Quick and Easy Ways With Macaroni and Cheese - 3 Easy Recipes!

Macaroni and Cheese Is a Favorite Comfort Food

Macaroni and cheese is probably one of the top favorite comfort foods for many people. A dish that children love and that adults remember from a time that was not so complicated.

My mother used to make a couple of different macaroni and cheese recipes depending on ingredients and time available. I’m going to share them with you, plus one of my own versions.

All of these recipes are inexpensive and easy, though you can make them more expensive if you choose to add some optional ingredients.

One of My Favorite Dishes

I loved this dish hot or cold growing up and even made it often after I moved into my own apartment.
I loved this dish hot or cold growing up and even made it often after I moved into my own apartment. | Source

Macaroni and Cheese with Tomatoes

This is a very simple recipe that my mother would make when she had way more chores to do than time in the day.

With 5 kids, an acre sized garden and canning to do, plus 8-10 head of cattle and some chickens and pigs depending on her, time was dear.

We kids helped as much as we could with all the chores, but even so there was many a time my mother did not get to bed before it was almost time to get up again and start over.

I often made this quick dish myself after I got my own apartment and was short of cash. I like the leftovers too, hot or cold, and often ate this as a kid for breakfast -- cold.


Ingredients

3 pints of water

3 Teaspoons of salt

1 and 2/3 cups of your favorite dry macaroni

1 - 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, or if you prefer, stewed tomatoes

1 pound of shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar, but any cheddar will work fine)

This is a good dish for beginner cooks because it’s quick and easy.

Put the water and salt into a 2-quart pan and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the macaroni, keeping a close watch on it and stirring it frequently so it doesn’t become a clump. Cook just until the macaroni is al denté, or just tender. Do not overcook into mush.

While the macaroni is boiling, find a pan that is about 9 x 14. I like to use one of my rectangular cake pans with a lid because I can keep the leftovers covered with the lid in the frig and stack other things on the lid if necessary. But any pan, oven safe dish, or casserole dish is fine so long as the dimensions are close to 9 x 14.

Open the can of tomatoes and pour the contents into the baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the macaroni is done tender, pour it into a sieve or strainer basket to drain the water off. Put the macaroni into the pan with the tomatoes and stir well.

Finally, arrange the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the macaroni and tomatoes. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes until the cheese is crisp around the edges. Makes about 9 to 12 servings. Serve with a quick to prepare vegetable or salad.

Super Quick Macaroni and Cheese – No Baking

3 Pints of water in a 2-quart pan

3 Teaspoons of salt

1 and 1/3 cups of your favorite dry macaroni

2 Tablespoons of butter

4 cups of Colby cheese

A few dashes of black pepper

Put the salt and the water into a pan and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the macaroni, keeping a close watch on it and stirring it frequently so it doesn’t become a clump. Cook just until the macaroni is al denté, or just barely tender. Do not overcook into mush.

Drain the macaroni with a sieve or basket drainer to remove the water. Place the macaroni back into the pan you boiled it in and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter. Place a lid on the pan with the macaroni and butter in it and let it set for about 3-5 minutes for the butter to soften.

Once the butter is soft, mix the butter through the macaroni well so that the macaroni will be less likely to stick together. Next put about ½ cup of the Colby cheese into the macaroni and mix it in.

Place a serving of macaroni onto a plate, sprinkle with about a quarter of a cup of Colby cheese or however much you desire, sprinkle with pepper if desired, and serve with a quick to prepare vegetable or salad.

Macaroni and Cheese with Miracle Whip

3 Pints of water

3 Teaspoons of salt

1 and 2/3 cups of your favorite macaroni

3 Tablespoons of Miracle Whip

1 – 24 ounce jar or can of your favorite spaghetti sauce. I like the garden variety best with vegetable chunks in it, but whatever you prefer is fine.

1 lb. of your favorite cheddar cheese shredded

Put the water and salt into a 2-quart pan and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the macaroni, keeping a close watch on it and stirring it frequently so it doesn’t become a clump. Cook just until the macaroni is al denté, or just tender. Do not overcook into mush.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the macaroni is done, drain the water off with a sieve or a mesh drainer and place the macaroni into a 9 x 14 inch pan.

Open the jar of spaghetti sauce and pour it into the pan onto the macaroni. Mix the macaroni and sauce well.

Next measure out the Miracle Whip and mix that well into the macaroni and spaghetti sauce mixture.

Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top and bake for about 45 minutes when the cheese should be getting crisp around the edges.

Serves 9 to 12 people. Serve with a quick to prepare vegetable or salad.

Variations:

If you like, you can fry about 1 cup of chopped onion to tenderness and brown one pound of ground sirloin to be added to the macaroni mix just before adding the cheese.

Vegetarians can add 1 package of Morning Star Meat Starters Griller’s Recipe Crumbles that are entirely vegetable content. They’re in the frozen food section of the grocery store and will easily fool most meat lovers into thinking they really are meat.

