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ibstubro's avatar

Care to share an outstanding stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) June 16th, 2015

If you start with a box, it better be a pretty darned good result.

I have an excess of crumbled blue and feta on hand, if that considers in. I have pounds of grated Parmesan.

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8 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I don’t have an outstanding stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe because they really don;t exist as outstanding.

And there aren’t recipes that work in general with specifics such as you have. But it sounds to me like you might as well just go for it.

So, cook the macaroni al dente, crumble the blue and the feta into drained hot macaroni, stir in grated parmesan. Place in an oven proof dish like a lasagna pan, so you can spread it all out. Sprinkle finely ground bread crurmbs (best from left over garlic bread made from sourdough is best!) over the top of the mixture, and brown in the oven.

The bread crumbs give just a bit of satisfying crunch.

Serve with either sparkling water or a Pinot Grigio.

Buttonstc's avatar

Nobody does it better than Alton Brown. Here is a short clip complete with text for each part of the process.

Also, he has another slightly different one for a baked version.

If you prefer it printed out then both can be found on the Food Network site.

If you’re a real bacon lover, Michael Symon adds it to his. For specifics, his recipe can also be found on FN.

PS. Neither Feta or Parmesan are particularly well know as great melting cheeses and if you’re going to be using significant amounts of either, you should consider also counteracying by adding a bit of a cheese with a better rep for being easy melting such as Fontina, Muenster, Gruyere or Havarti. You don’t want grainy Mac N Cheese.

Don’t worry about adding those to an existing recipe because you can always put in extra cheese to any Mac N Cheese recipe.

Strauss's avatar

If you want really-really-really-really-really good batch of cheese ‘n’ mac it has to have bacon. Then add some more bacon. You also want to use bacon to add flavor.

Seriously, though, I would start with the pasta. Elbow macaroni is traditional and is actually part of the name. However I like to use a rotini or ziti. The extra surface area tends to hold a little more of the sauce.

Cook the pasta, following manufacturers’ instructions, to al dente; you don’t want it overcooked by the time you’re finished). drain and set aside.

Cook the bacon, crispy. Use any amount that you choose, a small amount for a subtle flavor, a larger amount for more bacon flavor. (You might want to change it from “bacon-flavored mac & cheese” to “bacon with mac & cheese). Chop the bacon into small pieces, cook until crispy

If you want to use the bleu and feta, a unique combination! melt them into a thick roux, aka “white sauce”. Most cheeses will do well in a sauce like the one below.

Roux: Melt ¼ cup butter (OK, you can use margarine if you want!) in saucepan. Stir in ¼ cup A/P flour, ¼ tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper. Stir over low heat until bubbly and smooth. Remove from heat, stir in milk; heat to boiling, and stir constantly using a whisk; (while stirring, make sure it’s not sticking on the bottom). Boil and stir 1 minute. This makes about a cup of sauce, use about the same amount of cheese (or more cheese); add cheese to sauce, stir over low heat until cheese is melted and incorporated. Add bacon, cooked and crumbled into bits. You may want to save some of the bacon bits for the topping.

Fold sauce into the drained pasta, mix well, making sure all pasta is covered. Pour into an appropriate baking or casserole dish that has been lubricated with cooking oil or butter.
Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for about 30 min until bubbly. Remove from oven, top with mixture or parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, bacon and parmesan cheese. Bake another 5 minutes, or until the topping is browned.

zenvelo's avatar

If you want some ideas, consider the variations at Homeroom in Oakland CA.

Kardamom's avatar

You have to use an oven, not just the stovetop.

I make the best mac and cheese by cooking the noodles al dente. After draining the noodles, I put a splash of olive oil in and mix well, just so the noodles don’t stick together, then set them aside.

While the noodles are boiling, I make an easy roux with equal parts flour and butter (about a quarter cup of each) or Smart Balance. Melt the butter, then slowly add in the flour and mix, mix, mix, mix for about 8 or 10 minutes on medium heat, making sure not to burn the mixture. You want to cook off the raw flour taste. Before doing that, I have already heated up a half a cup of milk in the microwave, so it’s still warm when the roux is ready. Then I pour the milk into the roux and keep stirring so as there are no clumps, then I add in a cup of shredded cheese. Whatever you have on hand should be fine, but I use Trader Joe’s Caramelized Onion Cheddar.

