This is a stable food in most homes and my kids crave it. If I do not make it, they will eat the kraft style mac and cheese some where else and I would much rather give them the healthier, more delicious option. I make a healthy version with gluten free, brown rice pasta, organic sharp and mild cheddar without any coloring, homemade oregano and sage salt as well as some seasoning salt with paprika and turmeric.
Our friends love it too and it is so easy to make. Even easier when you can buy the shredded cheese but I cannot find the no dye, organic sharp cheddar shredded. My daughter was excited to get the grater out so it was a fun meal to make together.
1) Cook the brown rice pasta for 14 to 17 minutes in boiling salted water. I like the Tinkyada Pasta Joy wheat free brand at Whole Foods.
2) While it is cooking, lightly butter the pan on all sides to make clean up easier. Then add half of the mild and sharp cheddar mixture (10 ounces) to the bottom, add about a teaspoon of oregano and sage salt, and pour milk on top to cover the cheese. It will be about 1 inch deep. Mix the milk, salt and cheese together.
3) Strain the pasta and run cold water over the brown rice pasta for a better texture. Toss the pasta in the cheese mixture and mix.
4) Add another layer of mild and sharp cheese, more oregano and sage salt, and a pinch of seasoning salt. Pour a little milk over the top and finish with a tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese. This will give you a gorgeous brown crust of cheese.
5) Cook at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size.
I usually make two dishes. One for the adults and one for the kids. For the adult mac and cheese, I do the same as above but add more of the seasoning salt for the paprika and tumeric. The kids do not appreciate the flavors as much as we do.
This is perfect for a low key BBQ or dinner party. Enjoy!