This is a warm, cheesy and delicious baked macaroni and cheese casserole. It is a little spicy (re: pepper and garlic), but it is easily modified to personal taste. My toddler loves this recipe! He gobbles it down, spices and all. This dish is great with a side of steamed, mixed veggies.
- 2 cups skim milk (or any other milk)
- 1 cup soymilk, fortified (substituting with any other milk is fine)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour (while a healthy and delicious flour, substituting with any other flour is acceptable)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt (more of less to taste)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper (more or less to taste)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder (more or less to taste, alternately, 1-2 cloves of minced fresh garlic would be nice as well)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder (more or less to taste, alternately, 1 small onion diced and sauteed would be great in this dish)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground mustard (more or less to taste)
- 2 cups whole wheat pasta, uncooked (approximately 10 ounces, i.e. macaroni, spirals, shells, mini penne... may substitute with enriched )
- 8 ounces cheese, sliced (I use a Jack-and-Colby-combo cheese that comes in 10 slices)
- 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated 0R cut into small cubes (may substitute with any other creamy-textured cheese, i.e. Muenster, Provolone, Edam)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Set aside an 8x11 glass casserole dish (spray with non-stick spray, if desired).
- Cook the pasta according to its instructions and remove from heat 2 minutes PRIOR to it being fully cooked. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water (to halt further cooking of the pasta). Drain the pasta and return to saucepan.
- AS THE PASTA IS COOKING, warm all of the milk and the 2 tbsp butter over medium-low heat.
- In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and ground mustard. After the milk is heated, whisk in 1/2-1 cup of the milk, whisking until combined and no clumps remain. Whisk this mixture back into the milk, reduce heat to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat.
- Layer ingredients in the 8x11 dish: Add 1/2 of the pasta and 1/2 of the sauce, stir. Sprinkle 1/2 of the Mozzarella over the pasta and arrange 1/2 of the sliced cheese over the mozzarella. Repeat the steps once more (DO NOT stir the second layer of pasta and sauce unless you stir very gently, working to avoid disturbing the layer below).
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is a golden color and the milk is bubbling (while not necessary, the dish may be covered for 1/2 of the baking time, if desired).
- The dish will continue to cook when removed from the oven. Letting it cool for 5-10 minutes will insure a delicious (and slightly cooled) meal.