More by this Author


Comments 66 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 19 months ago from North Texas Author

Patricia (pstraubie48) thank you for checking these recipes out, for the votes, the pin, and the share, and always for the angels. Have your niece and nephew start with the recipe that includes Miracle Whip. That one rarely has leftovers. :)


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 19 months ago from sunny Florida

My niece and nephew who live not far away in Florida are coming for a visit. They are addicted, I do believe, to mac and cheese. I will share these recipes with them...they will no doubt have fun preparing them while they visit.

Pinned to good things to eat, voted up, and shared

Angels once again on the way to you. ps


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas Author

I like it for breakfast too, peachpurple. Used to eat leftovers of it cold before microwaves. Thanks for stopping!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 21 months ago from Home Sweet Home

yes, macaroni and cheese, perfect combination for my breakfast


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas Author

Kiss and Tales, thank you for checking out these recipes. I think you'll love the recipe that includes the Miracle Whip. It is soooooo yummy!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for coming by and sharing this hub! Agree with you totally.


Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 21 months ago

Yes a definite new twist to macaroni and cheese. I would have never thought to add some salad dressing. I am grateful that you share many good things here.

thanks Aufait.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 21 months ago from Houston, Texas

One thing about macaroni and cheese that is so appealing is that it can be customized to almost anyone's taste assuming that they can eat the macaroni noodles. A different variety of veggies and flavorings can alter the taste and make endless variations with this type of meal. Sharing once again.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Patsybel, thank you for being sufficiently tempted to check these recipes out! I hope you like at least one of them. I love them all and it just depends on the mood I'm in as to which one I have a taste for at any given time. Thanks for the votes and the tweet and the pin, too!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, I hope you have a chance to try them too, and that they don't cause any bad affects. Actually, you've commented on this before, but it's been a while. I know I can forget things faster than anyone can blink their eye nowadays. Wish I could make some of this right now, but of course, I can't. Would be nice for a change.

Hope you're ready to bundle up tonight. Blessings and hugs for you and John. Take care and stay warm . .


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 22 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO

You temptress you. Who could pass up this easy Mac and Cheese? Voted up, I, U, tweet, pin.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago

I must try your recipe, I love mac and cheese, but do not have it often, cheese is on my list of possible migraine triggers. I thought I had read everyone of your hubs, but missed this one.

I hope you had a good day.

Blessings and hugs.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Poetryman6969, thank you for stopping by! I grew up eating the mac & cheese with tomatoes in it and I still love the combination of tomatoes (real tomatoes from my mother's garden with real flavor) and cheddar cheese. Also love how the cheese gets crisp around the edges of the baking pan. So yummy!


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 22 months ago

I should probably try the tomato one at least once.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope people who make these delicious recipes will remember to add some yummy green veggies on the side to assure a nutritious meal.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope people who make these delicious recipes will remember to add some yummy green veggies on the side to assure a nutritious meal.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope people who make these delicious recipes will remember to add some yummy green veggies on the side to assure a nutritious meal.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope people who make these delicious recipes will remember to add some yummy green veggies on the side to assure a nutritious meal.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope people who make these delicious recipes will remember to add some yummy green veggies on the side to assure a nutritious meal.


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 23 months ago from Orange County, California

Macaroni and cheese is such a staple for so many families. These ideas will help people have more variety in their meal planning.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Caseymel, thank you for checking out these recipes. Mac & Cheese is good in so many ways with veggies or tuna, or chicken or ground beef added in. It's so versatile you could easily make a different version every day for a month or more!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

idigwebsites, thank you for checking these recipes out!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DealForALiving, thank you for coming by and checking these recipes out. Mac & Cheese really is one of the most popular comfort foods in the U.S.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for tweeting and sharing and for adding some interesting info. Maybe the mac & cheese is a result of more and more people eating out and wanting comfort food they don't have to make themselves -- and of course having something kids almost always love on the menu?


caseymel profile image

caseymel 2 years ago from Indiana

I love extra-cheesy macaroni and cheese. Last night, we had mac n cheese with veges mixed in. It was actually pretty good!


idigwebsites profile image

idigwebsites 2 years ago from United States

Even with no meat... cheese is enough to make me happy for my mac. Nothing beats the classic food favorites! thanks for sharing. :)


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

I can spend a whole day sitting here and thinking about my favorite Mac and cheese varieties - with lobster, with buffalo chicken, with oyster mushrooms, etc.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Macaroni and cheese seems to be having a resurgence even in high end restaurants these days. Sharing these good sounding recipes of yours with my HP followers, and will also tweet.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane, for sharing your wisdom and these recipes too. All include protein and some even include veggies so they can be filling as well as nutritious -- and kids especially like them.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

With food prices going up and so many people under financial pressure, I thought I would re-share these economical, easy recipes! Real people need ideas like these.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for coming by Shyron, and for the votes and share. These are easy recipes to make and inexpensive too. Something most people like that is filling and ready in no time.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

These are so easy, my boys when they were little loved mac and cheese, and I must admit I do too.

These seem so easy. Thank you Au fait, you must have been in touch with me by telepathy when you wrote this.

