Show of hands – who still eats macaroni & cheese out of the blue box? I will be the first to admit, that the blue box was my favorite when growing up…but then I grew up. Not only did I need to create a lactose-free version that I could actually enjoy without severe stomach distress, but the crazy flavors, preservatives, and coloring that they use to create the iconic day-glow orange color is not good for us…..
any of us! So here is my version of the perfectly cheesy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese. It’s still made on the stove top, but you will need to grate your own cheese. 😉
I grated an 8 ounce brick of cheddar cheese, which gave me about 3 cups. Do not use the packaged, shredded cheese!! It has flour or cornstarch mixed in to prevent caking in the package, but it will also turn your mac & cheese into a thick block of goo!
So cook your macaroni/pasta/noodles according to the package instructions. While your pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large pan. Add the flour and whisk together. This will create our roux to thicken our cheese sauce…..
Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to cook out the flour taste. Pour in the milk and whisk to combine…..
Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, onion powder, mustard powder, and paprika…..
and stir to combine. Heat mixture over medium heat until it thickens and starts to simmer, about 6 or 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add the grated cheese…..
Stir until all of the cheese is melted. Drain the pasta and add to the cheese sauce…..
Stir to thoroughly coat the noodles and serve…..
Just look at all of that cheesy goodness!!
- You can use any shape of noodles that you would like. I chose Barilla Cellentani because I love the shape.
- To make this lactose-free, you must use sharp cheddar cheese and real butter.
- I used Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk to make a thick sauce. Almond or Rice milk will work, but the sauce will be much thinner.
If you look closely you will notice that I actually used Colby Jack cheese, because that is all that I had on hand. The color will be much more orange if you use the sharp cheddar cheese. You can also add turmeric and additional paprika to help darken the color. 😉
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||15 minutes|
|Total time||25 minutes|
|Meal type||Lunch, Main Course|
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 Cups milk or half & half (I used cashew milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon dry mustard powder
- pinch cayenne peper
- 8 Ounces sharp cheddar cheese (grated, almost 3 cups)
- 1 Pound box pasta/macaroni (cooked and drained)
|Melt butter in a large pan/Dutch oven over medium heat.|
|Add the flour and whisk to combine. Simmer, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.|
|Pour in the milk and whisk to combine and remove all lumps.|
|Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and mustard, stir to combine.|
|Continue cooking until mixture starts to simmer, 6 to 8 minutes.|
|Remove from heat and add the grated cheese. Stir until melted and completely combined.|
|Add the drained pasta and stir until completely coated.|
For the lactose-free version, you will need to use sharp cheddar cheese. I used colby jack in the photos because that was what I had on hand.
This recipe will be partying at these link parties!