You’ve probably seen this TikTok video at least once before, where a person makes a bowl of mac and cheese so delicious that even TikTokers want to eat it.
While we don’t know who came up with this idea first (maybe one of these TikTokers?), we have an easy, foolproof method for making your own version of this classic comfort food.
In case you’re not familiar with TikTok, it’s a social media app where users create short videos called “clips” or “plays.” These clips often include lip syncing, dancing, singing, drawing, acting out scenes from movies or TV shows, and more.
The platform has millions of active users each day, and its popularity continues to grow.
In fact, TikTok was recently ranked as one of the most popular apps worldwide by App Annie, beating out Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Twitter.
We asked our resident TikTok expert Jessica Alba what she thought about this TikTok trend, and she said this isn’t the first time people have tried to recreate famous dishes like macaroni and cheese using TikTok.
“I think this is something that started popping up around Valentine’s Day — maybe after seeing all those heart-shaped boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese?” says Jessica.
She adds that it seems like people are trying different versions of the dish now since TikTok has become such a huge part of everyone’s lives.
So if you love TikTok but aren’t sure what kind of recipes to try next, here’s everything you need to know about creating your very own TikTok-famous mac and cheese!
What Is The Best Mac And Cheese Recipe?
The best mac and cheese recipe is the one you feel comfortable sharing with friends and family.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to mac and cheese — just make whatever feels good to you.
One thing to keep in mind though: If you decide to use real dairy products, you’ll need to ensure they’re pasteurized.
Otherwise, raw milk will give your mac and cheese an off flavor.
You should also be careful to avoid cross contamination between your raw milk and other foods.
What Are The Ingredients For Mac And Cheese?
To start, you’ll need some pasta noodles, butter, flour, salt, cream, and cheddar cheese.
We recommend regular yellow noodles because they tend to hold their shape better than egg noodles.
Also, the longer the noodles get cooked, the softer they become, which means they won’t break apart easily once you add them to the sauce.
While there are plenty of brands to choose from, we prefer to buy whole-wheat pasta whenever possible.
Whole wheat pastas contain less gluten, which gives them a slightly nuttier taste.
Plus, they usually come with fewer preservatives and additives.
Next, you’ll need to melt the butter over low heat until it becomes liquid.
Then, whisk in the flour.
As soon as the mixture starts getting thick, pour in the milk slowly while continuing to stir constantly.
Once you reach a smooth consistency, remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely.
Once cooled, mix in the shredded cheese and seasonings.
Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot and bring it back to medium heat.
Stir continuously until the cheese melts into the sauce.
This could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 10 depending on the brand of cheese you use.
Add the pasta to the hot cheese sauce and continue stirring until all the noodles are coated.
If you’d rather skip the melting process, you can combine the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl then gradually incorporate the wet ingredients.
Next, add the cheese and stir well to fully coat the pasta.
How Do You Make Mac And Cheese?
Mac and cheese doesn’t always require a lot of effort.
It’s actually pretty simple to prepare.
All you really need is a big pot and some heavy duty tongs.
And you may find yourself needing extra hands to help stir things along.
First, cut up the pasta into small pieces.
Then, place the pot on high heat and wait for the oil to begin sizzling.
When it does, carefully drop in the pasta and gently toss it around to prevent sticking.
Continue cooking until the noodles turn bright orange, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
When the noodles are ready, remove the pot from the stove and fill it halfway with cold water.
Bring the pot back to the burner, turn down the heat to medium, and return the pasta to the pot.
Keep tossing the noodles until the water begins boiling again.
Repeat the same procedure described above until the noodles are al dente.
At this point, you might notice that the cheese sauce is starting to separate.
Don’t worry! Just put the pot back on the stove and continue heating it until everything gets nice and creamy.
Again, pay close attention to the color of the sauce.
As soon as it turns golden brown, remove it from the heat and set aside.
Now, dump in the remaining half cup of butter and incorporate it into the cheese sauce.
Mix thoroughly until it looks homogenous.
Taste test the sauce to see if it needs additional seasoning.
Pour the entire contents of the pot onto a plate and serve warm.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Mac And Cheese?
