Is there anything as creamy and dreamy as macaroni and cheese? I’m not sure there is, and it is an amazing comfort food if ever there was one. Especially during our long and cold winters, we love things like macaroni and cheese.
My kids love this dish, and I love it not only because it tastes great but also because pasta is such a frugal way to feed a crowd, which is what I have to feed on a daily basis!
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Using things that you most likely have on hand, this is ready from start to finish in 30 minutes. Fast meals are also something that is necessary in my life as a busy wife and mom.
If you are looking for a money saving meal that can be ready in a flash and tastes great, then this ultimate macaroni and cheese is exactly what you need!
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For this recipe you will need:
- 1 1/2 boxes of pasta like elbow macaroni, penne, or shells
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine
- 1/3 cup flour
- 5 cups whole milk (but if you only have another kind on hand, don’t sweat it!)
- 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (but if you only have mild cheddar, that works, too)
Start the water for the noodles and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt the butter and then add the flour to make a roux. This sounds complicated, but it’s not. Just melt the butter, but the flour in, and whisk it for a couple of minutes – just be careful not to burn it.
Once that has cooked together for a couple minutes, add the milk. Then, add the dijon mustard and the rest of the ingredients except the cheese. Cook on medium low until it thickens, whisking frequently. This usually takes the same amount of time that it takes to cook your noodles.
Remove thickened sauce from heat. Stir in cheese. Then, add cheese to noodles. Top with a little extra cheese if desired.
Voila! Easy AND delicious!