Homemade “Box” Mac and Cheese

One of the things I’ve had to accept now that Oliver is bigger is not being able to help as much with cooking dinner at night as I’d like. Ollie has a solid night time routine now (go, baby, go!), so it’s a lot easier for me to plan the meal and for my husband to cook it. Luckily, he’s an awesome chef and also good at following instructions (most of the time).

This recipe from my favorite blog first got me thinking about re-making the box mac n’ cheese concept, but since we’re not vegan it seemed a little silly. And since I’ve been putting myself on clean-up duty lately, I also value meals that don’t make TOO much of a mess. I use a combination of nutritional yeast and this powder for a tasty but not gross cheesy flavor. Another win for making your own mac and cheese is being able to choose your own pasta. If you like whole wheat pasta, spend a little more for the fancy stuff…you’ll be glad you did!

Before I move on to the recipe I’ll just share one cute picture. It’s blue bonnet time here in Texas, and having a baby means taking advantage of corny picture opportunities. Guys, look at those little teeth!!

Blue Bonnets

Homemade “Box” Mac and Cheese


Half a box of whole wheat penne noodles (around 224 grams or four servings if you want to be specific)
Half a pound of ground beef (you can skip if you’d like, but the extra protein is good)
Half of a diced medium onion
2 tbs cheese powder
2 tbs butter
2 tbs milk
1 tbs nutritional yeast

Cook the pasta according to box instructions. While that’s going on saute the onions for about ten minutes and then add the ground beef to cook. Drain the pasta when it’s done and save a bit of the starchy water.

Add the cooked pasta to the onion and beef mixture while everything is still hot, then add the powdered ingredients, milk, and butter. Mix it around until incorporated. If the sauce looks a little dry, add a bit of the pasta water until it looks right.

Dump the pasta into bowls and relish your somewhat healthier blast to the past =)


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