Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy

Margie Bruner - Glory Kitchenby: Margie Bruner, owner of Glory Kitchen
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Forgive me, I just could not resist the “cheesy” title of this recipe but the name “Easy Peasy Mac & Cheesy” truly describes this terrific mac & cheese hack. No noodles to boil.  No butter & flour roux to prepare.  Just blend up a few ingredients, add in the dry noodles and bake.  Truly, it’s that easy – who knew?  I’m amazed I never before knew of this method because it works beautifully and it tastes delicious.  And who doesn’t love a hot macaroni & cheese with a crispy topping of panko bread crumbs and our San Miguel Mexican nut & spices?

I can’t remember the last time I made macaroni & cheese, although I must admit, years ago I often made the infamous boxed orange Kraft type for my kids when they were young.  I still cringe at the thought that I used to serve that to my own children, yikes.  Now that my boys are grown and I only cook for my husband and myself, we try not to eat foods like mac & cheese but every so often there is an occasion that calls for a delicious casserole of hot cheesy goodness.  It is a great side to serve to a crowd and because it is a well loved favorite, it is typically the first dish to empty out.

The next time you need a large casserole to serve a crowd, make this simple mac & cheese.  This recipe can serve 10-14 persons so you can always half the portions to make a smaller casserole.  I’ll never make macaroni & cheese any other way again.

Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy

Yield: 10 - 14 servings

Ingredients

    topping:
  • 1 tablespoon San Miguel nut & spice mix
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • mac & cheese:
  • 2 cups cottage cheese (I like full fat, organic)
  • 4 cups whole milk (I like to use organic)
  • 1 1/2 pounds shredded cheeses; a combination of gruyere, parmesan, & cheddar
  • 1 pound elbow pasta, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • drizzle of olive oil (to oil the inside of baking dish)
  • bake in a 9x13 rectangular casserole dish or a 3 qt. dutch oven

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine all the topping ingredients and set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 375° and position the rack in upper third of oven. Use a small amount of olive oil to coat the sides of a 9x13 baking dish or a 3 quart dutch oven. I use my hands to coat all around.
  3. Using a blender, puree together 2 tablespoons of melted butter, cottage cheese, 1 cup milk, mustard, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Using a very large mixing bowl stir together the blender ingredients, remaining 3 cups milk, uncooked pasta, and the 3 grated cheeses. Pour it all into the buttered baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover the pan, sprinkle the top with the topping mixture which was set aside and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, or until the top is lightly browned and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

This recipe makes a large casserole to serve a crowd. You can half the recipe to serve 6-8 persons.

Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy - Glory Kitchen
Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy - Glory Kitchen
Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy - Glory Kitchen
Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy - Glory Kitchen
Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy - Glory Kitchen
Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy - Glory Kitchen
Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy - Glory Kitchen