Weekend Menu Planning: Think Outside the Box with Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

8 years ago

When summer ends and families have to get back on a school night dinner schedule, what's needed are easy menu options the kids will eat. Kids love macaroni and cheese, and even when you make the kind that comes in a box it's probably a more nutritious dinner option than fast food. But macaroni and cheese is so easy to make with real food ingredients, it's worth trying a few recipes to find a nutritious homemade mac-n-cheese to add to your dinner rotation.

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Photo of
One-Pot, Stove-Top, Creamy Mac-n-Cheese
from White on Rice Couple
I don't see how you could go wrong with the recipe for One-Pot, Stove-Top, Creamy Mac-n-Cheese from Todd and Diane at White on Rice Couple. Macaroni is cooked on top of the stove in low-fat milk, the tiniest bit of butter is stirred in, and then cheese is melted in at the end. Really, what could be easier, and doesn't that sound good?

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Photo of Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese
from Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking
Another easy-peasy option for macaroni and cheese is the Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese from Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking that cooks in about 90 minutes on high. Steph says this tastes just like macaroni and cheese should taste and her kids each ate two bowls.

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Photo of Quick Macaroni and Cheese
from Simply Recipes
Elise from Simply Recipes managed to impress two young friends with her version of Quick Macaroni and Cheese, also made on the stovetop. In the comments, some readers also report that their kids liked it.

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Photo of Easy Macaroni and Cheese
from Happy to be @ Home
If you have a bit more time, the Easy Macaroni and Cheese from Happy to be @ Home only has six ingredients and can be made in about 35 minutes. According to the symbol on the recipe, it's "Mom approved."

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Photo of Easy Vegan Macaroni and "Cheeze"
from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Finally, for vegans or kids with dairy allergies, Susan from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen did lots of experimenting to come up with a recipe for Easy Vegan Macaroni and "Cheeze" that would get the stamp of approval from her daughter.

More Mac-n-Cheese Ideas from Food Bloggers:
~At A Veggie Venture, Alanna tries out Butternut Mac-n-Cheese.
~The Baked Macaroni and Cheese from Baking Bites sounds kid friendly and pretty easy.
~Andrea's Recipes has a version of Creamy Macaroni and Cheese from America's Test Kitchen.
~Dianne's Dishes says her version is the Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese.
~I do a round of of recipes at BlogHer that are Not Your Mother's Macaroni and Cheese.

Have you found a recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese that's a hit at your house and not too time-consuming to make? If so, please share your recipe or a link in the comments.

(Every Thursday night on BlogHer, we spotlight five recipes with a common theme for a feature called Weekend Menu Planning, hoping one of them might make it onto the menu at your house. You can find previous recipes shared by clicking the tag Weekend Menu Planning.)

Kalyn Denny also blogs at Kalyn's Kitchen, where she's focused on low-glycemic recipes using fresh ingredients. It may not be that kid friendly, but Kalyn loves her Low Carb Macaroni and Cheese with a Grown-Up Twist

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