How to make The BEST Mac & Cheese Casserole
Creamy, cheesy so good...
When my kids were growing up I never seemed to know how many to make dinner for. There were always a couple of extra "hollow-legs-syndromed" teens about. This was my salvation dinner. I actually caught one of my sons friends lick off his plate; while mumbling "....Mrs.B. this was just delish...."
It will work and taste just great if you want to make it from scratch or just use the boxed kind. This was one of the recipes I had to downsize for my daughter to take along to College. I'll include both sized recipes.
Ingredients for a large family sized casserole. (from scratch version)
- 1 pkg pasta (2 lbs or 900grams) I like rotini or fusilli noodles the best, they never clump together, but what-ever kind is on hand is just fine.
- 1 lb (450 grams) ground chicken or turkey (ground beef tastes good too).
- 1 lb (450 grams) mozzarella or medium Cheddar(more cheese if you like it gooey-er)
- 2 cups (450 ml) of plain yogurt (for creamier use 1/2 and 1/2 with sour cream).
- 2 cups of small broccoli florets (can be replaced with mixed frozen veggies)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of cheese powder (optional for extra cheesier flavor)
Add pasta to boiling salted water and cook al-dente & drain. Blanche broccoli florets also in salted boiling water & drain. Quick saute ground chicken (if using ground beef drain off grease). Grate cheese (reserve a handful for topping)
Mix all ingredients well except breadcrumbs. Pour into deep oven-safe casserole dish and sprinkle with reserved grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes. To have a nice browned crust place under broil for 2 minutes.
Tips: If a couple of unannounced visitors pop in just add an extra handful of pasta the rest of the ingredients will stretch over just fine. Serve with a garden salad for a balanced meal.
Using boxed Mac&Cheese version: perfect for the college "scholars"...
- 1 box Mac&cheese
- 1/4 lb ground meat (if ground beef drain off fat)
- 3 tablespoons of grated cheese for topping (or 3-4 thin cheese slices)
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen vegetables
Follow cooking instruction on box. Cut back a little on milk when mixing cheese powder and add yogurt. If using frozen veggies cook in microwave a couple of minutes. If using fresh can be blanched in microwave too. Combine all ingredients; pour into casserole dish. Cover with grated cheese or slices. Bake in 425 degree oven 10-12 minutes or in microwave until topping cheese is melted and bubbly (depending on microwave no more then 4-5 minutes). Now if a bagged salad is added should be enough for dinner and next day lunch.
Tip: "Scholars" using your 'picture-optioned-cell-phone' take quick click of you and send to Mom (she will cry with happiness knowing she has instilled healthy food options into you). Enjoy......
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