Before even starting the noodles, I sautee some mushrooms, I use a pint container (any kind of mushrooms will do) with a quarter cup of chopped onions and a Tablespoon of olive oil, until they are just browned. Don’t sweat them down all the way, because they are going to cook more in the oven. Set them aside.

I’ve also cooked 2 pieces of Morningstar Farms fake bacon in the microwave, so that is all ready to be crumbled and put into the cheese/roux mixture.

When the roux is ready, dump in the cheese, the mushroom mixture and the crumbled fake bacon. Mix well, then dump in the drained noodles. Mix to coat well. Pour the mixture into a greased casserole, sprinkle some Panko bread crumbs on top, then bake in a 425 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Just long enough to brown the breadcrumbs on top.

Here is a quick Youtube tutorial on Making Roux

ibstubro's avatar

The cheeses I listed weren’t required use, @zenvelo. Those I just have in excess at the moment. I could probably serve you 15–20 cheeses or cheese blends from my fridge. Points for creativity. Honestly, I think Homeroom might have prompted my question.

That looks good enough to try, @Buttonstc! And stove-top is the only way with 80°+ the current norm. I could probably sharpen it with a bit of blue and top with some parm.

Sorry, @Yetanotheruser, no bacon for me. But I used to be the king of roux, so I like the idea of using it for blue (I think feta is too much salt for this). I tend to like gemelli for mac and cheese or pasta salad. Something chewy. Raditori if you can find the small stuff and you want to drown in delicious sauce. I’m not heating the oven for M & C.

I could make roux in my sleep, @Kardamom.
Since this is social, I’ll digress.
My aunt was quite the ‘country cooking gourmet’. Traditional Midwestern foods done right for the most part. Macular degeneration robbed her of her sight as she aged. One day she called me, distraught. Her grandson had called asking for a recipe for gravy, “How do you explain gravy??” “Easy”, I said. “White sauce. 1 Tbs. fat + 1 Tbs. flour melted, mixed and lightly browned whisked with 1 Cup liquid.” _Super Gramma to the rescue!
I was never a bacon lover and if I was going to add a faux meat, it would be sausage crumbles.
I will not heat my oven to 425° if it’s over 60° outside. Currently it’s not dipping below 70° even at night. I’ll store the recipe for cold weather.

Blondesjon's avatar

Artery Buster Macaroni & Cheese


* ¼ cup butter
* ¼ cup flour
* 1 cup whole milk
* ½ lb. (8 oz.) Velveeta, cut into ½-inch cubes
* 2 cups elbow macaroni cooked
* ½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
* 6 Ritz Crackers crushed (about ¼ cup)
* 1 batch Bacon Soffrito


1. HEAT oven to 350°F.

2. MELT 3 Tbsp. butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook 2 min., stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boil; cook and stir 3 to 5 min. or until thickened. Add Velveeta; cook 3 min. or until melted, stirring frequently. Stir in macaroni & bacon soffrito.

3. SPOON into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with cheddar. Melt remaining butter; toss with cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole.

4. BAKE 20 min. or until heated through.

To make the bacon soffrito (The best part of the dish. I use this in everything.):

Dice a pound of good bacon and fry in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until it starts to render and brown just a little. Add in a handful each of chopped carrot, onion, jalapeno, bell pepper, and garlic. Turn down the heat to medium low and let it cook down until it is almost like a paste. Drain well.

You can use this as is or throw it in a food processor and make a paste that enhances anything. i prefer using it as a paste

Kardamom's avatar

@ibstubro I saved this recipe for Microwave Mac and Cheese for One on my Pinterest. I haven’t tried it yet, so maybe you could give it a whirl and see how it goes. It looks good in the pictures. I think if I was going to make it, I might add in some broccoli. At least it will keep your kitchen cool.

If you want to add some fake sausage, one of my new favorite things is Field Roast Apple Sage Vegetarian Sausage. So far I’ve had it on pizza, and put it in lasagna, and ate it plain, right out of the package. It’s so good!

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