- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 to 1 3/4 cups water as needed
- 8 oz small elbow macaroni
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 4 oz extra-sharp cheddar grated
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In a medium pot over medium heat, combine milk, 1 cup water, macaroni noodles, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bring to a low simmer, stirring frequently to prevent the macaroni from clumping and the milk from boiling over. Once the mixture simmers, reduce heat to low (it should continue simmering) and stir continuously until pasta is done to your liking, about 8 to 10 minutes. The macaroni will absorb the liquid while cooking, so stir in additional water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.
Once pasta is done and the sauce is creamy, remove the pot from the heat and gradually stir in the grated cheddar, 1/3 cup at a time, until smooth and melted. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper, if necessary.
You can add any substitutions or combination of cheeses you would like! Switch to mild cheddar for picky kids, pepper jack for a kick, or class it up with a mixture of swiss and aged white cheddar.
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I cook this probably once every couple weeks. It’s one of my favorites. I like how simple it is, how rich it is, and how it only takes one pan. It’s not a super long recipe either so it’s perfect for weeknights.
So glad you like it and make it frequently! Hooray for only one dish (and no store bought mac & cheese)!