Remember when I said I love comfort food? Well, I ain’t lying! Mac-n-cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods. And I don’t mean that junk in the blue box. (No offense to those of you who adore the blue box stuff. lol) To me, a package of orange colored powder doesn’t say “homemade” to me. Heck, it doesn’t even say CHEESE to me. LoL
My aunt sent my Grandma her recipe for baked macaroni and cheese a looooong time ago. My family has been making it forevah!
In order for ME to eat it I had to change the pasta to a gluten-free one. Below is the family recipe with my changes in red.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb cheddar cheese (I take the lazy man’s approach and buy a 16 oz bag of pre-shredded cheese.)
1 lb elbow macaroni (I get gluten-free pasta. Sometimes I change up the shape. You can do that with the regular pasta too, if you want.)
1 lb ground beef (I use ground turkey because ground beef makes me gag. lol)
Nature’s Seasons to taste (Not plug for them, we just always used it. lol)
1/4 stick of butter, plus more for top
1/2 cup milk
2 cans diced tomatoes, drain one can (fire roasted ones are SO good in this!)
Bread crumbs, for sprinkling (I used gluten-free ones)
Grated Parmesan cheese
In a skillet brown the ground beef (or turkey). Set aside but keep warm. Cook and drain macaroni, then return to pot. Add about 2/3 of your shredded cheese to the macaroni. Reserve the other 1/3 for the top. Add in the 1/4 stick of butter. Mix well until cheese and butter are melted. Add the milk. Add Nature Seasons to taste. (You can use just salt and pepper to taste if you would prefer.) Mix well. Add tomatoes. Taste to make sure it is seasoned to your liking. Add cooked meat. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top of macaroni mixture. Add pats of butter across the top. Sprinkle bread crumbs then grated Parmesan cheese then paprika evenly over the top. The amount of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese depends on how much of a crust you want on the top.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly, about 25 minutes. (When it’s done I usually let it sit on top of the stove a few minutes to rest while I set the table.)