Voted up, UABI, and shared.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you moonlake for pinning this article! They are all super easy and fast to make and kids love them.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Pinned it. They all sound great.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for stopping by. Yes, have had the flu and otherwise I'm just snowed under with more work than time. Thank you for your good wishes too. One can never have too many. Have a great weekend!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

So sorry to hear that you have been ill. Knowing that it is now a month since you wrote this...I hope that you have fully recovered. Sending good wishes your way!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub, and especially for sharing. Agree with you that more veggies is better, and I love onions so much that I would have them in practically everything. You are so right about the versatility of macaroni and cheese recipes! When I was a kid I even liked cold from the fridge left-over macaroni and cheese for breakfast. ;)

Sorry it's taken me so long to address my comments, but work takes every bit of time during the week and every bit of energy -- and now I'm sicker n' a dog with chills and the whole 9 yards (for the last 4 days actually). Been in bed most of the day and now trying to stay warm while I try to get to at least a few comments. I'm always slow because of time constraints, but now has been even tougher. Even so, I appreciate very much that you and all my readers take the time to read and comment on my hubs. Where would I be without you?


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Agree with you Kathryn Stratford. I like the red cover for the reasons you stated. ;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Kathryn Stratford, just wanted to say thank you again for the link. Really hope you enjoy these different variations. I have more . . . ;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Kathryn Stratford, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! Very much appreciate the share also, and the link too! So kind of you to do those things and it's a great compliment too. Hope you'll like these recipes.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

livingsta, thank you for checking out these recipes. They are very quick and easy. Hope you like!


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I actually never noticed what was in Miracle Whip. I use it all of the time, because it has less calories and fat than regular mayo, and I like the taste better.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

neelu sinha, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! Most children like the macaroni and cheese with Miracle Whip best. Miracle Whip is just mayonnaise with some lemon juice and sugar added. There are several recipes for Miracle Whip online in the event it isn't available at your grocery store.


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

These look so great. I am definitely going to try them sometime. Mac and cheese are one of my guilty pleasures, and making them from scratch makes it easier to control the fat and sodium content.

Byt the way, I added this as a link to my mac and cheese post, because anyone who loves it will LOVE these.


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I didn't see this until just now! These are great variations on one of my favorite comfort foods! I saw this because someone else shared, and now I'm going to share. Who doesn't like mac and cheese?!


livingsta profile image

livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Very easy recipes, thank you for sharing, will try them!


neelu sinha profile image

neelu sinha 3 years ago from India

very interesting and seems tasty. My 6 yrs baby likes macaroni too much and i would surely cook this for her.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Living in Texas we have gotten used to spicy foods. I like adding tomatoes with chilis to our mac and cheese. Delicious!

There are almost unlimited things that one can do with a basic macaroni and cheese recipe. I have also added veggies beyond tomatoes to make it more healthy. Chopped zucchini as well as onions or mushrooms make a tasty addition.

Up votes and sharing. You are correct...this is an easy recipe for most beginner cooks...but also a comfort food for most people.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Sweetie1 for checking out these recipes. I hope you try all 3 of the recipes because I think you might like them better than you think you will. You can always add a little spice too if you like.


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 3 years ago from India

I liked your recipe. Though In India macroni is not very popular but I like to eat it some time. I would definitely try your recipe without baking one.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for checking these recipes out moonlake. Hope you get a chance to try at least one of these recipes. They're not the usual. You might just like them! Thanks for commenting and for the vote!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I'm not big on macaroni and cheese but I will eat it if something else is mixed with it. Your recipes sound good. Voted up.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you, theastrology, for taking time to comment . . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Brett: Yes it is good leftover. I even like it cold often times, but it doesn't take long to microwave it. Thank you for your comments!


theastrology profile image

theastrology 4 years ago from New Delhi

Seems very testy.. I will sue try it.

Thanks for sharing useful article.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Cheap and tasty food is definitely good in this economy. I don't think I have had this since school, but as it is freezing right now, I will give it a try ... would be good to re-heat for lunch time too!

Thanks for SHARING.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Georges. I hope you can enjoy some macaroni and cheese soon too! ;)


georges zemah 4 years ago

of course I enjoy your articles.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Geo, for taking time to check these recipes out. I hope you enjoy them!


georges 4 years ago

yes why not,very often I prepare macaroni recipes at home

but this one I will try it. I will reserve a plate for you.

geo


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Georges, thank you for your comments. I do hope you will try the macaroni recipes and enjoy!


Georges Zemah profile image

Georges Zemah 4 years ago

I love macaroni recipes as well as all my family.I will try this receipe and make them as well as myself taste it.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

RVDaniels: Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to make them!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thanks again susannah42, for leaving comments. The mac/cheese recipes here are recipes my mother used to make for all of us and we loved it. After all these years, we're still making it the same way . . .


RVDaniels profile image

RVDaniels 4 years ago from Athens, GA

Really clever macaroni recipes. These would be good for a quick hearty luncheon. We like tomato, macaroni and beef as a dinner entrée too. Great hub!


susannah42 profile image

susannah42 4 years ago from Florida

I love mac and cheese. I will definitely try your recipes.

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