Macaroni Shells and Cheese

November 10th, 2009 by katie

Despite all my efforts, my kids are just like all kids.  They could happily subside on hot dogs and macaroni and cheese forever.  When I make chicken nuggets from scratch, they eat them but complain most of the time that they like the “other kind” better.  While macaroni and cheese isn’t something I want to eat a ton of, sometimes it is nice to have a meal end with clean plates and full bellies.  I always serve this with some broccoli on the side and occasionally an extra salad or corn bread for the grown-ups.

Macaroni and Cheese

serves 6, prep 10 min, cook 20 min
  • 16 oz small shell pasta, or elbows or any other pasta shape you like
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/4 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 lb deli American cheese, grated
  • salt
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add a sprinkle of salt and your noodles.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
  4. Sprinkle flour over, stir and cook for several minutes.
  5. When butter and flour have cooked several minutes and the mixture is golden brown and bubbly, stir in milk.
  6. Stir and cook until smooth and thick.  Season with salt to taste.  You can also add mustard, cayenne, Tabasco, lemon pepper, etc.. to taste at this point.
  7. Stir in cheese until smooth and fully combined.
  8. Drain cooked noodles, stir into hot sauce.  Serve.

American cheese is creamy and mild and melts wonderfully.  I buy a block of it from the deli which is the least processed version, I don’t recommend using sliced American cheese.  If you don’t have a source of good deli American cheese then I would recommend going with a mild cheddar.  Finally, I always have both 1% and whole milk in the house and I have made this with both and there is no difference between the two, so use what you like!

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Posted in Cooking with Kids, Easy, Fast, Main Dish, Pantry Challenge, Sides

6 Responses

  1. Nancy

    Definitely a comfort food of choice for many folks. I much prefer a homemade version. Can’t stomach the ‘blue box’ anymore; probably ate too much of it in college.

  2. Melissa

    This reminds me of how my friend makes the boxed shells and cheese (not the mac and cheese) and throws in fresh broccoli and sliced kielbasa for a complete dinner. And it is so darn good. Nothing wrong with easy, kid friendly (and, er, adult friendly) meals. Love this!

  3. noble pig

    My kids are the same way…they’ll want something from the box. This sounds delish, I’ll have to try it on them.

  4. Alison (a girl in her element)

    There’s something very comforting and soooo delicious about a good bowl of mac and cheese. You can never go wrong!

  5. Caro

    Used this recipe for dinner tonight. The kids loved it! I’m not normally a fan of American cheese but I really enjoyed it as well. Thanks!

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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