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How to make The BEST Mac & Cheese Casserole

Updated on March 16, 2011

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)

Methodology:

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......

YUM
YUM

Comments

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    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      IslandVoice, thanks for dropping by and for commenting.

      The mac/cheese is good and I'm sure your family will enjoy it.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Deerinheadlights, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

      Here are tons of greetings for you from Ontario

      regards Zsuzsy

    • IslandVoice profile image

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Our 5 yr old granddaughter is a Mac n Cheese lover. I will share this with her mom! She's the family 'cook' and we will enjoy your special recipe!

    • deerinheadlights profile image

      deerinheadlights 

      9 years ago from deep in the heart of Texas

      I can not wait to dig into more of your articles. Love what you wrote in your profile and of course who doesn't like mac n'cheese. I'm from Ontario Canada too, now transplanted to Texas for many years. Thanks for sharing your point of view.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Suziecat7, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

      Us Suzies have to stick together... me fan...you fan

      regards Zsuzsy

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 

      9 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I'll have to try this - sounds great. Thanks for becoming a fan. I'm a fan of yours now too.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Thanks Shawna for taking a look. It actually is really good.

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image

      Shawna 

      9 years ago

      ooohhhh sooo yummy!!!

      :)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      The plain yogurt still gives the creamy texture but is less heavy and less calories too of course. Thanks for visiting

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Linda J Watson profile image

      Linda J Watson 

      10 years ago from New Jersey

      This sounds great. My kids love mac and cheese! I would have never though of yogurt.

      Thanks

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      CGull! Try it you might like it...Thanks for coming for a visit

      regards Zsuzsy

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      I am saving this recipe, I love Mac and Cheese all I do is get the boxes from Groceries stores, I would rather make this natural one. Thanks a lot. Cheers :)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      No Kraft...what backwoods of the world do you live in? Just kidding...I always make it from scratch. Its better that way. Thanks for your comments

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 

      10 years ago

      Ooooh. I LOVE mac and cheese and I am going to try this. I cant even get Kraft over here, but I miss it!!!! Thanks, Zuz!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Bub Mee! Let me know what you think. Thanks for taking a look.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Bug Mee profile image

      Bug Mee 

      10 years ago from Great Midwest

      I'm goin' to cook this sucker up!!! thanks!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Thanks for visiting Chatterbox.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Chatterbox profile image

      Chatterbox 

      10 years ago from New York City

      Zsuzsy, your recipe sounds sooo delicious.  I'll have to try it sometime.  Mac and cheese is my grandsons favorite.

      Regards, Joan.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      MrMamalade! Glad you came for a visit! I promise This is the BEST mac cheese casserole. Have a great day.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 

      10 years ago from Sydney

      Willing to try as long as you assure me you only borrowed the name. Is it my overworked or underdeveloped imagination?

      I will make.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Mac and cheese has always been a kind of comfort food. My kids always loved it and as I said it didn't matter how many extra there were at the table no one left hungry.

      thank you for coming by regards Zsuzsy

    • Ashok Raj profile image

      Ashok Raj 

      10 years ago from India

      One more reason why you are such a delight to your sidekicks, Zsuzsy!

      I would happily apply for a sidekick position in your super company, if there were such yummy perks! :)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      I made this on a regular basis, mainly when I had the farm. I raised the chickens, had milk from the Jersey cow from which I made the yogurt and the fresh mozza cheese. So to feed an extra 4-5 teenagers, three-four times a week didn't cost an arm and a leg. As a matter of fact this is what I'm having for supper tonight and lunch tomorrow.

      thanks for taking a look Patty regards Zsuzsy

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I never thought of chicken for this recipe but it impresses me as very good. Corned beef may be nice, but have a lot of calories and fat. Tuna is ok in mac and cheese, but chicken sounds supreme. Nice going!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Abhinya! What type of veggies do you like? If you add potatoes you would have two starches...Do you have green beans in your nech of the woods...I can see mushrooms with the mac and cheese. Actually I bet most type of vegetables would taste just great. The yogurt also makes it lighter and slightly tangy. Using an old cliche here...try-it you might like-it...

      thanks for visiting regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image

      Abhinaya 

      10 years ago

      YUM is the word.Is there a veggie alternative for ground chicken?Mouth watering as it seems I would try this with potatoes instead of chicken.Thanks.

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