Macaroni and cheese has to be the dish loved by most kids. The glow in their eyes when they hear the word is enough and no words are needed. Initially I used store bought boxes, but once it dawned on me that it was basically the white sauce I have been making it from scratch at home. So, I had mac and cheese planned for dinner and got the kids excited, asked K to grab cheddar cheese from the store and was all set to make it and to my horror I was out of macaroni. Yes, I did say horror because the pasta portion of my pantry is always overflowing since we are big pasta eaters.
The funny part was that I mentioned mac and cheese from the previous night and even remembered to get cheddar cheese, but forgot macaroni. I did have pasta in other shapes and K tried to convince me to use those to avoid another trip to the store . I decided to spare him and took a quick trip to the store to stock up on macaroni. My son loved it and to my surprise my daughter declared that it was not yellow enough for her. Huh .. . She also did not like the green bits of spinach nor the whole wheat macaroni. The others loved it and the topping was my favorite part. Off to the recipe.
Macaroni and Cheese with a breadcrumb topping.
- For Cheese Sauce
- macaroni - 2 cups - (uncooked - I used whole wheat macaroni)
- butter - 1 tbsp
- all purpose flour - 2 tbsp - (use 1 tbsp for a thinner sauce)
- milk - 2 cups - (I used reduced fat milk)
- salt - to taste
- pepper - to taste
- cheese - 1 cup - I used cheddar cheese
- spinach - 1 cup - chopped
- For topping
- breadcrumbs - 1/4 cup
- parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup
- cheese - 1/4 cup - I used cheddar cheese
- butter - 1 tbsp
Cheese sauce: Melt 1 tbsp butter and add flour to it. Whisk for a couple of minutes and add the milk. Whisk for around 7 - 8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add salt, pepper and 1 cup cheddar cheese. Mix well.
Cook macaroni according to package instructions and add to the cheese sauce. Add the chopped spinach and mix well.
For the topping, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese. 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp melted butter.
Fill about 3/4th of a ramekin with macaroni mixture. Top it with the topping mix. Repeat for other ramekins.
Bake covered in a preheated 350F oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. If needed, broil on low for the topping to become crispy.
- You can also bake in a casserole instead of individual ramekins.
- Mac and cheese thickens on standing. Just add a little milk to it and microwave to loosen it up.
1. Melt butter in a pan.
2. Add flour.
3. Whisk for a couple of minutes.
4. Add milk
5. Whisk for around 7 – 8 minutes until the mixture slightly thickens.
6. Add salt and pepper.
7. Add 1 cup cheddar cheese.
8. Mix until the cheese melts. Sauce ready for pasta.
9. Meanwhile, boil the macaroni according to package instructions.
10. Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce.
11. Add the chopped spinach.
12. Mix well.
13. For the topping, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp melted butter and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.
15. Take the macaroni in a ramekin.
16. Add the topping on top. Fill other ramekins similarly.
17. Bake covered in a preheated 350F oven for 20 min. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. If needed, broil on low for a few minutes to get a crispy crust on top.
18. Out of the oven.
Kids delight ready .