QUICK MACARONI AND CHEESE BAKE

Macaroni and cheese is a staple at many households and I am not ashamed to admit that I still love eating the mac and cheese from the box. It brings back many fond memories of childhood and even my University years. Although I like to treat myself with a true homemade "like Grandma used to make" version of mac and cheese; I like using this super quick recipe that really helps get the dinner on the table fast. My husband says that the breadcrumbs on top taste almost like you're eating homemade stuffing. Needless to say it brought out the kid in both of us and I hope it does in yours too.

Adapted and modified from the "Easy Macaroni & Cheese" recipe from Campbells

Serves 3

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Baking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cup uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 can Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • half a soup can of half and half cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly spray a medium sized casserole dish with cooking spray. Cook the whole wheat macaroni until al dente - follow the package instructions, drain and set aside for now.

2. In a saucepan, pour in the condensed cheddar cheese soup, and add in half a can of cream or whole milk. Whisk it altogether and let the sauce come up to a gentle bubble. Slowly whisk in the shredded cheddar, yellow mustard, a few dashes of tabasco sauce, chopped onion and freshly cracked black pepper. Once the sauce comes together and heated through add in the cooked macaroni and the diced tomatoes. Turn the heat off and coat the macaroni with the sauce.

3. Pour the macaroni and sauce into the prepared casserole dish. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and the chopped parsley, then sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over top of the macaroni and cheese. Take the small pieces of butter and dab it all around on top of the casserole. Place the mac and cheese into the oven and let it bake for a good 20 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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