Granny’s Mac & Cheese was a huge family favorite
Whether it was for the holidays when we had a house full of guests to feed, or a school night when we were all rushing to practice or recital or workin’, Granny could whip up a mac & cheese that everybody had time for and nobody could ever get enough of. We never did have much money growin’ up but eatin’ a good hot meal was real important in our family. Granny’s dish is super fast and easy to make and we’ve even heard from folks that her’s was the only mac & cheese they’d ever eat.
What’s with the ALMOST part of the whole Granny’s Mac & Cheese
Whelp, even though when Granny made it it came out the same every time, she never did write it in her recipe book, on account of it was her “secret” that made it special. So, what we’ve got here is our closest try, and we think it’s as close as we’re ever gonna get. We wanted to share it with y’all to put in your recipe box.
Mac & Cheese tips and tricks
Before we get to the actual recipe, we just wanted to share a couple things with y’all to help.
Put the slow cooker away for Mac & Cheese
Seems like w’eve seen bunches of slow cooker recipes for everything. We get that y’all are short on time (we don’t judge). This is one of those things that y’all can put together directly and only takes a minute to bake in the oven. You’ll probably even have the table set and the rest of the groceries put away by the time it’s ready.
You can make Mac & Cheese in cast iron or a baking dish
Foil pans are great if you’re plannin’ on feeding a crowd. If it’s just a regular school night dinner or the family, a ceramic or corning baking dish works out great. If y’all use cast iron as much as we do, the ten inch or dutch oven comes out tasting even better.
Mac & Cheese ain’t just a side for fried chicken
When KRAFT foods introduced their mac and cheese in a box (not our favorite) they actually called it “Kraft dinner”. Okay, maybe that’s only in Canada, but honestly y’all, big fancy restaurants dress up Mac & Cheese with seafood and charge a bundle for it. You can add your favorites to it too. Bacon, or sausage, or ham, pulled pork, or even cut up hot dogs. The options are limitless because Mac & Cheese supports a wide range of flavors from delicate to robust. Keep in mind, most of those things you’ll have to cook separate and then add to the pan to bake into the Mac & Cheese together.
For goodness sake put on an apron!
Mac & cheese ain’t a fancy dish, it usually only takes one pan and a pot, and y’all are only gonna whip it up directly, but you’re not gonna wanna change out of your work clothes, or your party outfit, and who needs the extra laundry? It’s faster (and classier, right?) to to throw on an apron than to go to the dry cleaners.
Now for real, (Almost) Granny’s Mac & Cheese recipe
What you’ll need
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
- 2 cups whole milk (or heavy cream, or buttermilk)
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup american cheese
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
How to make it
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a casserole dish or cast iron pan aluminum foil pan.
- Cook pasta until just tender (not all the way done). It will cook more as it bakes. Drain pasta and turn into baking pan. While pasta is still hot, add butter, and stir until butter is melted.
- Add the half-and-half to the pot, along with half the cheddar and Monterey Jack, the eggs, American cheese, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Add remaining cheese to top and bake for 5 more minutes