Macaroni and Cheese, findingourwaynow.comWhenever I think of macaroni and cheese it throws me back to some great childhood memories.  As it was (and is) with any kid, my favorite dinner was macaroni and cheese, green beans and sliced tomatoes.  This combination was especially good when the family garden was yielding fresh green beans and tomatoes… YUM.  It was cheap and super simple for a family meal.

So in honor of these ordinary everyday meals and my mom, I am showcasing our favorite macaroni and cheese recipe, but with a twist.  We baked the macaroni and cheese in small canning jars.  How fun is that.

Macaroni and Cheese In A Jar

Macaroni and Cheese, findingourwaynow.com

Ingredients:

Macaroni and Cheese, findingourwaynow.com

    • ½ pound large elbow macaroni
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • ¼ cup all purpose flour
    • 2-¼ cups milk heated
    • 2-½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • ½ teaspoons dry mustard
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • ¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
    • 6 – 8 ounce canning jars (washed)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling salt water for 6 minutes until just al dente.  Drain macaroni, run cold water over the macaroni to stop the cooking, place in a large bowl and set aside.

Macaroni and Cheese, findingourwaynow.com

While pasta is cooking, carefully heat milk until warm. (Be careful not to scorch milk).  Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and mix constantly for 2 minutes until blended, bubbling and is smooth and pasty.  Gradually whisk in the warm milk and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and thickens. Remove the sauce from the heat, add dry mustard, cayenne, and salt and mix until incorporated.

Macaroni and Cheese, findingourwaynow.com

Gradually mix in the cheese until blended, stirring until smooth.  Add cheese mixture to the macaroni and mix until well coated.  Fill the jars with the macaroni and cheese mixture.

Melted the remaining butter.  Toss the Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and butter together and sprinkle on top of macaroni and cheese until covered.

Place in jars in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Macaroni and Cheese, findingourwaynow.com

Notes: Watch for over-browning towards the end of the baking time. The cheese sauce may bubble over so you may want to place the jars on a rack on a baking sheet.  If you’re eating the macaroni and cheese right away go ahead and fill 6 jars to the top. If you are planning to save it for later, use more jars (7 to 8) leaving room for the lids. You can use any kind of cheese you desire, it’s all a matter of taste.  You can add other ingredients such as bacon or bits of ham or sausage; again it’s all a matter of taste.

Macaroni and Cheese, findingourwaynow.com

Kids love these macaroni and cheese in a jar.  This recipe is easy enough for the kids to add a helping hand.  They make excellent leftovers or for lunch the next day.  We will make extras for that very reason.  Enjoy.

Time to eat…

If you liked this, don’t forget to check some of my other recipes such as, Slow Cooker Chicken StockSimple Three Cheese Lasagna and Baked Pears In The Microwave.

PS: If you would like to share a recipe, send it my way. It would be fun to showcase one of your favorite dishes.

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  • wendy merron

    Love this, Susan! Serving this old favorite in a new way really makes it fun.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Wendy, Thanks, kids just love it this way. It makes it more cool then it already is for them. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.jefferson.73 Jon Jefferson

    Last restaurant I worked in we did a Mac n cheese sorta like this. Mind you we browned the top in an oven close to 500 degrees.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Jon, WOW, That is a bit on the high side but if its already cooked then that would be a good thing to brown off the crust. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/merle.gibbins.1 Merle Gibbins

    Looks good but afraid I don’t like Macaroni Cheese !!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Aw, too bad, but there are other recipes I know you’ll like that are in the works. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/JeriWB Jeri Walker-Bickett

    Hubby could practically live on Mac and Cheese so I will have to share this post with him with the hopes that he will try it out ;)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Jeri, If he likes Mac and Cheese, then he will love this recipe. Enjoy. :-)

  • Karen Koblan

    This looks so delicious. I just love serving things in little jars at get togethers…looks so cute and everyone seems to love it. Thanks for this recipe!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Karen, Thanks so much. Me too. I have this thing about doing things like this. Party because people love it and the other part is because I do… LOL. :-)

  • ginavalley

    Such a great idea, Susan! My kids are goingnto love this. Bookmarked!!!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Gina, Thanks a bunch. Oh so they will… :-). It is so good for any size kid. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/catarina.alexon Catarina Alexon

    What a great idea to make it in a jar. Makes it look nice and appealing as well.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Catarina, Thanks. It was fun to do too. :-)

  • HB

    Ok, I do love Mac & Cheese and this sound amazing. I really like the jar idea too. :-)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi HB, Thanks, it is. The jar idea was just to fun to not try. Enjoy.

  • Julie

    Yum, it’s really hard to beat a good Mac and Cheese. Bookmarked this one.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Then you will love this one Julie. Have fin with it. :-)

  • Devon

    YUM!!! I really want to make these! Adorable AND yummy!!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Devon, The are both. Have fun with it and don’t forget to make extra. :-)

  • HomeJobsbyMOM

    Now this is a great idea! My kids love mac and cheese especially the little one. I have’t found a homemade recipe I like yet for it though. Maybe this is it

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Krystle, Your kids may like this one. When it’s in jars like that it gives it a cool kid factor too. :-)

      • HomeJobsbyMOM

        Yes it does. I could hear them saying why it is in a jar though lol.

        • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

          You gotta love it when kid ask questions like that. :-)

  • The Desert Rocks

    I had pasta for lunch but I’m still drooling!. Yummy and so cute!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Desert Rocks. There is nothing better then a great Mac & Cheese. Give this a try and have fun with them. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  • Debra Yearwood

    Mmmmmmm…this looks just delicious. I love the serving size the jar creates too. I love macaroni and cheese and it loves my thighs, so the sserving size matters :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Debra, Me to, I can always use some portion control too. Like you, my hips will thank me for it later…. LOL. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/geekgirlusa Cheryl Therrien

    Comfort food in a jar! It doesn’t get much better than that. :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Cheryl, Yep, it is a great combination. :-D

  • Mary Slagel

    I absolutely love the jar idea. And mac’n’cheese, well you may have just ruined my diet for the day but I am okay with that. I can’t blame you. Mac’n’cheese gets everybody. I use to have a really bad habit of eating Panera mac’n’cheese AT LEAST 3 times a week until I started to gain substantial weight and put two and two together. Now I just use it as a motivation and reward every once in awhile but that is not to say that I don’t want to go home and make that mac’n’cheese immediately. The sadest/best part is I have everything at home to make it. Will Power. Will Power. Will Power. I may cave.. Or I could just wait for my cheat day Saturday. Either way, I will be trying that one day.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Mary, I get that about the diet thingy. That’s why I only make it once in a while and in jars to control the potion size… LOL. Sadly, that doesn’t prevent me from eating more then one. :-)

  • Adrienne Jones

    I love mac & cheese. When my mom and I were still making big meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas we always made homemade macaroni & cheese. I love that even the boxed stuff can easily be added to so you can make a full meal out of it.
    The individual jars is such a cool idea, and it looks delicious!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Adrienne, Who doesn’t like Mac & Cheese… LOL. Mac and Cheese is a universal when it comes to comfort food. The jars just a cool factor and portion control. :-D

  • Sandra

    I just love this idea. I’ve got to make it for the grandkids. When do you put the lids on? Is it like canning?

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Sandra, The Grandkids will love this. It’s not like canning, just a fun way to make Mac & Cheese. You put the lids on after they’ve and cooled.

  • Jesssica

    Great idea! Love this! How long does the mac and cheese stay fresh in the Jars? my husband is the Navy and has wanted me to send him home made mac and cheese, but i would think it wouldn’t stay fresh long enough till it got to him.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Jessica, You could send them with a cold pack overnight (if possible) and I believe it would stay fresh that way. This heats up very well in the microwave or toaster oven. Good luck with this and let me know what happens. :-)