This dish was inspired by a couple other recipes, one from Paula Deen and another posted on Food Network by Ed Wilson. I have played around with the ingredients and am posting my version here. Many recipes call for a white sauce as a base with cheese. However, this recipe does not require that, making it much quicker to put together. If you really want it creamy, you can use part Velveeta (or other processed cheeses). However, I prefer to use at least mostly other less-processed cheeses. Besides, the sour cream and evaporated milk help give it a creaminess. Paula's recipe calls for many different types of cheeses- most I do not have on hand. So for this time baking it, I used muenster cheese and sharp cheddar. Feel free to use whatever combination you like. This is not a diet-food, but it certainly is one of the ultimate American comfort foods.
If your kids don't like greens or other vegetables, hiding them in this casserole usually helps it slide down a little easier.
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 extra large egg, or 2 medium eggs
- 1 12-oz can of evaporated milk
- 2-3 cups of cheese (or more, if desired), whatever combination of cheeses
- 1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons), melted
- 1 tsp salt (I prefer Adobo all purpose seasoned salt)
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dry ground mustard (may use 1-2 Tbsp yellow or dijon mustard instead)
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain unsweetened yogurt
- 1/2- 3/4 cup bread crumbs for topping, if desired or may use crushed crackers (saltines or Ritz or Town House or other buttery crackers)
- 3-4 Tbsp butter to moisten bread crumbs, if desired
- Grease 8x8 inch baking dish, (may use nonstick spray). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook macaroni as per instructions on package- just until al denté- about 3 minutes less than what package says (firm when biting them). Drain pasta and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together eggs, evaporated milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and mustard. Stir in cheese, drained pasta and melted butter.
- In a small bowl, stir melted butter into bread crumbs and set aside. (may also add in some chopped fresh or dried parsley to the bread crumbs)
- Pour macaroni mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with bread crumbs. If not using bread crumbs, top with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and sprinkle paprika on top.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let set for approximately 5-10 minutes, then serve.
I also usually double this recipe and cook it in a very large 4 quart oblong baking pan, since we love these leftovers!