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How To Make a Sensational Shortcut Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Friday, November 17, 2017

There needs to be a bit of a background here before I share the Shortcut Macaroni and Cheese recipe so that you don't judge me.  Well, you may still judge me but this blog is all about keeping it 100 and authentic so if you're here to judge, I'm sure I have lots of material for you.  Ha! 

I am one of those rare people who has no shame.  Ok, I have a little at times but for the most part, I do me, boo!  See above about keeping it 100.  So I may preach to the choir about how amazing Sara Bareilles is and then still jam out to Slave For You by ol' Brit Brit.  I will pair a killer ALC top with some Old Navy jeans and MIA ballet flats with a quickness.  I also love Starbucks on the regular but I buy instant coffee for the house quite often.  I do hi-lo in every aspect of life!  That's all I mean when I say I have no shame.  I just keep it real.

So using a box for Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese is just how I roll.

That's the shortcut.  I use a box to get the party going versus making a roux/bechamel sauce.  Although making macaroni and cheese from scratch is not hard, I like my recipe for saving time.  If you cook a Thanksgiving meal by yourself, as I oft do for our small family, then you need all the time savers you can get.  My husband rarely gets the day after Thanksgiving off work so we don't get to join the extended out of town much.  I did host a big Thanksgiving one year and everyone requested that I make my mac and cheese.  Well, it was this recipe!  It's delicious and essentially no fail.  Here's what you do:

Make the pasta according to the package directions.  Mix the cheese packet, shredded cheeses, butter, milk, egg and spices until gooey.

Should look nice and melty and creamy.  Place in buttered casserole dish.

In small bowl, mix bread crumbs, bacon and butter - the three B's of life!  Sprinkle on top of macaroni.

Bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 5 to 10, depending on how brown you want the topping.

Dig in and loosen your pants!

1 14 oz box deluxe style macaroni and cheese
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or mozzarella makes it a bit creamier)
1/4 cup milk (I forgot to picture it above.  Typical for me to forget something in a pic!) Add more if necessary.
1 egg or egg substitute equivalent
1 T. butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp old bay seasoning
Pinch of nutmeg

1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup real bacon bits
1 T. Butter

Preheat oven to 350°. 
Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Boil pasta according to package directions.  Drain.
In medium to large bowl, mix noodles, and all other ingredients except topping until well combined.
Spread into baking dish.
Sprinkle on topping.
Bake for 30 minutes, covered.
Uncover and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.

This recipe serves 6.  Doubles exactly!

Now tell me, do you feel pressure to make everything from scratch for Thanksgiving or are you like me and go the shortcut, give yourself some kitchen grace route?


  1. This looks so yummy! I love mac and cheese, so I'll definitely have to give it a try. xx

  2. Oh my goodness I need to make this ASAP. I may try and make it this weekend for our tailgate!

  3. Wow! Creamy, cheesy goodness right there! This looks sensational.