Cook's Hideout: Kid Approved Mac and Cheese

December 10, 2014

Kid Approved Mac and Cheese

Blogging Marathon# 47: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: Kid's Delight Event -- Pizza & Pasta
Dish: Macaroni & Cheese
We are starting 2nd week of blogging today and my theme for this week is 'Pizza & Pasta'. Mir is hosting this month's Kid's Delight event and asking us to send kid favorite pasta & pizza recipe. Valli is the brain behind Kid's Delight event.
For the first day I made 'Macaroni & Cheese', one of my kids favorite pasta dish. Unfortunately they love the mac & cheese from the box and the many times I tried making it at home, they were not really pleased with it. They like their macaroni to have that signature orange/ yellow color and the chalky cheese taste (??) which obviously a homemade version can never live up to. So I gave up and started buying Annie's mac & cheese for them.
Macaroni and Cheese

This is probably one of the few recipes that I was really tensed serving to the kids. To top it off I volunteered to make it for our Thanksgiving potluck too. I looked through so many recipes online to make sure I had got the recipe right. I've never been so concerned about the taste of the dish -- ever.
I made the dish at home before making it again for the potluck -- I wanted to get my kids approval first. After serving to the kids I probably asked them 10 times if they liked it or not and if it tasted like the boxed variety (??). I was ecstatic when my son gave his hands up and I was on cloud nine when it was loved by the other kids too at the party.
I added panko breadcrumbs on the top and baked the pasta. But my son didn't like the crunchy topping, so I made the dish without the topping for the party. For my broccoli loving daughter I added some lightly steamed broccoli to the pasta and baked it -- she loved the creamy and cheesy pasta with broccoli.
Macaroni and Cheese
Here are a few things I've learnt during my research -- I should earn a PhD for mac & cheese. Hmmm.. I probably did when the kids approved it :-)
  • Grate your own cheese -- store bought grated cheeses may not melt into a smooth sauce.
  • Use higher fat milk for a smoother sauce.
  • Don't add the cheese when the milk is too hot, this might curdle the sauce.
IngredientsServes 4~6
Macaroni pasta (or any other short cut pasta) - 2cups
Flour - 3tbsp
Unsalted butter - ¼cup
Milk - 3 cups (minimum 2% milk fat recommended)
Cheese - 2½cups, grated (I used 2cups Extra sharp Cheddar & 1/2cup Gruyere)
Dry mustard - ½tsp
Smoked Paprika - 1tsp
Broccoli - 1cup, lightly steamed (optional)
Salt & Pepper - to taste

For the topping: (Optional)
Bread Crumbs - 1/2 cup
Melted Butter or Vegetable Oil - 2tbsp
Parmesan Cheese - 3tbsp

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
  • Melt the butter in a medium size sauce pan, whisk in the flour and cook for 2~3 minutes or until the flour is cooked through. Add the dry mustard, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly and cook until the sauce thickens, this takes about 7~10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then stir in the grated cheese and mix well to form a smooth cheese sauce.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce along with steamed broccoli (if adding). 
  • The dish is ready to serve now, but if you want to bake it then transfer pasta to a greased baking dish. 
  • Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle it on top of the pasta. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 20~25 minutes or until the top is golden and pasta is bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Macaroni and Cheese
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 47.


  1. Absolutely delicious Mac n cheese. I wonder why you were so worried about its taste. My kids love it so much.

  2. Baked macaroni and cheese is always a favorite in my house. Adding broccoli is a nice touch. I will try that.

  3. Looks like you have surely done a phd for this Pavani..I love this and though I have never had the boxed one, my kids love what I make for them..:)..and I am still amazed at your daughter eating Broccoli!

  4. My kiddo loathes Mac n cheese , but this cd be a great option for those kids loving that combo 😊

  5. This is a winner in kids crowd!! looks Fantabulos !!

  6. Even its my favourite, but the addition of broccoli is seriously very interesting..

  7. Your kids must have really enjoyed Mac and cheese, so chee ee see and yummy.

  8. You definitely deserve that Ph.D!! MAc n Cheese looks droooolsome! :)

  9. My kids love Mac n cheese and my lil one loves broccoli. Next time i shall combine both!

  10. Congratulations on earning your Ph.D! That sure looks worth the effort and research. I am bookmarking this to give it a try with my boys :)

  11. Loved it Pavani..I too love to use bread crumbs as topping for my baked dishes, in fact my oven has a baked right now with those bread crumbs on top.


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