The Kids’ Menu: Macaroni and Cheese

August 16, 2008

IMG_2823 by you.

Despite their openness to try all types of food, my children are quite happy to eat certain kids’ fare, most notably mac and cheese. What’s not to like? It’s got pasta, milk, butter and cheese in it.  I’ve made many variations of it over the years, but this is the one I’ve settled on.  The kids love it and frankly, the adults love it too.

Macaroni and Cheese

16 oz. elbow pasta
5 Tbs. + 3 Tbs. of butter (1 stick total)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 C. flour
5 C. milk
4 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 – 1 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Cook pasta according to directions to the longest recommended time for the softest pasta.  Meanwhile, melt the 5 Tbs. of butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven.  Cook onions until soft (about 4 minutes).  Add flour and cook for about 4 more minutes.  Add milk and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium high and cook for a few minutes until mixture thickens, stirring frequently.  Turn off heat, add cheese and mix well.  Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture and incorporate well.   Add ground nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer mac and cheese to a large casserole dish or keep in a dutch oven.  Melt the 3 Tbs. of butter and mix with panko breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle buttered panko and parmesan cheese on top and bake for 25-30 until bubbly and brown on top.  (If using a tall dutch oven, you may have to broil for a few minutes to brown the breadcrumbs.)

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12 Responses to “The Kids’ Menu: Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. Garrett Says:

    Yummm! Mac and cheese was always a favorite of mine when I was younger, but it wasn’t until recently that I found the awesomeness that is baked mac and cheese. I love meals like this that can be simple, yet so good.


  2. [...] Beautiful Mosaic has a beautiful Macaroni and Cheese…just the way I remember it from eons ago when I was a [...]

  3. Leslie Says:

    I love Mac and Cheese..however my two children(3 and 5) are probably the only children know to man who wont eat eat! Drives me crazy! Love the addition of nutmeg!

  4. Lonnie Says:

    This looks amazing. However, one look at this from my kids and they’ll crinkle their noses. “Hey! this isn’t Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese! What’s this stuff on top?”

    Sigh.

  5. deanna Says:

    OMG, can I have a big bowl? Looks so delish! My recipe is just like this except I like to add just a smidge of dried mustard powder.

  6. Bunny Says:

    I love mac and cheese especially with the bread crumbs on it, it really adds something nice to it and yours looks great!

  7. Olga Says:

    Yum! The crust on the top looks great. Hard to believe, but I’ve never actually made mac&cheese from hand. When I make boxed kind, I like to add a can of tuna and frozen peas: my friend’s kids LOVE it.

  8. Kathryn Says:

    How many servings would you say this makes?

  9. onespicymama Says:

    It depends on whether it’s the main course or a side dish – it would serve 6 as a main dish, 8+ as a side.

    Kathryn Says:
    August 17, 2008 at 2:05 am
    How many servings would you say this makes?

  10. smendler Says:

    Here’s a variation that will sneak some green stuff into your picky 10-year-old guy’s mouth:

    Frog Eyeballs

    Ingredients:
    Your favorite mac’n’cheese recipe, but using small shell pasta instead (such as in Annie’s Shells & White Cheddar)
    Very young peas, fresh or frozen

    Make the mac’n’cheese
    Then warm the peas
    And mix the two (but don’t beat ‘em)

    The peas fit inside
    And look like eyes
    They’ll say “Oooh, gross!” – and then eat ‘em!

  11. Deborah Says:

    I’m not a kid, but I’d still take some!


  12. [...] Mac and Cheese (from A Beautiful Mosaic) [...]


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