Macaroni and Cheese Three Ways

Who does not like macaroni and cheese?  I have included two recipes that everyone in my family enjoys; one you cook in the oven and the other is cooked in a slow cooker.  I recently (12-21-13) added the California Pizza Kitchen’s version which is very rich and not low-fat!

Nov. 26, 2016 – Instead of cooking your noodles in water, try cooking them in the milk. As the natural starches in the pasta are released, they help thicken the sauce as it cooks. Then the consistency can be adjusted based on the amount of cheese you add.

Also, try substituting some of the milk with evaporated milk.

Macaroni and Three Cheeses

  • 1 lb. penne or elbow macaroni
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk, heated (could substitute some evaporated milk)
  • 2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Velveeta, cubed
  • hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain well.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a deep 4-quart casserole dish.

Melt the butter and whisk in the flour; gradually whisk in the milk.  Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheddar and 1 cup of the Velveeta.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and a dash of hot sauce.

Combine the remaining cheddar and velveeta cheese.  Spread 1/3 of the pasta over the bottom of the casserole dish.  Top with 1/2 of the sharp cheese and 1/3 of the sauce.  Repeat, using another 1/3 of the pasta with the remaining cheese and 1/2 of the sauce.  Finish with the remaining pasta and sauce.  Sprinkle Parmesan over the top and bake for about 30 minutes.

Recipe by

Macaroni and Cheese in a Slow Cooker

  • 16 oz. penne or elbow macaroni (use a pasta with ridges to hold more of the cheese sauce)
  • 1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups milk to 2 cups milk (half and half was too rich,  2% is fine, or use some evaporated milk)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Bring butter, milk  and cheese to room temperature (30 minutes).  Add hot pasta to slow cooker and quickly add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Cook  on high for just about 1 hour.  Stir about halfway through the cooking time.   Add more milk if the dish is too dry.  How simple is that…

Recipe by 

California Pizza Kitchen Mac and Cheese

  • 1-1/2  lbs. fusilli
  • 1 tbsp. salt (for cooking pasta) + 2 tsp. for mac and cheese
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 lbs. Velveeta cheese, cubed

Cook pasta and 1 tbsp. salt according to package directions.

Pour the cream into a large saucepan; add the Velveeta and 2 tsp. salt (optional). Heat, stirring occasionally until the cheese begins to melt.  Add the drained pasta and stir well.  Continue cooking and stirring until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce begins to thicken about 3 to 4 minutes.

Recipe by  

DSC_8043 DSC_8044 DSC_8045 DSC_8047

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