Creamy Mushroom Mac N Cheese

Price per serving – £0.84

I’m a traditionalist when it comes to cheese sauce. From an early age I was taught how to make a roux and then form a sauce. It’s something I have taught my husband and one day will hopefully teach my children, it is a fundamental skill in cooking and you can make so many dishes with just a few ingredients.

When it comes to Mac N cheese there is nothing better than a really cheesey, gooey roux sauce, well that’s what I thought. I have been browsing some very old recipe cards. I have had them for around 25 years, they have moved with me through 5 different houses and have been sat on my kitchen cupboards for the last 3 years. I decided over the holiday period to get them down and dust them off, after a quick re-organisation I found a recipe for Mac N Cheese. I picked it up and to my surprise no roux sauce, what is this wizardry I hear you ask…. I decided to make it for dinner one evening. I didn’t have much hope but I was so very wrong. It was actually blooming delicious. The sauce was creamy yet not overwhelming, I’m not saying that’s it, no more roux sauces for me but it made a delicious change.

What i love about this recipe is that there are so many sneaky vegetables added. If you are looking for a recipe that is healthy and packed full of veg well this is it!… not something you would expect from Mac N Cheese is it! I actually upped the quantities of the veg in this recipe to bulk it out and create a healthier dish. I used Red leicester in the dish below but feel free to substitute with a low fat mature Cheddar to reduce the calories further.

Serves 4

300g Dried Macaroni Pasta – £0.33
1 tbsp Olive Oil – £0.08
1 Red Onion – Peeled and finely chopped – £0.21
1 tsp of Lazy Garlic – £0.10
1 Red Pepper – £0.33
1 Green Pepper – £0.33
175g Sliced Mushrooms – £0.40
200g Low Fat Soft Cheese £0.80
200ml Passata – £0.12
Salt & Pepper to taste – £0.05
125g Red Leicester £0.60

Total Cost – £3.35
Cost Per Serving – £0.84

1) Cook the dried macaroni according to packet instructions

2) Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic, red and green peppers. Fry on a medium heat for around 5 minutes until the vegetables being to soften.

3) Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes

4) Drain the pasta and add to the onion and pepper mix.

5) Stir in the soft cheese, Passata and half of the red leicester. Season to taste and mix thoroughly.

6) If eating straight away, top with remaining cheese and grill under a high heat for 5-10 minutes.

BATCH TIP – I make this in advance and then freeze extra portions. If you want to do this follow steps 1-5 and then allow the pasta mix to cool completely before freezing or refrigerating. Defrost thoroughly, top with cheese and cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If you feel as though the cheese is getting a little too well done, cover with tinfoil for the remaining minutes.

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