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Kid Friendly Ranch Mac 'n Cheese With Math

What’s rich, ranchy and has creamy cheese all over? We’ve taken the ultimate comfort food to the next level with this delectable combination of velvety goodness and pure HVR flavor excitement. This easy mac ‘n cheese is impossible not to love.

  • Prep Time 5 min
  • Cook Time 35 min
  • Servings 6
  • Print print Print

Ingredients (6)

For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.

Steps (14)

  1. 1

    Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Teachable Moment

Teachable Moment

  1. 2

    Pasta comes in over 350 shapes from around the world! Different shapes are made for different sauces. For example, some noodles are great for catching different flavors in all their nooks and crannies, others are smooth for a more velvety feel when topped with a delicate flavor. What types of pasta are in your kitchen right now and what would they be tasty for?

Kids Activity

Kids Activity

  1. 2
    Little Kids:

    Wash the potatoes under cool running water, pat dry with a clean dish towel.

  2. 2
    Big Kids:

    Read through the entire recipe before beginning and cook pasta with mom or dad.

  3. 2
    Middle and High Schoolers:

    Cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.

  4. 2

    While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to foam, then whisk in flour until smooth and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and seasoning mix and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Teachable Moment

Teachable Moment

  1. 3

    “Mise en place” [sounds like me zahn plas] is French for “everything in its place.” It’s also the term for a cooking technique restaurant chefs and home cooks can use. The idea is you prep and measure all ingredients individually before you start the recipe – that way you’ll start with everything you need, which helps the cooking process flow smoothly.

Kids Activity

Kids Activity

  1. 3
    Little Kids:

    Bring a stool over to the stove and help stir the roux with 100% parental supervision.

  2. 3
    Big Kids:

    Measure all ingredients — remember, mise en place — and help mom and dad add ingredients to pan. Stir the final roux up yourself.

  3. 3
    Middle and High Schoolers:

    Measure out ingredients individually — remember, mise en place. Fire up the stove and follow the recipe.

  4. 3

    Remove from heat, stir in the cheese until melted, then add the cooked pasta, mixing thoroughly. Serve hot.

Teachable Moment

Teachable Moment

  1. 4

    The cheesy goodness that coats all the pasta in classic mac ’n cheese is also one of France’s most important sauces: Mornay. Mornay sauce consists of a roux, a little milk and the addition of shredded cheese at the end. We’re using cheddar, but a French recipe might call for adding Gruyere or Emmental. It’s a simple technique, and with a little practice you can be a Master of Mornay.

Kids Activity

Kids Activity

  1. 4
    Little Kids:

    Sprinkle in the cheese and stir the pot while mom holds the hot pot with an oven mitt.

  2. 4
    Middle and High Schoolers:

    Follow instructions, put mac ’n cheese in a serving dish, garnish with a little sprinkle of Ranch seasoning and any fresh herbs you may have in the garden or fridge (optional).

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551 Reviews


recommend 86.6% would recommend this recipe

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy to Make But Bland I made this last night for dinner. It was easy to fix and had a nice creamy sauce. However, my husband and I felt it was bland. I made it with 1/2 Asiago cheese and 1/2 Cheddar cheese as an earlier reviewer suggested. I used a mild Cheddar. I will make it again and try it with a sharp/aged Cheddar cheese. Plus, I think I will add some Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix (powder) to the mixture to give it a bit more "zip" as well.
Date published: 2014-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A regular supper at our house! We love this recipe. The ONLY change I make is to use shredded parmesan instead of the asiago. It is a little cheaper and easier to find. I keep all the ingredients stocked and make it on a regular basis. I highly recommend it for adults and kids alike!
Date published: 2015-04-05
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