Mac and Cheese - BASICS Recipe

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

This recipe was developed by Quabbin Harvest member Cristina Garcia. This healthy main dish is made with ingredients that are part of our BASICS program, which offers pantry staples at very affordable prices.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Feed your family the BASICS

Cost at Quabbin Harvest: Only 79 cents per serving!

This simple meal is a great dish to get your family cooking together. By using less liquid
than is typical to cook your pasta, the silkiness of the starchy water becomes an
ingredient in the sauce.

Measuring out all of your ingredients while the pasta water is boiling will make it easier
to put everything together at the end.

Yield: 8 1-cup servings

10 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound pasta
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup pasta cooking liquid
5 oz (1.5 cups) cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast*

Bring water to a boil with 1 tablespoon of salt. Cook pasta until tender, reserve 1 cup of thecooking liquid for the sauce, strain off remaining water.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir or whisk in flour, stirring constantly, for 2-5 minutes. Keep the heat low enough to avoid browning, your goal here is to cook out the raw flour taste.

Combine reserved pasta cooking liquid and milk. Keeping the pot over medium-low heat, slowly whisk milk mixture into butter and flour. Whisk or stir continuously, as the sauce thickens, to avoid lumps. Bring sauce to a boil, lower heat, and simmer while stirring for another minute or two. Add cheese and nutritional yeast, stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, stir in cooked pasta and serve.

*Nutritional yeast has long been used by vegetarians and vegans to add savory or cheesy flavor, along with B vitamins, to a range of dishes. Buy a little extra and try adding it to homemade veggie broth or to top your popcorn.

** This butter flour mixture is called a roux, once you add the milk it becomes a bechamel. This method for making a sauce is used for casseroles, creamy soups, and gravies.

Support our work by volunteering or making a donation.