20-Minute Mac-and-Cheese

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Yes, I used to make macaroni and cheese from a box. That was long ago. Now I usually make a totally different take on mac-and-cheese, like my favorite, fire eater chicken macaroni and cheese. But sometimes I just don’t have the time (or ingredients). That’s when this 20-minute mac-and-cheese version comes in real handy. Like the name says, it doesn’t take long to make and it comes out just as ooey and gooey as you’d expect (and want).

20-Minute Mac-and-Cheese

How To Re-Heat any Leftovers

Add a couple pinches of cayenne if you want a little kick in your 20-minute mac-and-cheese. If you have any leftovers, just warm them up in a pot on the stovetop. I like to add a few splashes of milk and a little butter to help break up the pasta as it tends to stick together after spending a night in the fridge. It helps keep the mac nice and creamy good!

I highly recommend that you shred or grate your own cheese at home. Don’t buy the pre-shredded or pre-grated stuff. It has stuff added to it to keep it from sticking together. That ‘stuff’ affects how the cheese melts. Shred it yourself and use the good stuff.

For something totally different, try my macaroni-and-cheese salad. Yes, salad.

20-Minute Mac-and-Cheese
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4 from 1 vote

20-Minute Mac-and-Cheese

This 20-minute mac-and-cheese version comes in real handy. Like the name says, it doesn’t take long to make and it comes out just as ooey and gooey as you’d expect (and want).
Course Side
Cuisine American
Keyword mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 520kcal

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup heavy cream half-and-half also works well
  • 1 ounce cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ cup extra sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2-4 slices American cheese

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat cream in a large skillet.
  • Add cream cheese and salt and stir until cheese is melted.
  • Add cheddar and American cheeses and stir until melted.
  • Add cooked pasta and stir to coat well.
  • Note: Add a pinch of cayenne for extra kick.
  • Note: If you want a little crunch, sprinkle the top of the mac with panko breadcrumbs and place under the broiler for a few minutes until golden brown. Make sure you use a skillet that can stand the heat, such as a cast iron skillet.

Nutrition

Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 457mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1211IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 268mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

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