There are two main ways to cook mac and cheese.
One involves baking, while the other requires you to boil the pasta.
Both methods work equally well, although baking tends to produce a crisper texture than boiling.
So if you want the full experience of crispy noodles, go ahead and bake it instead.
However, if you’d prefer to save energy and still enjoy a piping hot batch of mac and cheese, boil it.
Baking works great if you’re making a large quantity of mac and cheese.
To do this, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
First, spread the noodles evenly across the prepared tray.
Spread the cheese sauce evenly over the top of the noodles.
Finally, sprinkle the parmesan cheese evenly over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the tray every five minutes to ensure uniform distribution of both the cheese and the noodles.
Alternatively, you can boil the pasta following the instructions below.
Be warned, however, that this method produces a much thicker sauce.
But if you prefer it chunky, go ahead and make it this way.
How Long Does It Take To Cook Mac And Cheese?
Cooking times vary based on the type of noodle used and the size of the pot.
For instance, larger batches typically take longer to cook.
On average, it takes 15 to 20 minutes for 1 pound of pasta to finish cooking.
That being said, you can reduce the cooking time by adding a little bit of water to the pot.
However, if you’re looking for a shortcut, you can simply boil the pasta according to package directions.
After draining the pasta, rinse it under running water to prevent it from drying out further.
Then, proceed to follow the rest of the steps outlined above.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Mac And Cheese?
As mentioned earlier, mac and cheese is packed with protein and calcium thanks to the cheese.
A single serving contains only 110 calories, 3 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of fiber.
It also provides essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D, B12, magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc.
Not surprisingly, mac and cheese is rich in protein too, containing 7 grams per serving.
Finally, mac and cheese is considered to be a healthy meal option due to its relatively low amount of sodium, which ranges from 50 mg to 100 mg per serving.
How Many Calories Are In Mac And Cheese?
Depending on the exact ingredient choices, mac and cheese can range anywhere from 200 calories to 500 calories per serving.
Most servings measure somewhere in the middle of this range.
Additionally, the calorie content depends largely on the type of cheese used.
Cheddar cheese alone contains 140 calories per ounce.
Other types of cheeses, like mozzarella, feta, provolone, and blue cheese, are higher in calories.
For example, a single slice of blue cheese contains roughly 180 calories.
Meanwhile, a slice of pepper jack cheese clocks in at 150 calories.
Lastly, calorie counts can fluctuate greatly depending on whether you use whole grain or white pasta.
Using whole grain pasta reduces the overall number of calories contained in the mac and cheese.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Mac And Cheese?
Mac and cheese has been proven to improve digestive function, boost immunity, lower blood pressure, promote weight loss, fight depression, and provide protection against cancer cells.
It also helps protect against osteoporosis.
Not surprisingly, mac and cheese is also classified as a superfood due to its abundance of nutrients.
For instance, it offers a wide array of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and it’s loaded with vitamin D, calcium, iron, and selenium, among others.
- 1 Bowl
- 1 Pot
- 1 box Mac and Cheese
- 1/4 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter
- The first step is to measure out the milk and butter before you begin. The quantity depends depend on how much pasta you’re preparing, but Kraft suggests using 1/4 cup of milk and 4 tablespoons of butter for one box.
- Put the dry pasta in a pot and add just enough water to cover the noodles. Butter should then be added, then the box’s supplied cheese powder packets. Save the milk addition for later. Before putting the saucepan on the heat, thoroughly whisk the pasta, water, cheese, and butter.
- The pasta mixture should be heated on the burner at medium heat with periodic stirring until the water comes to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, toss the spaghetti occasionally, and allow it to boil softly. Don’t put a lid on the pot. As the ingredients boil together, you’ll notice the cheese sauce thickening and the noodles softening—this is precisely what you want. The majority of the liquid should evaporate in just a few minutes.
- Add the milk when there is minimal liquid left in the pot after the cheese sauce has thickened. You want the macaroni to be just simmering as you mix it in, so keep the heat low. Keep an eye on it as you mix to prevent the sauce from becoming overly thick and sticky. Turn off the heat and serve as soon as the consistency is to your liking.