This is the best homemade mac and cheese recipe ever. Made with all real ingredients, you can feel good about feeding it to your family when they ask for more. Ingredients matter. I’ll lay out all the ingredients so you understand how this comforting side dish has earned a spot on a “healthy” cooking blog.
It doesn’t have to be macaroni
Okay, so technically you should use “macaroni” noodles for “mac” and cheese but I have used all kinds. I typically like a chunkier noodle like Penne.
Recipe moderator note — We recommend sprouted sourdough penne pasta or other sourdough pasta — use coupon code NOURISH10 for 10% off your entire cart.
The cheese makes all the difference
We buy raw cheese from Hilltop Meadow Farm and the quality and taste has vastly improved any dish we prepare with it. If you’re looking for a raw cheese, I’d highly recommend them. You call them to place your order, and they ship you the delicious cheese. You won’t be disappointed!
Other dairy products
First, use grass-fed butter … always use real, grass-fed butter. And as with the cheese, we also prefer raw milk and sour cream products. Note: If you don’t have sour cream, just use another soured milk product like buttermilk or yogurt. I’ve made this baked mac and cheese with both as substitutes and it worked great.
- 8 oz Penne Pasta noodles [sprouted sourdough penne pasta]
- 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes
- 6 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, freshly shredded preferably raw
- 4 oz Parmesan Cheese, freshly shredded
- 1 cup Whole Milk, preferably raw
- ¼ cup Sour Cream
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 Egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 350° F and set out 8×8″ baking dish.
- Place a pot of water on the stove to boil (measure according to boxed pasta instructions). Once the pot is boiling, salt the water (1-2 tablespoons) and add pasta.8 oz Penne Pasta noodles
- Cook pasta until al dente and then drain water. While noodles are still hot, mix in butter and both cheeses (I add the noodles back to the pot and mix everything in there before adding to baking dish). 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes, 6 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, freshly shredded, 4 oz Parmesan Cheese, freshly shredded
- Next, stir in milk, sour cream, and salt. Once everything is well mixed, stir in the beaten egg (the egg is added last so the heat doesn’t prematurely cook it).1 cup Whole milk, ¼ cup Sour Cream, ½ tsp Salt, 1 Egg, beaten
- Pour into baking dish and carefully place in preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is bubbling. Serve warm. Store in covered container in refrigerator for up to one week.
Time for homemade mac and cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and set out 8×8″ baking dish. (This recipe can easily be double and baked in a 9×13″ dish.)
Next, set a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil (measure according to boxed pasta instructions). Once the pot is boiling, salt the water (1-2 tablespoons) and add the pasta. (If you’re using the brand I suggested above, you’ll use half a box for this recipe.
Cook the pasta until it’s al dente and then drain the water. While the noodles are still hot, mix in the butter and both cheeses (I add the noodles back to the pot and mix everything in there before adding to baking dish).
Once the butter is melted and the cheese is incorporated, stir in the milk, sour cream, and salt. Mix thoroughly and then stir in the beaten egg (the egg is added last so the heat doesn’t prematurely cook it).
Pour the lovely macaroni and cheese into the baking dish and carefully place in your preheated oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is bubbling. Serve the mac and cheese warm along side steak, meatloaf, pork chops, fried chicken, or any other favorite nutrient-dense main course.
The baked mac and cheese can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
See additional step-by-step photos in the original recipe.🖨️ Print post
If you’re baking raw cheese — doesn’t that ultimately just pasteurize it? And the same question for the raw milk…
So— is it really beneficial to start off with a raw product? Sounds like it may be wasting money (not trying to be critical, I’m genuinely curious)
I actually do think you are correct. (But I hope a WAPF staff member can confirm.)
The reason I use raw is simple: that’s all I buy! And, I believe there is value in starting with the healthiest ingredients available. Just my thought process. 🙂
Christine Kovnat says
Can you replace the milk with cream also? Trying to use cream only in my recipes, wondering what the amount would be.