This homemade version offers lower fat and extra calcium, with full flavor. Our kid testers said it was really creamy and wanted seconds.
1 2/3 cups elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 small onion, finely chopped,
2 2/3 cups 2% milk
10 slices 2% american cheese, torn into strips
8 low-sodium butter-flavored crackers, crushed
Calories (1/6 recipe): 375
How to Make It
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat 6 ramekins or a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the butter and flour over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the dry milk and chopped onion, if using. Whisk in the milk gradually until mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until it bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the cheese. Stir constantly for 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Drain macaroni and fold it into the cheese sauce. Spoon into the prepared ramekins or casserole dish.
Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Top with the crushed crackers and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, or until very hot and bubbly.
How kids can help: Measure macaroni; tear cheese into strips; count out crackers; crush crackers in a sealed plastic bag.
For grown-ups: Top the macaroni with diced fresh tomatoes, and serve with a green salad.
TIP: For adults (or more adventurous kids), substitute sharp cheddar or gruyere cheese
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