Tuesday, May 25, 2010

baked mac and cheese

I think I have about 5 different versions of homemade mac and cheese recipes.  They are all variations of the same idea:  whip up a cheese sauce on the stove, mix it with elbow pasta, top with ritz crumbs and bake.  I found this recipe on one of those online recipe sites a while back and immediately liked it for two reasons: 1) It had over 1,500 five star reviews  AND 2) You mix all of the ingredients in the 9 X 13 pan, then stir in the pasta.  No melting and mixing up a cheese sauce, no bowls to wash and nothing to chop.  Sounded good to me!  When I first read the ingredients I wasn't sure if the flavor combination was something my family would enjoy but I made it anyway.  How could over 1,500 people be wrong?  They weren't.  It is delicious, easy and can be prepped the night before!  

Here is my adapted version of the original recipe!


  • 1 (8 ounce) package elbow macaroni (regular or whole wheat)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (I use the white, but it doesn't matter)
  • 1 (12 ounce) container reduced fat small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk ( I use skim)
  • 1 (8 ounce) container reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 T melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook until done; drain.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 inch pan with cooking spray. In the 9x13 inch baking dish, stir together  shredded cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, milk,  Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni until covered with the cheesy mixture.  In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle topping over macaroni mixture.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden.

***Prep Ahead:  Make the whole dish the night before.  Takes 10 minutes to boil the pasta and mix up the cheeses.  Refrigerate until the next evening!

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