Heads up, this creamy homemade mac and cheese is a splurge meal. It’s not healthy but it’s soooo good. It’s creamy, flavorful and comforting — everything a good baked mac and cheese should be.
Eggs in Baked Macaroni and Cheese
This creamy baked mac and cheese does NOT have eggs. Funny enough, when I’ve mentioned this to people, they’re like wait eggs in mac and cheese? Yes, it’s a thing, and when you start looking into most of the traditional southern recipes, they do have eggs.
I personally don’t eat eggs and don’t like them. But I also find that baked mac and cheese made with egg does that kind of curdling thing where the cheese clumps up. I like my homemade mac and cheese smooth and creamy. Getting rid of the eggs fixes that, plus I added a couple of ingredients to make sure it’s the most satisfying, smooth texture possible.
Problems with Classic Baked Mac and Cheese
Ok, I get tradition, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree it’s the best way to do things. Traditionally, baked mac and cheese is cooked too long, without enough moisture to make up for it. In addition, when you bake it too long, the noodles just get soggy. Soggy, dried out noodles? No thank you! This recipe is the cure for that. It starts with only partially baking the noodles before cooking.
Making Macaroni and Cheese from Scratch
As a little kid, I was a brat about mac and cheese. I chose the blue box over my mom’s homemade mac and cheese. That was SO DUMB. In my teen years, I realized how amazing the real thing is. Mom made a classic stovetop mac with a roux. I still love it, and though it’s super easy for me to make now, and super to easy sub different cheeses, it took me years to get it right.
This one is just as tasty as my mama’s classic mac, but much easier to make. And none of the dried out, soggy noodles you’ll find in many baked mac and cheese recipes.
Don’t Make Bland Mac
Why do people think mac and cheese should be bland and blah? People seem scared to go beyond salt and pepper, but trust me it takes your mac to the next level. When I first made this recipe at a Friendsmas, one of my friends was shocked saying “OMG this ACTUALLY has flavor.” It’s the little things I’ve mentioned above – don’t overcook, don’t dry it out … basically all you need to know is the right recipe.
I used a Tuscan seasoning from a little shop I love in New Orleans. Try that, or you can shake it up all sorts of ways – I’ve done mac and cheese with beer seasoning, cajun spices and taco seasoning, to name a few.
Can I USE A Different Kind Of PASta in MAc and Cheese?
Yes! I’ve even used fettuccine. You’re best using a short pasta, though. Ones with ridges grip onto the pasta really well, like those trumpet shaped ones or rigatoni. But go wild! Wagon wheels, ziti, it all works.
Kick it Up a Notch
Some people find mac and cheese boring, but it doesn’t have to be! It makes the best canvas for experimenting. If you like a lot of variety, try topping it off. There’s all sorts of things you can add. Try adding add your fave vegetables – I’m big on tomato and garlic. Veggies can be thrown on top, or thrown in right before baking. If you want to add something that takes a little longer to cook, like peppers or onions, I’d pan fry them in cooking spray for five minutes first. Other toppers you try to really punch it up are tortilla strips, nuts, fresh herbs, or avocado.
CREAMY BAKED MAC AND CHEESE WITHOUT EGG RECIPE
Heads up, this creamy mac and cheese is a splurge meal. It's not healthy but it's soooo good. It's creamy, flavorful and comforting -- everything a good baked mac and cheese should be. Perfectly cooked - a few little tricks prevent overcooked noodles, dried out texture and clumpy cheese.
- 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Can use any oil, or to save on fat use cooking spray)
- 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 6 oz. dry, short cut pasta, like macaroni or penne (about 1.25 cups)
- 1.5 cups 2% milk (or whatever milk you want ... I based the nutrition on this, as for me whole or D are too thick)
- 1.5 TB butter
- 1 TB flour
- Pepper, Italian seasoning and mustard to taste - in my opinion, you can't go overboard on these, but if you're sensitive, start light, taste and add more if needed
- Salt to taste - you probably only need 1 tsp. tops as the other ingredients have plenty of sodium
- 1.5 cups cheese - I used triple cheddar, shredded
- 1/4 cup Italian cheese for topping
- (TOTAL = 1.75 cups cheese -- any cheese that melts well will do, but if you don't cook a lot or experimenting makes you nervous, shredded Italian blend and cheddar will be easiest)
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook panko bread crumbs in olive oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cook pasta in heavily salted water. Bring to boil, reduce to medium, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain pasta.
- Melt butter in microwave or on the stove (should take less than a minute). Using a fork, mix melted butter with flour, pepper, salt, Italian seasoning, and mustard in baking dish. Using a whisk, mix in milk. Stir in cheese, then noodles. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Stir, then add cream cheese and sour cream. Top with Italian cheese and panko. Bake another 10 minutes.
- Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional Italian seasoning, salt and pepper if you wish.