I only gave this 4 stars, because after making it as written, I found it too peppery and otherwise kind of lacking something. I made it a 2nd time with some tweaks and then a 3rd time with some more tweaks and found the perfect balance of cheese and seasoning.
My changes were:
1. 1/2 tsp of black pepper (instead of 1 tsp);
2. add 1/2 tsp of salt;
3. add 1 tsp of onion powder;
4. add 1 tsp of paprika; and
5. reduce American cheese to 4 oz and Velveeta to 4 oz and add 8 oz of Cheddar cheese.
I was making this for a party, so I trippled the recipe, completely cooked the noodles and put everything in a crockpot on low for one hour and on warm the rest of the time. I left out the bread crumbs and did not use all of the sauce, but if I had par cooked the noodles and baked it in the oven, I think I would have used all of the sauce, since some of it would have been absorbed by the noodles during cooking.
I was absolutely amazed by the results! This is probably the best mac and cheese I have ever eaten, although it is VERY rich. Definitely best as a side dish. It got lots of compliments and I passed along the recipe. I will definitely make this again and try baking it in the oven!
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I only gave this 4 stars, because after making it as written, I found it too peppery and...