One of my biggest joys comes from creating in the kitchen. Laurie’s Macaroni & Cheese is my most requested recipe. I thought I’d share it here with a photo tutorial.
Laurie’s Macaroni & Cheese
This recipe is one you can customize to make your own. I prefer to change up the cheeses that I use to make it a bit different each time. It’s also great to use up any leftover cheeses from, say a sandwich night. Use the cheeses that you like.
Here is the basic recipe:
3 TB cornstarch
2 TB cold water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TB parsley flakes
2 1/2 cups milk
2 TB butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1- 8 oz pkg cream cheese
2-3 cups cooked and drained elbow noodles
Bread crumbs, enough to cover
1. Boil noodles and drain
2. Melt butter in pan, add cream cheese. Melt together, stirring often.
3. Add milk, stir to combine and bring to just below a boil. Combine the cornstarch and water, then pour into milk mixture. Allow to just boil to thicken.
4. Add in the cheeses, then the spices.
5. Combine the noodles and cheese sauce, pour into greased 9X13 casserole pan. Sprinkle with bread crumbs for a crisp topping.
6. Bake uncovered at 375* oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
(This also freezes very well. I put it in the throwaway pans…pull it out, bake at 375* for an hour or so, uncovered)
Here’s what I used in my last batch that is pictured below:
(Note I also made 3 pans’ worth, so my amounts would be triple what is listed above. Whenever I make a dish like this, I try to always make at least an extra pan for the freezer)
Sharp cheddar cheese, smoked cheddar cheese, Provolone cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese. One tip if you use smoked cheeses, it’s a delicate balance of enough to have a smokey flavor and too much. Through trial and error, I have found that about 1/3 cup smoked cheddar to the recipe above gives it just the right amount for our taste.
To begin, assemble your ingredients. I first boil the noodles and drain them into a large colander in the sink. Using the same pot, I make the sauce, then combine the two and pour into casserole dishes.
Melt the butter a bit first, then add the softened cream cheese. The butter will help the cream cheese to melt and not stick.
Once the cream cheese and butter are melted and smooth, add in the milk.
Once it’s heated and near boiling, add in the cornstarch mixture and stir until smooth.
Next, add in your cheeses a bit at a time, stirring to melt and incorporate. Keep the burner temp on low-medium low.
Add in the spices and seasonings. I was out of dry mustard, so I used a good squeeze of prepared mustard.
Cheese sauce is now complete and ready to combine with the noodles.
I do this in a very large mixing bowl.
Pour into prepared dishes. Bake or freeze. The two pans on the left are for the freezer. The pan on the right, went into the oven. Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of that pan before it was consumed. I will update this post with a photo of a ready to eat pan when I bake another pan.
For freezing, I’ve shown two methods above. The pan on the left is in a disposable aluminum pan. I simply wrap this with non-stick foil, then wrap again with regular foil. If I know it will be in the freezer for more than a month, I will use heavy duty foil for the final wrapping.
The pan on the right is in a glass pan. Since I don’t want the glass pans in the freezer, but rather available for my use, I line the pan with non-stick foil, cover with non-stick foil, then freeze. When it’s frozen solid, I take the macaroni and cheese out of the pan and wrap tightly. When it’s time to bake it, I simply unwrap and put the foil covered block of mac & cheese into the same glass pan to bake.
Be sure to label your frozen macaroni and cheese!
Printable Recipe here-
- 3 TB cornstarch
- 2 TB cold water
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 TB parsley flakes
- 2½ cups milk
- 2 TB butter
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1- 8 oz pkg cream cheese
- 2-3 cups cooked and drained elbow noodles
- Panko bread crumbs, enough to cover
- Boil noodles and drain
- Melt butter in pan, add cream cheese. Melt together, stirring often.
- Add milk, stir to combine and bring to just below a boil.
- Combine the cornstarch and water, then pour into milk mixture. Allow to just boil to thicken. Turn off heat.
- Add in the cheeses, then the spices.
- Combine the noodles and cheese sauce, pour into greased 9X13 casserole pan. Sprinkle with bread crumbs for a crisp topping.
- Bake uncovered at 375* oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
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