Macaroni and Cheese

mac and cheese

As tempting as it can be to grab the boxed macaroni and cheese off the shelf (especially when you can get it for .50¢ or less per box!), it is so worth it to make your own. Besides being healthier, it tastes a million times better as well! Here’s a simple recipe that is loved in our family. (As a matter of fact, when I lived in OH and used to bring meals for new moms in our local mom’s group, the moms would often request that I make this!)

Recipe: Macaroni and Cheese


  • 1 pound yellow American cheese from the deli counter
  • 4 cups whole (or 2 %) milk
  • 1 pound box shell pasta
  • 1 pound ham, cubed (optional)


  1. Cook the pasta shells according to package directions until they are cooked al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the cheese in the milk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they come together into a creamy mixture.
  3. Drain the pasta and put into a 9×13 prepared pan (to help keep the cheese of sticking).
  4. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and mix  to combine and coat pasta.
  5. If using, add the ham cubes and mix to combine and distribute the ham throughout the dish.
  6. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and it is “crispy” on top.

Quick Notes

  • Don’t use the cheese singles (such as Kraft) in this recipe. It doesn’t work AT ALL.
  • Use only whole or 2% milk. It really makes a difference.
  • For extra texture and crispiness, sprinkle a little dried bread crumbs on top before putting dish in the oven.
  • Or, like I do sometimes, put the dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn.
  • One more thing: you may want to put the pan on a baking sheet before putting in the oven for easy clean up. I’ve had the bubbly cheese overflow the pan on occasion! 😛

Microformatting by hRecipe.

You can serve this as a side dish or a main dish. I serve this a lot during Lent (without the ham, of course), with a salad. Enjoy!

Other recipes you may enjoy:

corn pone

deviled eggs

Tasty Fruit Tarts


  1. I should try this with shells. We just use elbow, and although everyone else in my family loves the powdered cheese box stuff, it creeps me out, and I resolutely refuse to buy it. 🙂
    Kathleen@so much to say, so little time…recently posted…Scared To DeathMy Profile

  2. This sounds yummy. I can’t have wheat pasta anymore, but here’s what we did for a Friday dish: instead of the ham, we used canned tuna. My grandmother had a recipe of macaroni and cheese that included cream of mushroom soup and baking in the oven with bread crumbs on top. We loved visiting her and having this recipe. Something about mac and cheese says “kids”.
    Barb…recently posted…Sunday Snippets – A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

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