Our 5 year old may be the most discerning mac cheese eater out there. He doesn’t like it topped with crunchy bread crumbs or baked cheese: he wants plain, creamy mac and cheese. This kid eats salmon, bell peppers and tomatoes like they are going out of style, but will only eat the most basic mac and cheese.
This recipe was developed on a Saturday afternoon when Noah had a friend over to play and I had nothing to feed them. No bread, tortillas, or anything else to serve these kiddos. Luckily we almost always have some type of noodle, butter, milk and cheese. I wanted to achieve a creamy cheese sauce made out of REAL cheese, not processed cheese food or powdered cheese.
You can really use any variety of cheese that your family likes. I don’t buy shredded cheese anymore, instead I shred 1-2 blocks of cheese each week and keep in a tupperware in the fridge for quick quesadillas, eggs, etc. I’ve learned from trial and error, that my little man doesn’t like sharp cheddar in his mac and cheese, so I opt for a milder cheese. I typically use two types to build a little flavor since this is so basic. Most recently I used monterey jack and mild cheddar. I’ve also used white cheddar, mozzarella, and colby jack. I like monterey jack since it has a bolder flavor than mozzarella, but less oil than cheddar.
Again, this is a super basic recipe (so don’t expect anything earth shattering)! This is perfect for a quick, weeknight side dish, especially for kids. My goal was to have a staple recipe that I could easily make with REAL ingredients!
- 16 oz large elbow macaroni noodles
- 2 T butter
- 1/4 c sour cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I prefer using 2 types: monterey jack, cheddar, mozzarella, or colby jack)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional:1/2 t Coleman's dry mustard (gives it a little more sharp flavor)
- 1. Bring water in medium stock pot to a boil.
- 2. Add noodles to boiling water and cook until al dente.
- 3. Strain pasta and return noodles to the hot pan on low heat and add 2 T butter. Stir until melted.
- 4. Stir in sour cream until incorporated and add half of the milk.
- 5. Add in cheese, then remaining 1/2 cup milk. Stir until incorporated or cover for a few minutes until melted.
- 6. Add salt and pepper to taste (and dry mustard if using).