My children love macaroni cheese, but it was something we only ate at the weekends because of the fuss involved in preparing this dish. That was before we discovered the easy mac and cheese recipe, which has a silky consistency, like the oven prepared ones! It takes less than 30 mins to prepare; which means we can have it as quick dinner in the week, or even lunch after a busy Saturday morning.Jump to Recipe
This is a one pot macaroni and cheese recipe to which I added mushroom, spinach and broccoli to make it a complete meal on single plate. The result of this easy recipe is a delicious, creamy no bake mac and cheese. The creaminess comes from the pasta, which releases its starch as it cooks, and allows the cheese to adhere to the pasta.
The flour in this recipe helps with the thickening of the sauce and gives it a silken appearance. I only recommend a tablespoon, though because I found adding more than that gave macaroni and cheese a grainy texture.
Whenever I make macaroni in the usual way of cooking in the oven; I would heat the milk with garlic and bay leaves; and leave to infuse for about 30 mins, which added to the cooking time (and another pot to wash!) but lifts the taste of the dish greatly. For this one pot mac and cheese recipe; I found a way to include the garlic and bay leaves; you just need to remember to remove the bay leaves before adding the vegetables.
Can You Reheat This No Bake Mac And Cheese?
Yes! Sure, this dish can be kept in the fridge for a day or two; and reheated. You will nee to add some milk before popping in the microwave because the pasta would will absorb some of the liquid with time, which will make dish dry. The added milk will restore the silken, creamy texture of the easy macaroni and cheese with vegetables.
How To Cook Easy Mac And Cheese With Vegetables
You can adapt this dish to suit your taste or what you have available. If you like a mild macaroni and cheese, you may choose not to add the bay leaves and garlic. You can choose not to add any vegetables or add ones that you prefer. Feel free to make the recipe yours.
You need to use a deep pot for this macaroni and cheese because the milk will foam and rise quickly to the top during cooking. If you use a shallow pot, the milk will boil over and make a lot of mess, as I found out, the first time I made this recipe.
Cheese is one of the most important components of this one pot mac and cheese recipe. It is important to buy a block of cheese, then grate it yourself. The store bought “ready grated” cheese have potato starch added to prevent the clumping of the cheese. The starch will not have a chance to cook as we are adding the cheese at the end of the cooking, and this will give a grainy texture to dish.
A last tip – Stir regularly to prevent sticking.
Easy Mac and Cheese With Vegetables
- 30 g Butter
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 cloves Garlic cut into 2 pieces
- 1 tablespoon Flour
- 2 cups Milk
- 1 cup Water
- 2 cups Spirali (elbow pasta)
- Salt a dash
- 1 hanful Mushroom sliced
- ½ head Broccoli cut into smaller pieces
- 11/2 cups Grated medium cheddar cheese
- 1 handful Spinach
- Melt the butter in a deep pot.
- Fry the garlic and bay leaves in the butter for around 30 secs.
- Add the flour and whisk for another 30 secs.
- Pour the milk in and continue whisking until there are no lumps, then add the water.
- Pour in the pasta with a pinch of salt.
- Allow the pasta to cook for 10 mins (there should be a white thick sauce).
- Add the broccoli and mushroom and mix in with the pasta properly.
- Lower the heat and all to cook for about 5mins or until the pasta is al dente.
- Stir in the cheese and spinach and remove from heat immediately.
Just another home cook
Super easy, flexible, and decadent! I've made this recipe twice already- it's a great stove-top-from-scratch macaroni and cheese! It definitely compares well to the baked style (I use a baked-version recipe I pulled off the label of a can of condensed milk) the only difference is no crusty/chewy parts.
I tried it differently each time- first was with a pre-shredded cheddar. I took note of the extra starch, so I rinsed it before adding it to the noodles. The second, I shredded Jarlsburg, and the result was richer and more 'stringy'. The Jarlsburg one made a better leftover since it seemed a lot 'cheesier' after a stint in the microwave. Both cheeses produced delicious results, so I say it's worth experimenting to find a favorite. (Who would say 'no' to a mac'n'cheese taste test??)
I used totally random vegetables and totally random pasta shapes- even a few whole-wheat ones- and it all worked out great. I think the bay leaf was the under-stated 'star' that added a great fragrance to the dish.