One of my favorite foods in the whole world is mac ‘n’ cheese. I love mac ‘n’ cheese out of the box (go ahead, judge me!), but I really want to find a homemade recipe that’s really good. For the past few months I’ve been obsessed with finding the perfect one.
I found this recipe for homemade mac ‘n’ cheese on Erika’s blog The Teenage Taste. I love her blog! Erika is adorable and, even though she’s only in high school, she comes up with hundreds of amazing recipes all by herself! I wish I had been that cool in high school. Apparently she’s just as in love with mac ‘n’ cheese as I am! She came up with this recipe and it’s her favorite.
Here’s my review.
PROS: The recipe used lots of cheese (and there were two different kinds!), so it was very cheesy. Also, the special way you have to cook the pasta in the milk made it super creamy. I’d never heard of boiling pasta in milk before… that’s so cool! Another pro is that this recipe was pretty easy. Mac ‘n’ cheese is usually kind of easy, but it’s always a plus when there aren’t a lot of steps or ingredients.
CONS: It didn’t heat up well for leftovers. What was originally creamy and delicious turned into a sticky mess. But I will concede that most mac ‘n’ cheese dishes don’t heat up again well. Also, something about the texture was just a little off for me. I’m not sure what it was, but it just wasn’t exactly what I pictured for my perfect mac ‘n’ cheese.
Just so you know, I’m being super nit-picky, so don’t think that this recipe wasn’t absolutely delicious – because it was! Erika is a genius. Plus, I finished it all… even the leftovers!
How did it match up to box mac ‘n’ cheese? In my quest to find the perfect mac ‘n’ cheese, I’ve been comparing all the recipes to how it stacks up against Annie’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Honestly, Annie’s is my favorite. I’ve never had a homemade mac that tasted better to me. My two qualifications for the perfect homemade mac ‘n’ cheese recipe is that it has to (a) taste better than Annie’s and (2) taste so good that it makes up for how easy boxed mac ‘n’ cheese is.
In the end, I decided that this recipe was much better than Kraft (shocker)… but that I’d still probably rather have Annie’s, because it didn’t taste amazing enough to make up for the extreme easiness of the box.
While this recipe isn’t my mac ‘n’ cheese perfection, I still urge you to make it. It was amazing and it’s taking the #1 spot right now!
Erika’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese (The Teenage Taste recipe)
- 1 box (16 ounces) dried elbow macaroni
- 5 cups milk (I used 1%.)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 6 ounces yellow American cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- black pepper, to taste
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the milk, macaroni, and salt to a boil; boil for 8 minutes.*
- Once 8 minutes has passed, turn off the stove and mix together the flour/cornstarch and water in a small bowl to form a slurry. Add slurry to the cooked macaroni mixture and gradually add shredded cheeses, mix well.
- Turn heat back on and simmer macaroni and cheese for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in mustard and season to taste with black pepper before serving!
* Note: There will be some milk remaining once the 8 minutes is up. This is important – do not drain the macaroni!