While I do occasionally purchase the blue box, there are times when I have a craving for the real stuff- the mac n’ cheese that comes out of the oven bubbling and golden with a scent of pure comfort in all it’s glory…and pretty much butter and cheese. It is made by following my Mom’s recipe and while there are times that call for the plain directions, I find myself often adding veggies in a wide array of colors because it makes it look pretty and simply put makes me feel better about eating mac n’ cheese.
If you prefer veggie-less mac n’ cheese, by all means leave them out and revel in the most delicious comfort food.
Mom’s Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces macaroni noodles, or any noodles you prefer
- 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- dash pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheese- I recommend cheddar, colby, monterrey jack, gruyere or any combination of these.
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko
- 1 teaspoon paprika
How To :
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring about 6 cups of water to a boil. Add a few pinches of salt and noodles, cook for 4 minutes. Add vegetables and cook for 4 minutes longer or until noodles are tender. Drain.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan and blend in flour. Add milk and seasonings; stir until thickened. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese, stirring until melted in.
Place cooked noodles in a medium to large greased casserole dish. Pour sauce over noodles and turn slightly to coat everything. Top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle bread crumbs and paprika, and dot with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is bubbly and golden.