Sunday, July 31, 2011

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

     The beauty of this Creamy Macaroni and Cheese recipe from a 2006 article in the New York Times is that you do not have to take the time to make a white sauce or precook the macaroni.  Puree the liquid ingredients together, add a pound of grated Cheddar, a half a box of macaroni and wait for a wonderfully cheesy and rich version of this classic dish.  You need to butter your dutch oven well and give it a good stir halfway through cooking time.  I baked mine in a 10 inch oven with 8 coals in a ring around the bottom and completely covered the lid with roughly 20 coals.  I did not have to replenish any coals, the Macaroni and Cheese stayed at a steady simmer for the whole hour.  If you were camping and did not have access to a blender, you could probably get away with not pureeing the cottage cheese, it would definitely be worth a try.  This one pot wonder is velvety, convenient and could easily become one of your favorite dutch oven dinners.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
2-3 Tblsp butter
1 cup cottage cheese (not low fat)
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pound grated extra-sharp grated cheese
1/2 pound elbow pasta, uncooked

     Butter the inside of a 10 inch dutch oven with softened butter.
     In a blender, puree cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together. 
     Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese for topping.
     In a large bowl combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta.  Pour into buttered dutch oven.
     Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees then stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon of butter. 
     Bake for another 25-30 minutes or until macaroni is tender and top is brown. 
     Let cool for in dutch oven for 15 minutes before serving.  Serves 4-6.

Stir macaroni right out the box with cheese and blended milk and cottage cheese

After 30 minutes, stir well and top with remaining Cheddar and butter

Ready in 55 minutes, let sit before serving

Buttery, creamy and loaded with cheese


  1. Just lovin' all the recipes you cook in your DO outside. That looks tasty!

  2. Getting hungry just looking at it. Unfortunatly I need to cook for 20! Guess I'll try this one when it's a smaller group.

  3. Ended up doubling the recipie and cooked it for the 18 people whe had show to the Cub Scout camp out. Everyone really liked it including the one boy who while making it said "Ewh! Cottage cheese! I think this is going to make me puke! I want Easy Mac!" He didn't give it a standing ovation, but said it wasn't as bad as he thought. Some went back for 2nds and 3rds. This will be made at our Scout events again in the future. Thanks for the recipie!

  4. So glad the recipe worked out for your camp out, I really appreciate the feedback and thanks for letting us know you can double the recipe. Liddy

  5. I am really excited to try this recipe! Sounds so good! I was thinking about adding a pound of ground beef, what are your thoughts on that? Do you think it would incorporate into this recipe well?

  6. Has anyone tried adding bacon to this? Bacon makes everything better!

  7. I doubled this and made it on our last camping trip. It's important to let it stand in the oven for the 15 minutes like the recipe says, pulls it all together. I also used heavy cream because I had it for a different recipe. This is rich and gooey and yummy!

  8. Do you cook the first 30 min covered and then uncover for the last 25 or is it all covered with coals on the lid?

    1. Hi Danelle, thanks for stopping by. You remove the lid only to stir and add the remaining ingredients then place the lid back on with the coals for the remainder of the cooking time. Happy cooking! Liddy

    2. You could do the blending bit at home, then pour the result back into the cottage cheese tub (or double Ziplocs) to put in the cooler for camping.

    3. Thanks for the great tip Laurel Ann! Liddy