She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Dad’s Baked Mac and Cheese

Posted: September 17th, 2009 | Author: bakezilla | Filed under: Bakezilla | 2 Comments »

Land O Lakes: Fat Free Half & Half, 946 ml

In the house where I grew up, my dad did the cooking.  My dad is a good guy, and I love him dearly, but most of his cooking was what I call “man food.”  This means that if it involves little to no flavoring, a minimum of ingredients, and something you stick in the oven, forget about, and then eat when the timer goes off, we ate it.  Seriously, I grew up eating baked potatoes 6 days a week (I have never actually made one in my own home).  However, he has a few jackpot recipes that are not only very easy, but very tasty.  One of them is for his (low-fat!) baked mac and cheese.  The trick to making this low-fat is using Land-o-Lakes’ Nonfat half and half.  How they get half and half to be nonfat, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know, but it makes a good mac and cheese.

To make this recipe, you need:

a whole box of rotini pasta (you could probably sub in some other shape of pasta, but my dad always uses rotini)

3 tbs butter

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1 pint nonfat half and half

12 ounces of grated extra sharp cheddar

2 tbs flour

1 can whole tomatoes (yes, mac and cheese with tomatoes.  Try it.  You’ll like it.)

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan, mix in the bread crumbs, and set this aside.  Cook the pasta as per the directions on the box, drain and put in a large bowl.  In a large saucepan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and mix in the flour.  Then add in the half and half, and bring to simmer over low heat.  Mix in the cheese, stirring until it is thoroughly melted.  Put this in with the macaroni.  Drain the juice from the tomatoes, and mix them in.  Put everything in a 9×13 inch baking pan, and top it with the breadcrumb mixture, coating it evenly.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the sauce bubbles.

The one caveat about this recipe is that it doesn’t save well.  You should really try to eat it while it’s fresh.  Also, my dad and I both never put pepper in anything because we like people to put in as much as they personally like, but this is superb with some freshly ground black pepper.  It makes a huge difference.

2 Comments on “Dad’s Baked Mac and Cheese”

  1. 1 Johanna said at 5:41 pm on September 17th, 2009:

    I see what you did there. Because you’re the baker. And this is baked. But it’s dinner. Baked. I see what you did there.

    I’m trying this one next time. I love macaroni and cheese. Do you have to cut up the tomatoes, or do you leave them whole when you drain them and put them in the dish with the mac & cheese sauce?

  2. 2 Bakezilla said at 9:20 pm on September 17th, 2009:

    You leave them whole. This is man food, there are no details like chopping.

    Yeah, I figured since it’s baked in the oven it’d be okay. Also, because I haven’t posted in a while, and wanted to get SOMETHING up there.

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