The Mother of All Mac and Cheese

The Mother of All Mac and Cheese

mac n cheese cross sectionThis mac and cheese recipe is one of the easiest, and most delicious, side dishes. EVER.  Alex tells me it is “cheesy, delicious and great for pool parties” which means she will invite people over so I have an excuse to make it.   A little bit of this stuff goes a long way.  A small pan (half of the recipe below) will feed six easily.  It is good hot from the oven, cold from the fridge, and reheated in the microwave with a splash of milk to give it back some of its sauciness.  You can put it together pretty quickly – less than a half hour – and it is hard to beat the “ooohhhh” you’ll hear from everyone when you put it on the table.

macaroni and cheese gooey-0455  It is my “go to” dish when we are bringing something to a barbecue.  I assemble the mac and cheese at home and bake it at the host’s house.  This is virtually impossible to foul up and can be kept in the oven for an hour if the burgers aren’t done on time (and they never are).  Just turn the oven down to 250 and this pan of goodness will hang out until you’re ready.   You’ll have a line of people following you from the oven to the food table.  Just be sure to leave the pot holders on the edges of the pan because the vultures are coming.

The Mother of All Mac and Cheese is also an unmitigated nutritional disaster. Embrace the saturated fat.  We normally eat pretty healthy at my house so a dish like this doesn’t appear on our regular dinner menu.  If I am cooking something like this, I am doing it right.  No reduced fat cream cheese or sour cream and real stick butter (none of the buttery stuff from a plastic tub).   You’ll note that there’s no added salt but the cheese covers that one pretty well on its own.   When you make it, be sure to share.

The Mother of All Mac & Cheese

The Mother of All Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb medium shell pasta
  • 24 oz evaporated milk
  • 6 tsp butter
  • 12 oz sour cream
  • 12 oz block cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp (or more) black pepper
  • few shakes red cayenne pepper (optional)
  • (4) 2 cup size bags of shredded cheese (you can switch up the cheeses depending on what you like - I usually use a sharp cheddar, a medium cheddar, and two bags of a colby/jack mix)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil pasta according to package directions, rinse in cool water after cooking.
  3. While water is heating for pasta and pasta is cooking, using a large sauce pan on medium heat and a whisk, pour evaporated milk into pan and add butter; stir until butter melted and combined with milk
  4. Add sour cream and cream cheese to milk mixture, stirring with whisk until combined and creamy (I put the sour cream in by large spoonfuls and the cream cheese by the ounce to reduce the amount of time it takes to melt and combine)
  5. While whisking, sprinkle garlic powder over surface of sauce and whisk until combined; add peppers in this same way.
  6. Remove from heat
  7. To assemble in pan for baking, pour in drained pasta first. You'll have enough pasta to just barely cover the bottom of the pan. It's okay, nobody eats this for the pasta anyhow.
  8. Pour the creamy sauce over the pasta. Stir it up to ensure all of the pasta is coated with sauce.
  9. Top with all grated cheeses. I try to put a multicolored cheese on last (like the colby/jack blend) because I think it looks prettier. It gets eaten no matter what kind of cheese you put on the top so don't be too picky.
  10. Cover pan with tin foil and bake 25-35 minutes until bubbly and cheese on top is melted. You can put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes if you like a crispier top.
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Enjoy!

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mac and cheese collage final

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2 Responses to The Mother of All Mac and Cheese

  1. MARIE NIELSEN October 17, 2015 at 11:21 pm #

    SEEN MAC AND CHEESE ON FACEBOOK AND IT LOOKS SO GOOD.

  2. Marilyn April 14, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe at the #RecipeSharingParty! I hope to see you next week. Pinned and Yummed. Please visit Over the Moon for more sharing fun! Don’t forget to comment your link #’s so I can be sure to visit.

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