Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Individual Sized Mac n’ Cheese

Who doesn’t love Mac n’ cheese? It’s cheesy. It’s delicious. It’s a southern comfort food. Something about it makes you think of home and also of your childhood.  I mean, it is after all one of the first solid foods you were probably introduced to as a kid. One word: Kraft. Haha I know I ate my fair share of it.

Once I met my husband, I was introduced to what he calls “the real stuff”.  He grew up eating only the homemade variety of my beloved Kraft Mac n’ cheese. His grandma is a Georgia farm gal and makes everything from scratch! I started making homemade Mac and realized it’s actually quite simple (and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand!).

Now, I will always have a special place in my heart for the boxed mac n’ cheese, but this “real” stuff is flippin’ delicious! Don’t be intimidated, it’s super quick and easy! Try it out!

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Individual Sized Mac n' Cheese

Ingredients:

8 oz (weight) dry pasta
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
8.5 oz cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
4 tablespoons of Panko bread crumbs, divided

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, cook pasta according to box instructions. I like to add a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of canola or olive oil to the water (totally optional). Drain pasta and set-aside until ready to use.

In a medium-large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour to create a roux. Whisk for about 1 minute to allow it to heat through. Whisking constantly, add in the milk and half & half and bring to a boil (it will begin to thicken).

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add in the cheese, 2 ounces at a time, mixing well. Season sauce with the salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Add cooked pasta into cheese sauce and toss to combine well.

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray 4 oven-safe ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly distribute the Mac n’ cheese among the four ramekins. Place ramekins onto a baking sheet before baking (in case any of the cheese spills over).

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Panko bread crumbs on top of each of the individual Mac n’ cheeses. Spray tops with non-stick cooking spray to help encourage browning. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350º. Turn oven to broil and broil just until tops brown (only 3-5 minutes). Keep a close eye so that they do not burn!

Remove from oven and serve hot! These babies are cheesy and delicious!

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25 Responses to “Individual Sized Mac n’ Cheese”

  1. 1

    Madison @ Espresso and Cream — June 1, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    Oh how fun! I love homemade mac and cheese and just got a new set of ramekins that would be perfect for this!

  2. 2

    Sara — June 1, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    Yum, homemade mac & cheese is one of my favorite meals! Great idea using the Panko crumbs, I’ve used regular but never those.

    • Kristina replied: — June 3rd, 2011 @ 8:59 am

      I’m obsessed with Panko!!! Try it out!

  3. 3

    brandi — June 1, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

    homemade mac ‘n’ cheese is hard to beat! i just love the crust on top – so good.

  4. 4

    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean — June 1, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    hurray for bite sized!!

  5. 5

    Jessica — June 1, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    So uhhh…do you think these would ship up to Jacksonville very well? ;-)

  6. 6

    Kneady Sweetie — June 2, 2011 @ 12:07 am

    I am weird and have always loved good old craft mac n cheese, but these look so good I just might have to try them! (Again I know I’m weird for licking the fake box kind and it’s basically against everything I believe in, but its true.)

  7. 7

    The Cilantropist — June 2, 2011 @ 3:08 am

    Ah, when you said individual mac and cheeses I thought you meant a recipe that was just for one. :) Nonetheless, I am sure I could *force* myself to eat at least one, if not two…or three of these little mac and cheese ramekins!

    • Kristina replied: — June 3rd, 2011 @ 9:00 am

      they actually re-heat really well since they are extra cheesy!! :)

  8. 8

    Tina@flourtrader — June 2, 2011 @ 7:30 am

    Individual servings are all the rage, especially with busy families. Homemade Mac and Cheese is always a welcome side dish here. I agree that the Panko topping is a great idea.

  9. 9

    Apron Appeal — June 2, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    We like mac and cheese around here but a 9×13 pan is too big for our family. A couple of these should do the trick.

  10. 10

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — June 2, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    The crust on top is the best! Love that these are individual – so easy to do, but makes them so much cuter!

    • Kristina replied: — June 3rd, 2011 @ 9:00 am

      mini versions are always cuter! :)

  11. 11

    DessertForTwo — June 2, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

    These are perfect for 2 servings, dinner tonight and tomorrow night-thanks :)

  12. 12

    Parsley Sage — June 3, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

    Ooh! Very nice. I always think individual stuff is so cute :) Somehow it tastes better. Nice use of the panko as well! Thanks for sharing

  13. 13

    Allie — June 3, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    Yum! I love the idea that you made them individual sized because I do crave it but always hate having a lot of it around. My family makes a recipe similar to this and I’m tellin ya, the dry mustard adds such great flavor!

  14. 14

    The Mistress of Spices — June 6, 2011 @ 11:53 am

    Yum yum! These would be so great at a brunch or luncheon. I love mac & cheese in all its forms…and love the idea of using panko here!

  15. 15

    Pam — June 7, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

    Hey, I’ve finally figured out this blog reading thing. I love the boxed mac-n-cheese and now they have all kinds of fun shapes. My favorite is Scooby Doo!

  16. 16

    Shelly — June 10, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    Mmm this recipe looks great! Can’t wait to give it a try

  17. 17

    Lindsay Loves 10 | The Lean Green Bean — June 28, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    [...] Individual Mac & Cheese from Tina @ My Life as a Mrs. *Who needs Kraft?! [...]

  18. 18

    Hester aka The Chef Doc — July 26, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    I like the individuality of this mac and cheese. I always make a huge casserole dish and well, there are always leftovers and then we get sick of it. I’ve got to learn to just do things smaller, haha. Having just read your food blogger post, I wouldn’t have guessed that that’s a piece of wood the plate is on instead of a table!

  19. 19

    Chris — August 13, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

    This recipe is quickly becoming a college favorite for me, I just use way less salt to bring out the cheese, pepper, and mustard!

  20. 20

    Karen Flournoy — March 23, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

    We were so excited about this recipe It came out great except it was very salty. We followed the recipe exactly but I’m wondering if the 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of pepper should have actually bee teaspoons? We’d love to try it again.

  21. 21

    Lisa — September 6, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    Love this recipe – thank you! This recipe says it uses 4 ramekins – is it able to be tripled in size? I needed to bake 12 for a party. Thank you!

  22. 22

    tiffany — November 7, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    I just made this last night and my husband and I both LOVED it! just wanted to thank you for a new family recipe :)

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