Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Recipe – Baked Mac & Cheese

I started making this recipe for baked mac & cheese when I was living with a couple of my college friends after we graduated and I had basically no money to spare.  It’s very easy and pretty cheap to throw together and originally adapted from the Campbell’s recipe book I have. 

But it’s not exactly the tastiest dish – I would rate it a 5/10 as it’s not that cheesy and definitely not bursting with flavor.  I’m assuming that’s due to the condensed cheddar cheese soup and lack of “real” cheese.  All the food blogs I follow just totally hate on condensed soup and I can understand why with this recipe.  I think canned soup can be a great time saver if used with a lot of other ingredients.  For this recipe, it’s basically the cheese that needs to shine, though, so now I’m on a mission to bump this meal up a little.  The recipe below is what I made earlier this week and it’s definitely better – but not perfect yet.

maccheesesorry for the crappy lighting…I need to make meals when it’s 2 in the afternoon and much sunnier in our kitchen :) 


- 1 can Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup

- 3/4 cup skim milk

- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

- 3 cups pasta (I usually use rotini, but shells work, too)

- 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

- 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs

- 2 tablespoons margarine or butter

Let’s Bake!

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta until it’s al dente and then drain.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix cheddar cheese soup, milk, ground mustard and pepper until well combined.  Add in the pasta and mix completely.  Transfer the mixture into a 8 x 8 baking dish.

3. Shred the cheddar cheese using a grater.  Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the entire top of the pasta mixture.

4. Melt butter or margarine in the microwave in a small bowl.  Stir in bread crumbs and mix well with a fork.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture all over the top of the pasta and cheese mixture.

5. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until bread crumbs are toasted and cheese mixture is bubbling.


For next time…I will probably try mixing the shredded cheese right in with the soup mixture and possibly add parmesan cheese.  Or I maybe I should stop using the soup altogether and start making real mac and cheese from scratch, but this is just so easy and cheap, it will be hard using a brand new recipe... :)

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