We often associate heavy comfort food with cold weather; Visions of piping hot tomato soup & grilled cheese on a rainy day or a juicy burger on a cold evening come to mind when we think of meals hitting us right in the heart. However, we eat our feelings year round, and there’s never a bad time to go in on some comfort food. What’s more comforting than homemade mac & cheese?
Mac & cheese hits the spot in all incarnations, but there’s nothing like homemade mac & cheese. But isn’t homemade mac & cheese a lot of work? Not necessarily. We’ve gathered the tastiest & easiest homemade mac & cheese recipes on the web. By the time you’re done with these, you’ll never reach for the cardboard box again.
Thirty minute mac & cheese
Allrecipes.com has one of the web’s easiest homemade mac & cheese recipes, aptly titled, “simple macaroni and cheese”. The recipe only takes thirty minutes and is sure to satisfy your cheese fix.
1 (8 ounce) box elbow macaroni, ¼ cup butter, ¼ cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper to taste, 2 cups milk, 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese.
- Bring pot of salted water to boil, add macaroni and cook for about eight minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm.
- Bring large saucepan to medium heat, add butter until melted, and stir in flour, salt, and pepper for about five minutes until smooth. Slowly add milk to the mixture, stirring continuously, for another five minutes until smooth & bubbly. Add cheddar cheese to the mixture and stir about two to four minutes until melted.
- Fold macaroni into cheese sauce. Serve & enjoy.
Baked macaroni & cheese
Baked homemade mac & cheese is the real deal; When we picture the perfect homemade mac & cheese, it’s a dish with a perfectly crumbly fire-kissed crust. Feast and Farm has the recipe for a great baked mac & cheese anyone can pull off.
1 1/2 cups macaroni shells or cavatappi, 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons flour, 2 cups whole milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 2 cups of shredded cheese (cheddar & swiss recommended).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta to cook.
- While the pasta boils, melt the butter in a large skillet or saucepan.
- Add flour and stir over medium heat for about one to two minutes until the mixture is lightly browned.
- Add milk, salt & pepper, and whisk to remove any lumps.
- Cook over medium-high heat for about six minutes until the sauce thickens & starts to bubble.
- Stir in the cheese and whisk until smooth & melted. Turn off the heat.
- When the pasta is nearly done but still firm, drain & fold into the sauce in the skillet.
- Move mac & cheese into a greased 2 quart dish and bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes until browned & bubbly.
- Serve & enjoy.
Microwave macaroni & cheese
This one’s for the novice cooks out there; what could be easier than homemade mac & cheese made in the microwave? The kitchen has a mac & cheese recipe anyone who’s burned cereal can manage; one zap and you’ll be in homemade mac & cheese heaven.
1/2 cup dried macaroni or shell pasta, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, or provolone).
- Combine the pasta, water, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl and stir to combine
- Microwave the pasta for two minutes, then stir.
- Continue microwaving in two-minute intervals until the pasta is cooked.
- Stir the milk & cheese into the pasta.
- Microwave in thirty-second intervals, stirring in between, to melt the cheese.
- Let cool & enjoy.
The best vegan mac & cheese
Did you think we were gonna forget about you vegans? Nora Taylor’s Nora Cooks has an amazing recipe for vegan homemade mac & cheese, and the dish can be ready in just twenty minutes. Who said vegan cooking was complicated?
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked), 1 cup water, the juice of one large lemon, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 12 ounces elbow pasta.
- Cover cashews with boiling water for five minutes.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the soaked cashews (drained), 1 cup water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, turmeric, garlic powder and salt to a high powered blender, blend until smooth.
- Drain pasta when cooked and return it to the pot. Stir in the cheese sauce.
- Serve & enjoy.
Does your favorite comfort food put homemade mac & cheese to shame? Spill the beans in the comments below!