An Easy DIY Macaroni & Cheese Bar + The Best Toppings for Macaroni and Cheese! ~ Dallas Mom Blog and Fort Worth Mom Blogger: Trendy Mom Reviews
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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

An Easy DIY Macaroni & Cheese Bar + The Best Toppings for Macaroni and Cheese!


An Easy DIY Macaroni & Cheese Bar featuring Best Macaroni & Cheese Recipe with Cabot Cheese!
In today's post, I'll feature a family-friendly dinner idea that my children love -- a Macaroni & Cheese Bar!  Plus, I will share my favorite Macaroni & Cheese recipe. 

Let's start with my favorite recipe.

Recipe: The Best Macaroni & Cheese Recipe with Cabot Cheeses! Ingredients

  • 4 cups dried pasta
  • 1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (We use 2% milk)
  • 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 16 ounces of cheddar cheese (shredded)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Shred the cheeses and set aside.

3. Cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside in a lightly greased baking dish that you plan to use for baking. You may also split the past into multiple baking dishes if you prefer. (You'll notice that I splurged on generously sized noodles. I did this because these large noodles soak up the cheese mixture. Large Cavatappi noodles or medium size shell noodles are also great.)



4. Over low/medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour for approximately two minutes. You'll want to whisk the entire time to prevent burning. 

5. Add the milk, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth and then reduce the heat to low, cooking for 5 minutes and whisking periodically until thick.



6. Beat the egg and then whisk it into the mixture until smooth.

7. Stir in the shredded cheeses until the mixture is smooth.

8. Pour the mixture over the pasta that you had set aside in the lightly greased baking dish(es).

9. Add the 2 ounces of cheddar cheese on the top of the pasta.



10. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.




Now that I shared my recipe, let me show you how we set up our Mac & Cheese Bar. We set up the best toppings for macaroni and cheese! 

The best vegetarian toppings for macaroni and cheese include colorful veggies. I use a veggie platter and fill the center with shredded Cheddar cheese. I fill the remaining compartments with crushed cheese crackers, sliced sweet peppers, peas, and broccoli. 




The best meat toppings for macaroni and cheese include bacon, ground beef, shredded chicken, and ham. I'm not a fan of bacon, but the rest of my family loves it, so I create a separate container of bacon.  They swear that chopped pieces of bacon make their Mac & Cheese better.



Of course, you may substitute the toppings that we featured. Other ideas include diced sweet potatoes, blue cheese, ground beef, shredded chicken, and more!  This is a fun project because you are able to customize it to your family's preferences. Plus, I found that this project allows my children to be participate in prepping the Mac & Cheese toppings. My oldest son grated the cheese while my youngest crushed cheese crackers in a ziploc bag.  



They both helped to wash the veggies so that I only had to chop them.  We had fun while we prepared our Mac & Cheese Bar together!


I hope that you enjoy this fun dinner idea!

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