February 6, 2012

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Hallelujah! I think I've found my go-to standard macaroni and cheese recipe (hey, we all need one). Not only is this absolutely delicious and may soon become a weeknight dinner staple, but it's surprisingly simple and easy, and uses ingredients that you probably already have at home.



Let me be clear: this recipe is nothing fancy. It's simple and quick, but ready for loads of adaptation or inspiration. Made as-is, it's rich, thick, sticky, buttery, and cheesy. Using Daiya Cheddar, the cheesiness is somewhere between a mild cheddar and American cheese flavor, but you could use any of their flavors or even a combination of them.

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I used almond milk for its nutty, savory taste, as I figured that would blend in best with the other flavors. You can probably use soy or rice (or hemp may actually be quite tasty), just make sure you get the unsweetened kind. Along with standard salt and black pepper for seasoning (I don't know about you, but I love seeing big black pepper specks in my baked mac and cheese!), there is a bit of cayenne which does heat things up nicely. Omit this or add just a pinch if you'd like a milder version. You can also make this stovetop without baking it for a creamier, saucier mac and cheese (see directions below).

But what's best about this mac and cheese (well, aside from its overall amazingness) is its possibilites! Sometimes, all you want is plain ol' mac and cheese, but what about when you want more? Imagine mixing in broccoli, peas, pickled jalapenos, or faux bacon bits (!!!). Try sprinkling the top with seasoned bread crumbs before baking (yum), or even crushed potato chips!

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I can definitely see this going on my next holiday table, and it would be great alongside anything with BBQ sauce (Gardein, anyone?). Leftovers keep well and reheat nicely, although you may not have much left!



Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
(adapted from Southern Living, February 2007)

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons nondairy butter (such as Earth Balance Original)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups nondairy shredded cheddar cheese, divided (such as Daiya)

Preheat oven to 400. Heat a large pot of boiling water, and cook pasta until al dente. Drain. In the same pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour, and whisk constantly until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add almond milk, and whisk constantly, about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper (if using), 1 cup shredded cheese, and cooked pasta. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 8x8-inch baking dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

For One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese: Prepare recipe as directed, but stir 2 cups grated cheese into thickened milk mixture until melted. Add cooked pasta, and serve immediately.

Nutritional data (per 1/6th serving): Calories 297, Fat 12g, Saturated Fat 4g, Sodium 561mg, Carbs 40g, Fiber 3g, Protein 6g.

17 comments :

  1. i'm always excited to see a mac and cheese recipe that doesn't call for nutritional yeast! looking forward to trying this one.

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    1. "i'm always excited to see a mac and cheese recipe that doesn't call for nutritional yeast"

      haha, totally! i agree.

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    2. Same I don't like nutritional yeast

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  2. Great recipe! I used whole wheat pasta & flour so i used extra seasoning and milk including paprika...it came out great...very tasty and creamy...thanks for the recipe...much needed!

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  3. try using dry mustard - gives it a wonderful taste! We also used it in our baked bean recipes! Well, we use it all the time!

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  4. can you use a flour other than regular? like rice or a gluten free flour?

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure that wouldn't make much of a difference. Try it and let us know how it goes!

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    2. I tried this the other day with gluten free flour and it turned out great!!!

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  5. I just made this using potato starch instead of flour and worked great!! The only change I will make next time is adding a bit more noodles, as there was sauce to spare.

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  6. Any try this with gluten free elbows?

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  7. I just made a stovetop version of this and both my 3 year old and husband loved it! Thanks!

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  8. what a great recipe I have been a vegan for 9 months and I really appreciate other people who are following this plant based diet I will be using this recipe for Thanksgiving I've been able to sustain this healthy diet and won't go back if you're looking for inspiration follow me @scooby_raw_fitness on Instagram

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  9. Tried this today.... accidentally used coconut flavored almond milk instead of regular. Definitely an interesting taste haha. Still not back, going to have to try again with the REAL recipe!

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  10. I just made this recipe very good. Next time I make this recipe is won't put the cayma pepper in it

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  11. Hi!

    So I kicked this recipe up a little and totally recommend it. - I added tofutti to the "cheese sauce" and added one slice of another vegan cheese, shredded. I also baked it with panko bread crumbs on top and our guests were literally in awe that there was no dairy.

    Just a thought : )

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  12. I actually just made this with sweet potato spirals instead of pasta and spicy daiya and it came out really great! You rock - amazing, simple, delicious mac and cheeze . . .

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  13. I can't wait to make this for my little girl and I. I'm happy to find a recipe that uses store bought vegan cheese and doesn't have nutritional yeast in the recipe as I hate nutritional yeast lol.

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