Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with no processed cheese in sight, this stovetop version is the perfect homemade creamy macaroni and cheese of your dreams and a perfect holiday side dish!

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with no processed cheese in sight, this stovetop version is the perfect homemade creamy macaroni and cheese of your dreams and a perfect holiday side dish!

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese has always been a battle when it comes to working without processed/American cheese and this dish finally gets it right without compromising the creaminess.

As a private chef you get clients who will say things to you like “I want this to taste like a box mix or boxed mac and cheese but I want it all organic” and you’re left scratching your head wondering how to turn all those foods into the perfect food memory without the actual ingredients used.

ThisĀ Super Creamy Macaroni and CheeseĀ is the brainchild of one of my client’s requests. I started with a search for creamy macaroni and cheese that didn’t use any Velveeta or American cheese and started experimenting.Ā Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with no processed cheese in sight, this stovetop version is the perfect homemade creamy macaroni and cheese of your dreams and a perfect holiday side dish!

The original calls for baking which totally lowers the creamy texture (but it does add an awesome crust) so I altered a bunch of things over the course of many cooking trials until I found something that looked like the creaminess you’d expect but without the use of the easy melting processed cheese products.

The important thing to keep a note of when it comes to keeping this recipe creamy is FAT. I know how much you would love it if I could tell you all that this recipe is a healthier creamy option. I can’t because science won’t allow me to keep the creaminess with natural products unless fat comes into play. So no low-fat products here, if you use them it will alter the texture.

Whole milk and half and half (I originally used heavy cream but found the difference in creaminess to be minimal while the cost and calorie savings were much more than minimal) are hugely important here. The milk is carrying thisĀ Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese on it’s back and absorbing the starch of the pasta as well as the minimal amounts of spices that are added.

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with no processed cheese in sight, this stovetop version is the perfect homemade creamy macaroni and cheese of your dreams and a perfect holiday side dish!

If you are sodium sensitive feel free to halve or omit the salt, I am going for rich, indulgentĀ Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese and that means a full bodied flavor. I have had clients who were averse to salt have me make this for them and the natural sodium in the dairy was plenty for them.

If the idea of a slightly less creamy, but amazing crust option sounds good to you, add it all to a baking dish, cover with an additional half cup of cheddar cheese and bake for 15-18 minutes. The original recipe calls for uncooked pasta baked for 30 minutes, but in my trials I lost most of the creaminess doing that.

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with no processed cheese in sight, this stovetop version is the perfect homemade creamy macaroni and cheese of your dreams and a perfect holiday side dish!

Tools Used in thisĀ Super Creamy Macaroni and CheeseĀ Recipe:
Blendtec Blender: This is the blender I use for everything (I bought it reconditioned but it only had 4 cycles before me) and it is a total workhorse. Everything is creamy coming out of it. If you have a blender that gives you super creamy smoothies then skip this, if you have one that leaves things a bit grainy, then let the blender keep working longer until you get your ingredients as creamy as possible.
Pasta Pot Strainer: I try to shy away from a ton of single use products, but this strainer makes life so much easier. Instead of washing a colander and then returning the pasta to the pan or using a pasta pot, I add this to the side and strain in the pot. It’s small and super easy to wash and I use it for all things I need to drain except very small shaped pastas/grains.

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Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with no processed cheese in sight, this stovetop version is the perfect homemade creamy macaroni and cheese of your dreams and a perfect holiday side dish!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup cottage cheese (not lowfat)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup whole milk (not 2%, 1% or skim)
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar , do not buy pre-grated, the additive will make pasta grainy
  • 1 pound elbow pasta , cooked three minutes shy of the directions on the box but don't rinse the pasta or the pan
  • parsley for garnish , optional

Instructions

  • In a blender add the cottage cheese, half and half, dry mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together until the mixture is completely smooth (even if you think it is smooth, give it an extra 15 seconds, you want it smooth or your pasta will taste grainy).
  • In a large pot (the one you drained the pasta in, don't rinse the pan before adding the ingredients), add the butter, cheddar cheese, milk and pasta.
  • Stir together until the butter is fully melted, then add in the cottage cheese mixture.
  • On a very low heat simmer the pasta a few minutes (I would say no more than 5) until it is as thick and creamy as you like, then serve immediately.
  • Leftovers won't be as creamy since the pasta will soak up liquids as it sits.

Notes

Heavily adapted from the NY Times.

Nutrition

Calories: 1148kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 1634mg | Potassium: 577mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1875IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 1021mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Keyword: Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with no processed cheese in sight, this stovetop version is the perfect homemade creamy macaroni and cheese of your dreams and a perfect holiday side dish!

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with no processed cheese in sight, this stovetop version is the perfect homemade creamy macaroni and cheese of your dreams and a perfect holiday side dish!
Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with no processed cheese in sight, this stovetop version is the perfect homemade creamy macaroni and cheese of your dreams and a perfect holiday side dish!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert ā€“ Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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Comments

  1. My toddlers and husband loved it. I steamed broccoli florets in the microwave and it made the best mix-in. I canā€™t believe something so delicious is so fast to prepare. Thank you for another favorite!

  2. The cottage cheese you’re calling for is it the creamed cottage cheese or the the uncreamed and what % butter butter fat.

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