The perfect homemade mac and cheese is an elusive thing. There are so many good ones how can you tell what you are going to get? Some are too liquidy, some are way too cheesy, some turn grainy and lumpy, and most if not all of the really good creamy ones require Velveeta.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against artificial cheese when it comes to making an epic Mac and Cheese. But Velveeta is like 6 bucks a brick where we live, and its a BRICK. Now I am sure I could keep said brick in my refrigerator for umpteen years with no recourse and live to tell the tale but it never happens that way. I use it all and make too much Mac and Cheese and we gain 10 lbs in a week.
Saturday we had some friends over for a low key BBQ and we decided that some tasty sides were in order. I hemmed and hawed over making this because I didn’t have any fake cheese and knew I would pay an arm and a leg for it at the mini store across the street. Yup. $7 for a block of Velveeta. Right next to it? A stack of American cheese singles. $1.69? Much better.
Turned out to be the secret we’ve been looking for. Even our friend Mari’s non cheese eating child went back for seconds. One of our guests proclaimed they dreamed about it and woke up craving it for breakfast. I have been told I must bring nothing else to every group function from this point forward.
Yes it’s that good.
One 9x12 pan
1 lb shells
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1 stick of butter
1 package of individual American cheese singles, unwrapped, chopped
2 cups italian mix 4 cheese blend
1 cup chedder cheese
cayenne pepper (if desired)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Boil water. Cook pasta til al dente. Strain and return to pot.
- Add all remaining ingredients.
- Warm gently while stirring til combined.
- Pour into 9x12 pyrex or comparable dish.
- Top with breadcrumbs.
- Bake 30-45 minutes until bubbly.