Baked Macaroni And Cheese

Baked macaroni cheese right from the oven

Baked macaroni cheese right from the oven

Ingredients:

  • 300 g pasta (spirals, elbow macaroni or any other type of short pasta)
  • 300 g hard feta cheese, grated
  • 100 g Emmental, Gouda or Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 100 g sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk

Directions:

Get 300g (about 10 ounces) macaroni. I used spirals for this recipe, but any other type of short pasta will do.

Spiral pasta

Spiral pasta

You’ll also need a block of feta cheese (at least 100g or about 3-4 ounces weight):

Feta cheese

Feta cheese

Boil the macaroni as per instructions on the pack. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the water to prevent the pasta from sticking. Since we are going to bake it later on, there’s no need to strictly respect the cooking time. Just make sure to, at least, cook it “al dente”. Here’s my cooked pasta, draining over the kitchen sink:

Macaroni boiled "al dente"

Macaroni boiled "al dente"

While waiting for the macaroni to cook, grate the feta cheese in a big bowl.

Grated feta cheese

Grated feta cheese

You want a big bowl because you are going to add the boiled pasta later on. Set aside about 1 tablespoon grated feta.

In the big bowl of grated feta add two eggs and mix everything very well.

Cheese - egg mixture

Cheese - egg mixture

In a separate bowl, beat the two remaining eggs together with the sour cream and the milk.

Drain the macaroni very well and let it chill out.

Meanwhile, put the butter in a Pyrex dish and let it melt on low heat, making sure it spreads evenly on the bottom of the dish.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add the pasta to the feta cheese-egg mixture and mix it very well with a fork. Spoon the mixture into the Pyrex dish and shape it flat. Pour the egg-sour cream-milk mixture evenly on top, then sprinkle the dish with the remaining grated feta.

Macaroni cheese ready for baking

Macaroni cheese ready for baking

Bake the macaroni cheese on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven, sprinkle the grated Emmental cheese on top, then bake it on medium to high temperature for 15-20 more minutes or until you see it getting a nice light brown, crispy crust.

This is how the macaroni and cheese looks when it's done

This is how the macaroni and cheese looks when it's done

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Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes

Macaroni cheese is such a great dish! Not only the basic mac & cheese recipe is delicious, but also its variations are really good. For example, bacon and tomatoes give it an awesome flavor, turning it into a complete meal for the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4-5 bacon slices (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded (you can use a mix of various cheeses if you want)
  • 2 average size tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a big pot, cook the pasta in boiling salty water, as per instructions on the pack.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and brown the onion for about 2-3 minutes. Cook the bacon until it becomes crispy, then remove it from the pan. Add flour, salt and pepper to the browned onion, then gradually add the milk, while stirring frequently. Bring it to a boil, them lower the heat and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, add the cheese and stir until it melts and blends into the mix.

Drain the pasta very well, return it into the pot, then add the cheese mixture and the crumbled bacon to it. Blend well and transfer in a greased casserole. Bake it uncovered for 15-20 minutes, then arrange the tomato slices on top of the food and put it back in the oven. Let it bake for maximum 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

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Macaroni And Cheese With Cream Of Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 300 g macaroni (elbow, fusilli, penne etc)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or 1 pack instant mushroom soup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded (you can use any cheese mix you wish)
  • salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the pasta al dente, which usually means 1-2 minutes less than the time indicated on the box. Drain well.

In a pot, heat the cream of mushroom soup until you bring it to a boil. Remove from heat, add the cheese and stir until it melts. In case the sauce is too thick, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of milk. Add the garlic, chopped ham, salt and pepper, then pour it over the macaroni. Stir well, until the pasta gets covered in cheese sauce.

Put in in a baking dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven preheated to 350 F. After 10-15 minutes of baking, remove the dish from oven and cover it (either with a lid or with aluminum foil), then bake it for 15 minutes more.

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Creamy Mac And Cheese

This is maybe the easiest macaroni and cheese recipe ever. Although it doesn’t have those special flavors one would get when adding improvements such as multiple cheese types, bacon, broccoli or spices, it’s still an awesome dish, one of those comfort foods that warmed up our childhood. This is how my grandma used to make macaroni and cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 large can condensed milk
  • 1 small bag grated Cheddar cheese

Directions:
Boil the macaroni as per pack instructions. Drain well. Melt the butter in a small pot, add milk, stir well, then add the cheese. Pour everything over the macaroni, mix and heat in the oven until bubbly. Serve hot.

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Healthy Mac And Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a relatively fatty meal, especially if you like it cheesy and creamy. Nonetheless, you can turn it into a healthier meal by replacing some of the ingredients with low-fat ones. Here’s a recipe which I think is worth trying:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Boil the macaroni as per instructions on pack, but 1-2 minutes less.

Heat the milk, then gradually add the ricotta, the Cheddar and the cottage cheese, stirring well, until they melt. Remove from heat, then add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir well, then pour over the drained macaroni. Put the cheesy macaroni in a baking dish, cover it and and bake it for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan then bake it uncovered for 10 more minutes or until the top gets a nice brown color.

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Basic Macaroni Cheese Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 400g macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion, chopped

Directions:
Boil the macaroni until tender. In a small pot, warm the milk. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the salt and the chopped onion, then pour the mixture over the bread crumbs. Add the eggs and half of the grated Cheddar cheese amount. Mix in the cooked macaroni. Put the mixture in a baking dish, top it with the rest of grated cheese, then bake it in the oven on medium to high temperature for about 40 minutes.

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Baked Macaroni And Cheese With Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb macaroni
  • 1 large block Velveeta, cut in cubes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package frozen broccoli
  • 1 package broccoli in cheese sauce
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Directions:

In a big pot, boil the macaroni as per instructions on the pack. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the broccoli in cheese sauce and the frozen broccoli, according to the instructions on the pack. Add the Velveeta and the milk and stir well. Drain the macaroni, mix everything together in a baking dish and bake in the preheated oven at 250 F for about 20 minutes. Take out, stir again, add breadcrumbs on top, then bake it for 20 more minutes. Serve either hot or cold.

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