OK, we’ve tried A LOT of macaroni and cheese recipes in this family since improving our food choices and going without the blue box. I mean A LOT of recipes, check out all our Macaroni Recipes for a few examples. Before now, our family favorite was this Easy Cheese Sauce poured over macaroni. Obviously unbaked macaroni and cheese is a totally different category than baked (on the baked front, we like Fancy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Tomatoes).
But I do believe, after our unplanned family vacation, we’ve discovered the biggest mac and cheese hit for kids and adults yet. My 2-year-old niece (who is a super picky eater) actually drank the remains of her sauce from her bowl and asked for seconds. Her 4-year-old sister ate a second bowl and then asked that we save the rest for tomorrow so she could eat it again. My girls absolutely love this version, too. And, bonus: all the adults love it as well. It’s especially awesome since Goose (our almost 3-year-old) has developed the family curse: tomato allergy. I’m sure you can imagine how tough that is with a whole foodie vegetarian mommy. Ugh. But I digress.
This version is stupid simple to throw together in about 10 minutes and all you need is butter, cream cheese, milk, a bit of flour and shredded cheese. We use Mexican blend cheese because that’s what we keep around, but it’d be great with mild cheddar, too.
You should try this recipe today, your kids will thank you!
Note: I like to keep the sauce and macaroni separate at the end so the mac doesn’t get soggy when you store leftovers. If you like, you can mix it all together instead. We simply pour our desired amount of sauce on top of our macs and mix it up in the bowl.
You can also use this cheese sauce on other stuff, like broccoli and cauliflower. Yum!
Whole Food Kids’ Mac and Cheese
1 pound macaroni noodles, cooked (we use rice noodles)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1 Tablespoon flour (we use gluten-free)
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1 cup milk
1 heaping cup shredded cheese
Kosher salt, to taste (optional)
If you haven’t boiled your noodles, start those first.
Meanwhile, melt butter and add garlic to a medium saucepan. Saute for about 1 minute at medium heat.
Stir in flour to make a roux. Note: If you’re not good at making a roux, no problem! Just whisk in the flour after the next step instead. I’ve done it both ways (some days Mommy just isn’t feeling the roux) and both work great.
Add cream cheese and milk.
Raise heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently, until cream cheese is melted, about 7 minutes.
Add shredded cheese and whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Salt to taste, if desired.
Pour sauce over macaroni noodles. (Keep the sauce separate and pour over individual servings if you’re expecting to store leftovers.)
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