this! It was creamy at first but thickened up by the time we got to it – phone call – but even still it was great! I used Smart Taste penne pasta and it felt both sinful and healthier at the same time! Thanks 🙂

  39. 43 julie October 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Not sure I’d call it revolutionary. It was good, definitely. But I think I like it a bit more creamy which you get with a rue.

  40. 44 Chantal October 29, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Mine turned out very grainy!! Did I do something wrong?

  41. 45 Shama November 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Taste yummy. Had to put lots of milk and the pasta too ages to cook. Kept adding extra milk

  42. 46 Shelly November 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    How many does this recipe serve?

  43. 47 SaRaH November 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I have been searching for a great mac-n-cheese recipe, and I am glad to say I have finally found it! Thank you for sharing your recipe. It will now become a staple in my household. I also found that I like the taste better when I add the seasoning to the milk in the beginning of the simmering process. Thanks again!


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