Easy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
An easy and wholesome macaroni and cheese recipe that you can make on weeknights.
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 12 oz shredded good sharp cheddar cheese, about 3/4ths of a 16-ounce block
- 6 oz cream cheese, cubed (about 3/4ths of a 8-ounce block/square)
- 1 lb small pasta, rotini, shells, elbow, penne, etc.
- 1 teaspoon salt or more (to taste)
Pour milk, water, salt and chicken broth into medium sauce pan and cook over medium low heat until it starts steaming.
Pour pasta in, lower heat to low and let cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked ("al dente" or still having a little bit of a firmness is recommended).
Once the pasta is cooked to desired tenderness, add the shredded cheddar and cream cheese.
Stir until completely melted and remove from heat and let sit for at least 15-20 minutes so sauce can thicken.
- Whole milk (you can also use 2%) can change consistency if it gets too hot. It can also burn easily. Be careful not to get the milk too hot. You want it to be steaming with maybe a few bubbles.
- Use good sharp cheddar cheese (block, NOT pre-shredded).
- Whatever pasta you use, make it small (small elbows, penne rigate, small shells, etc.)
- Be sure not to skip the last step (letting it sit for 15-20 minutes). When this dish comes together at the end and the cheese all melts in, the sauce can be a little thin. Letting it sit for 10-20 minutes gives the cheesy goodness time to cool and thicken slightly.
- This makes a big batch. It keeps in the fridge for up to about 3 days in a sealed container and reheats nicely. I normally make it and serve the leftovers several nights in a row!