Imagine with me for a moment. You are gone all day running errands in a nearby city. Not only are you gone all day, but you also run into car trouble and your trip is extended by several hours. You arrive home after 7 and no one has eaten since lunch. The kids are tired and hungry and you really don’t want to do anything. What options are there? Buying take out? Frozen food from the grocery store? Eating out? Looking in the pantry and finding something quick and easy? This was a scenario that recently played out in our home. I didn’t want to spend any more money than we already had that day and wanted to feed my family something quick and healthy.
I opened the pantry and saw noodles and knew I had milk in the refrigerator. Macaroni and cheese it would be. I seriously had this ready to eat in under 30 minutes. The secret is to make the most of your time in the kitchen. Noodles will take the longest so the first thing you are going to want to do is to start the water to boil. Once you’ve done that move on to quickly chopping some onions and garlic and getting them sautéing. By the time the noodles are cooked, your cheesy sauce will be ready and you can mix them together. Steam some broccoli while you are already at the stove or cut up some raw vegetables and you can have a rounded meal on the table in no time. Our supper was done in the same amount of time it would have taken to go to the store and cook frozen pizza or pick up take out from the restaurant down the road.
If you have a little extra time, feel free to put the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish and top with extra grated cheese and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
- 13.25 ounce box of pasta
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dried mustard
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup flour or 2-3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 3 cups milk
- 5 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions.
- Sauté onions and garlic in a small amount of oil in a saucepan or large skillet.
- When onions are translucent, add in paprika, mustard, salt (start with ½ teaspoons) and pepper. If using flour, add it in at this time as well. Continue to stir over medium low heat.
- (If using arrowroot power, stir it into the milk.)
- Slowly whisk the milk into the onion mixture and heat until thickened.
- Turn off heat and stir in cheese.
- Adjust salt, pepper, paprika, and dried mustard to taste.
Here are a few other recipes that you might enjoy today while you’re here: