Yummy.ph Test Kitchen: 3 Ways To Make Mac And Cheese

Make your cheesy pasta dreams come true.

Who can resist cheese? We certainly can't. That's why we've come up with three different ways you can make the mac and cheese recipe. Whether you're a beginner, cooking on a budget, want to experiment, or just want to go crazy with the cheese, we're sure one of these recipes will fit you.

The shape of the pasta shells cup the perfect amount of cheesy sauce.
Photo by Bianca Laxamana

Basic Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe

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This delicious mac and cheese recipe only uses affordable and accessible ingredients. These are a sure hit for kids and also for people who love a simple yet still creamy mac and cheese recipe.

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  • Makes 4 to 5 Servings
  • Takes 15 minutes
  • Pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups dried pasta shells
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Cheese Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 370-ml can evaporated milk
  • 1 235-gram pack cheddar spread
  • 1 Boil enough water to submerge pasta in later. Mix in salt. Cook pasta for 7 minutes and drain.
  • 2 Make a roux: Melt butter in a preheated pan on medium heat. Add all-purpose flour and mix well with a whisk. Keep mixing until mixture turns slightly browned. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting and add milk. Whisk until well-incorporated. Bring heat back up to Medium and keep whisking until mixture thickens.
  • 3 Once the mixture is thickened, lower heat back to the lowest setting. Add cheese and whisk until combined.
  • 4 Take off the heat and mix in the cooked pasta. Serve immediately. 
  • We especially love the crunch that Panko breadcrumbs gives this mac and cheese.
    Photo by Bianca Laxamana

Garlicky Mushroom Mac and Cheese Recipe 

This recipe is a combination of a garlicky butter mushroom concoction and the basic mac and cheese recipe. The mushroom and garlic give the cheese more depth in flavor.

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For this recipe's topping, we use cheese and Panko breadcrumbs to give it that delicious crunch that offers a great contrast to the creamy texture of cheese and pasta. You can use this topping with other mac and cheese recipes as well.

Remember that when making baked mac and cheese, always check your dried pasta's instructions and opt to cook it at least one minute less than the pasta's advised cooking time. This is so you don't overcook your noodles once it's in the oven.

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  • Makes 5 to 6 Servings
  • Takes 55 minutes
  • Garlic Mushroom Mixture
  • 3 120-gram packs oyster mushroom
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (patis), or to taste
  • Salt, to taste 
  • Pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups dried pasta twists
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Cheese sauce
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 370-ml can evaporated milk
  • 1 235-gram pack cheddar cheese spread
  • Topping
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/8 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan, grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground Spanish paprika
  • 1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
  • 2 Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until very lightly browned and aromatic. Add oyster mushrooms and sauté. Sprinkle in sugar and fish sauce, and sauté. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened. Set aside.
  • 3 Boil enough water to submerge pasta in water. Mix in salt. Cook pasta for 5 1/2 minutes or at least a minute less than prescribed on the pasta packaging. Drain pasta and set aside.
  • 4 Make a roux: Melt butter in a preheated pan on medium heat. Add all-purpose flour and mix well with a whisk. Keep mixing until mixture turns slightly browned. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting and add milk. Whisk until well incorporated. Bring heat back up to Medium and keep whisking until mixture thickens.
  • 5 Once the mixture is thickened, lower heat back to the lowest setting. Add cheese and whisk until combined. Add mushroom garlic mixture mix until well combined.
  • 6 Take off the heat and mix the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce.
  • 7 Place pasta into a baking pan. Cover the top with mozzarella first, then the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and finish the topping with paprika.
  • 8 Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cheese has melted, sides have bubbled, and there are bits of browned Panko breading. Serve hot. 
This amount of mac and cheese is perfect for a party.
Photo by Bianca Laxamana

The Cheesiest Mac and Cheese Recipe

Using four different kinds of cheese, you can get a more complex cheese flavor. There's the stretchy mozzarella, the sweet milky Monterey Jack, sharp and tangy cheddar, and umami-packed Parmesan. You can add blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese.

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Note that when mac and cheese made with roux sits, it usually forms a skin and may even firm up. If you want it to be creamy and liquid, simply heat up with some water or milk while stirring with a spoon.

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  • Makes 10 to 12 Servings
  • Takes 55 minutes
  • Pasta
  • 500 grams dried elbow pasta
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Cheese sauce
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 370-ml cans evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded 
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Cheese mix
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded 
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded 
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, minced
  • 1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).

  • 2 Boil enough water to submerge pasta in later. Mix in salt. Cook pasta for 6 1/2 minutes or at least a minute earlier than prescribed on the pasta packaging. Drain pasta and set aside.
  • 3 Make a roux: Melt butter in a preheated pan on medium heat. Add all-purpose flour and mix well with a whisk. Keep mixing until mixture turns slightly browned. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting and add milk. Whisk until well-incorporated. Bring heat back up to Medium and keep whisking until mixture thickens.
  • 4 Once the mixture is thickened, lower heat back to the lowest setting. Add sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses. Whisk together until combined and smooth. Mix in prepared mustard and white pepper.
  • 5 Take off the heat and mix in the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce.
  • 6 In a bowl, toss together cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
  • 7 Spoon half of the pasta mixture into your baking pan. Flatten the surface. Sprinkle this layer with half of the cheese mixture evenly. Add the rest of the pasta into your baking pan and flatten. Top with the rest of the cheese mixture and sprinkle with minced parsley leaves.
  • 8 Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until the edges have crisped, bubbled, and browned, and there are brown spots all over the topping. Serve hot. 
Get that cheese fix!
Photo by Zoe del Rosario

Get creative with your mac and cheese! How about adding some bacon? More cheese? Spinach? The great thing about mac and cheese recipes is that as long as you follow your imagination and your tastebuds, it's easy to make something great. After all, you can't really go wrong with cheese.

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