Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Easiest and Creamiest Mac-n-Cheese....ever

Who doesn't love mac-n-cheese? I have made several variations, my most recent favorite being this one where I toasted the bread crumbs and herbs in butter before topping the mac and baking it. Delicious!

So a few months ago when I was going through old issues Food and Wine and ripping out recipes to try, I found one for Three-Cheese Mini Macs in the December 2007 issue. I shared the recipe with a friend who made it once using the muffin tins, and it was so good that she decided to make it in a casserole dish. She raved about it so much that I had to try it.

My adaptation of the recipe is below. For the original recipe using muffin tins, see the link above.

  • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 c light cream
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 lb deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425; grease a baking dish with 1/2 tbsp of the butter
  • Cook macaroni; set aside
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk until you have a nice roux.
  • Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the American and cheddar cheeses. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  • Mix in the egg yolk
  • Pour the cooked macaroni into the sauce and toss until coated. Transfer the macaroni mixture to the prepared baking dish and top with the Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until sizzling.

The American cheese may not be the fanciest cheese around, but it is what made this dish so creamy and delicious. And talk about easy - this took about 10 minutes to prep. I usually put chopped onions in my mac-n-cheese, and thought I'd miss them, but I didn't. I will still make other, fancier versions of mac-n-cheese, but this is my new go-to recipe.

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  1. But what is American Cheese? I'm in Australia and the only cheese with a nationality here is Swiss.

    Is it a cream cheese? Processed?

  2. Hi Lee - great question! American cheese is a processed cheese made from cow's milk. It used to be made from a mix of cheddar and colby, but in recent years has become totally processed. Do you have Kraft Singles in Australia? They are individually wrapped slices of cheese. If so, that would be the closest to deli-sliced American. Please let me know if you do have it!

  3. I love that you're as much of a mac n' cheese fan as me! I have yet to post more of my mac n' cheese recipes though. I will soon, I promise!! Mmmm, just thinking about it is making my mouth water.

  4. I am def going to try this for Lily. I hate giving her the stuff in a box, but the mac n cheese I make takes a while. She will only eat pasta things now for dinner and I was giving her a lot of those 'pasta side dishes' you can buy. I really want to figure out how to just make them tho to avoid all of the extra sodium.

  5. I keep coming back for this recipe. A classic! So delicious.