Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Easy to make on the stove top and stays ooey gooey for days in the fridge. Even better than the macaroni and cheese at your favorite fast casual sandwich & soup chain restaurant.
8 ounces pasta (I use bronze-cut* Conchiglie)
8 ounces American cheese, grated**
8 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste
*Bronze-cut pasta has a slightly rougher texture than regular pasta which allows the sauce to cling better.
**You can substitute cheddar for the American cheese but it won't be as smooth.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
While the pasta is boiling, grate the cheese and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. Set aside.
When the pasta has finish cooking, strain and spread out onto a large sheet tray to cool.
In the pot that had the cooking pasta, add the milk mixture and cook on medium high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the cheese and butter. Stir until smooth and the cheese has fully melted (it's okay if there's a few lumps of cheese). You may need to turn the heat back on for 30-60 seconds to fully melt the cheese.
Add to the cooked pasta on the tray and stir to combine. Let cool completely and pack into storage containers. Keeps in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as a side dish.
Why this recipe works for meal prep:
1. It’s on the higher end of milk and cheese amounts which keeps it moist and gooey.
2. American cheese is designed to melt perfectly; you could use all cheddar here but it’s going to be dry, grainy and separated. Check out a great article explaining that here.
3. The pasta and sauce are cooled quickly to room temperature so things don’t keep cooking.
4. We don’t bake this recipe. I think baked mac and cheese recipes are becoming a bit old-fashioned, but if you really prefer baked mac and cheese, you do you.