Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

4 Mac and 5 Cheese…and definitely not from "The Blue Box"!

When Jake was around eight or nine years old a friend of his came over for dinner. Jake was excited that we were having one of his favorite meals–mac and cheese. His friend sat at the table, took one look at his plate and said, “This didn’t come from the blue box!” 

At first I wasn’t sure what he meant, but soon realized he was referring to the Kraft version of mac and (what they call) cheese. I coaxed him into trying it. He was hesitant at first, but I knew he liked it when he asked for seconds and his mom asked for the recipe.

So even if you have picky eaters, I think they’ll like this version and YOU’LL really like how easy it is to make. 

Because the “mac” is a combination of all the half full boxes of pasta that always seem to accumulate, this is not only a great meal, but an easy way to clean out your pantry! As far as the cheeses–be creative. If you don’t like Blue Cheese, use something else. Just make sure you use a wide variety for a great tasting dish.


(the cheese and pasta amounts are approximate…you might need a little more or a little less)

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs. of pasta–use a variety, such as large elbow, penne, farfalle, ziti
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I use block cheeses and put them through my food processor–saves a lot of time grating)
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup grated Jack cheese
  • 4 oz. Blue cheese (substitute a milder cheese if you don’t like Blue)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (save some for the top)
  • 3 cups milk, more if needed
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 Combine the grated cheeses, garlic and shallot in a large bowl.

Cook the pasta according to the times on the packages, but cook them all in one pot, adding each pasta based on the time needed to cook. It’s easier with one pot, and less clean up.

Drain pasta.
 Assemble ingredients on the counter.

Butter bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 baking dish and begin layering pasta, cheeses and two pats of butter. 

Repeat layers of pasta, cheese mixture and butter until the pan is almost full. Pour milk over pasta until it’s about an inch from the top of the pan. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese. Depending on the pasta you’re using you might have some left over. 

Put baking dish on a foil-covered, rimmed cookie sheet–if there’s any spillage, it’ll be on the foil, not the bottom of the oven. 

Place on the middle rack. After 20 minutes, check and make sure it’s creamy in the middle. You may need to add some more milk and stir a bit. If you stir it, add more Parmesan on top. 

Bake for another 15-20 minutes until it’s golden brown.

Everyone I know likes the crispy topping, but if you don’t, just cover with foil as it’s baking.

Serve with warm, crusty French bread and you’ll think you’re in heaven!

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3 replies

  1. Looks delicious…Thanks.

  2. Yummy, Morgan would love the Mac & Cheese……

  3. Yummy! gourmet comfort food!!!

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