Those of you who know my daughter know she loves cheese. Adores cheese. She claims to be a cheese-atarian, which according to her means she can live on cheese alone. On the rare occasion we eat out, she always checks to be sure that there is Mac and Cheese, Grilled Cheese, or Cheese Pizza on the menu. Honesty, the girl loves her fruit and veggies too, so I am okay with her passion for cheese.
It is quite a new thing for me that Macaroni and Cheese is considered a side dish. I never grew up eating it, except for a few occasions when my parents were scrambling for a quick meal. So when I moved to the south and Mac and Cheese was on every menu and served at every pot-luck, I was mystified. My daughter is delighted.
And in my quest to please my little girl and feed her wholesome meals, I have developed a fail-proof homemade mac and cheese. Seriously guys, this is EASIER than boxed Mac and Cheese–no draining pasta or orange powdered mixes.
Once the pasta has absorbed about half of the stock and has become al dente, you stir in the milk, freshly grated nutmeg, and cheese. I use a mix of shredded Colby, swiss and parmesan, but any good melting varieties work here.
- 16 ounces whole wheat elbow pasta
- 3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups milk (I used skim, but any variety, even half and half will work)
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I used 1 cup colby, ¾ cup swiss, ¼ cup Parmesan)
- Bring pasta, stock, seasonings and butter to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta has absorbed most of the stock and is very al dente--about 7 minutes.
- Add in milk, nutmeg, and cheese and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until pasta has absorbed milk and cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
Such an easy meatless meal or a perfect hearty side dish for a holiday meal or pot-luck.
And for more perfect Holiday Side Dish Recipes:
Fruity Side Dishes
- Cranberry Apple Relish by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Cranberry Fluff Salad by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Easy Cheesy Pineapple Bake by This is How I Cook
- Pecan Cranberry Jello Salad by Curious Cuisiniere
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Apples by Dizzy Busy and Hungry
Other Side Dishes
- Chestnut Stuffing by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Easy Mushroom Rice Pilaf by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- One Pot Macaroni and Cheese by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Potato Dinner Rolls by The Redhead Baker
- Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing by Life Tastes Good
Potato Side Dishes
- Gingered Sweet Potatoes by Simple and Savory
- Marmalade Glazed Sweet Potatoes by Sunday Supper Movement
- Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes by Cookin’ Mimi
- Sour Cream and Onion Smashed Red Potatoes by Food Done Light
- Southern Praline Sweet Potato Casserole by The Weekend Gourmet
- Southwestern Potato Bake by The Freshman Cook
- Stacked Sweet Potatoes by My Imperfect Kitchen
- Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter by Cooking Chat
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes by Mindy’s Cooking Obsession
Vegetable Side Dishes
- Acorn Squash and Brussel Sprout Side Dish by Caroline’s Cooking
- Bacon Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts by The Crumby Cupcake
- Braised Red Cabbage by Turnips 2 Tangerines
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese Bake by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Candied Acorn Squash by Cricket’s Confections
- Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Casserole by Food Lust People Love
- German Green Bean Salad (Bohnensalat) by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Homemade Green Bean Casserole by Family Around The Table
- Loaded Mashed Cauliflower Casserole by My Life Cookbook
- Miso Glazed Corn by NinjaBaker.com
- Pan Roasted Carrots with Apple Molasses by Palatable Pastime
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Cranberries by The Chef Next Door
- Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Walnut Pesto by The Hungry Goddess
- Roasted Onions with Parsley Pesto by Monica’s Table
- Roasted Parsnips with Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary by Wholistic Woman
- Roasted Pumpkin with Rosemary and Thyme by Feeding Big
- Spicy Balsamic Roasted Vegetables by Pies and Plots
- Sweet Corn Pudding by Brunch-n-Bites
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