BLT Mac And Cheese

I found this recipe several years ago, perusing magazines in a waiting room. It’s a Betty Crocker recipe, and it’s delicious. My family loves macaroni and cheese. They love it from a box, they love it from scratch, they even love it with cut up hotdogs in it. I figured, given their love of the classic side dish they’d happily eat as a meal any time, any day, that this could either be a beautiful thing or a risky gamble. This recipe had me at BLT. I love them. Mostly, I love them because I love,love, love tomatoes. So naturally, I dove in and made this meal the same night I had come across it’s recipe. Since then it’s become a staple and a regular meal appearing on our monthly rotations. The flavors blend spectacularly! Even the rest of the family, literally everyone else, who all detest tomatoes about as strongly as I love them, ate every bite.

BLT Mac N Cheese

4 Sons 'R' Us: BLT Mac N Cheese

If you’ve tried this BLT MAC N CHEESE, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

BLT Mac & Cheese

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Casserole, Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 1339kcal

Ingredients

  • 32 oz Velveeta cheese cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar shredded
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 bag 9 oz, fresh spinach
  • 1 lb bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup plain or Italian style, panko bread crumbs*

Instructions

  • In a dutch oven, or other large pot, add butter, milk, and cubed cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a whisk, until melted and evenly combined.
  • Cook macaroni in boiling salted water 3 minutes less than indicated on the box in the directions. Drain.
  • Pour the drained macaroni in with the cheese sauce. Mix well.
  • Stir in the shredded cheese, spinach, and tomatoes.
  • Transfer to a 15×10 inch (4 quart) baking dish. Cover with foil.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30 minutes.
  • Uncover. Spread bacon and bread crumbs evenly over the top.
  • Bake 5 minutes longer or until the top is lightly browned.
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

*To ensure nice browned, crisped breadcrumbs you can toss the breadcrumbs in 1-2 tbsp of melted butter before adding to the casserole.

Nutrition

Calories: 1339kcal | Carbohydrates: 111g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 68g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 3369mg | Potassium: 1289mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 2873IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 1372mg | Iron: 3mg

Baby Cereal Pancakes

A healthy breakfast or snack, these easy Baby Cereal Pancakes make use of common baby foods that often end up going to waste. They’re a perfect first food, or finger food, for hungry babies & toddlers. Something you can feel good about serving, and something they’ll love eating!

Baby Cereal Pancakes on a rectangular white platter with bananas in the background

Read more

‘Velveeta’ Style American Cheese

Do you ever balk at the prices of those processed loaves of cheese?

Do you buy them anyway, because sometimes a recipe (or a grilled cheese) demands their melty goodness and no substitute will do?

This happens to me every time I purchase that cheese.

Even worse, every time in the back of my mind is a nagging reminder of all the preservatives and other things in them that I should try to avoid feeding my family.

So, finally I decided that somebody, somewhere, in an effort to be more frugal or in an effort to avoid all the chemicals, must have found a way to replicate this ooey, gooey cheese and would have shared their victorious recipe.

After perusing Pinterest and the web for what seemed like forever, I finally found what appeared to be a winner.

My boys had asked to have BLT Mac N Cheese this week and were afraid with my new REAL cheese that it wouldn’t live up to their high standards. They couldn’t have been more shocked themselves to discover this cheese made it even better.

This velveeta style American cheese recipe knocked the ball out of the park! It was spot on everything I was looking for and then some.

It’s real food you can make at home quickly, with ingredients you can easily find (and pronounce), without sacrificing any of that heavenly meltiness.

National Grilled Cheese Day (April 12th) just passed, but I will definitely be celebrating next year with the help of my own homemade cheese.

velveeta style american cheese shown sliced and on a syran wrapped cutting board

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Velveeta Style American Cheese

This homemade cheese loaf is creamy and tastes even better than the infamous meltable store-bought brand. Whip up a batch and use it in any recipe in place of the commercialized alternative.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 12 oz Colby Jack cheese very finely shredded (think TINY grater holes)
  • 1 tbsp nonfat milk powder
  • generous 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp 2% milk

Instructions

  • Line a small 4×5 loaf pan (I only had a full size pan handy) with plastic wrap, letting the excess hang over the sides.
  • In a small bowl, combine the water and gelatin. Stir. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Combine cheese, milk powder, salt, and tartar in the bowl of a food processor, pulsing a few times to combine.
  • Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • When milk begins to simmer, remove from heat, transfer hot milk to a measuring cup (to make pouring easier) and slowly add milk into the food processor feed tube.
  • As you slowly add the milk, pulse the food processor.
  • Add prepared gelatin.
  • Turn the food processor on, and continue to stir until the mixture becomes perfectly smooth. Scrap the sides if needed and whir again.
  • Working quickly, transfer the mixture into the prepared mold, pressing the mixture down into the pan with a spatula to help eliminate any air bubbles.
  • Smooth surface of cheese, and cover with the overlapping plastic.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight. (If pressed for time, a little over an hour and a half in the freezer will work too!)
  • Slice, cube, or melt as needed and use as you would Velveeta or individually wrapped processed American cheese.

 

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

This delicious dessert berry recipe is perfect for almost any occasion. Cheesecake stuffed strawberries are your favorite dessert in petite, finger food form. Get a little bit of dessert on the dessert table without much extra effort. It’s just the thing to serve when you don’t want to hire a planner- but want the same catered quality.

cheesecake stuffed strawberries on a white place with graham cracker crumbs on marble background with striped dish towel

Read more

Cheeseburger & Tater Tot Casserole

I don’t know why, but I’ve been on a ‘cheeseburger’ kick lately. Soup, macaroni, meatloaf, and now a casserole. You name it- I’ve been making it.

I just crave that meaty, cheesy combo, and for whatever reason recently I’ve been going to new, experimental lengths to get my fix.

This cheeseburger & tater tot casserole is what evolved from a lunch for the boys on a day they were home from school that was incredibly cold, when I had pulled hamburger meat out for, you guessed it, hamburgers for lunch and then realized I had no buns or sandwich bread.

In theory I could’ve introduced them all to the square hamburger bun from the pack of Wonder bread. The kind my Mom always served us kids growing up. 

Looking back, maybe I should’ve welcomed back my old friend- but it didn’t occur to me at the time! Thankfully, because this casserole is definitely a new family favorite.

It was the perfect comfort food to warm us all up and put a smile on everyone’s face. There were no leftovers.

If you’ve tried this CHEESEBURGER & TATER TOT CASSEROLE, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Cheeseburger & Tater Tot Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls or 1 batch of homemade crescent rolls
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese divided
  • 1 2 lb pkg tater tots frozen
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 3-4 tbsp mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Brown ground beef until cooked through. Drain.
  • Return to skillet, add in onions and saute 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in ketchup, mustard, and 1 cup of cheese. Stirring until heated through. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish, or coat with non stick spray.
  • Lay crescent rolls out flat to cover the bottom of the dish like a crust. Press seams together so there aren’t any gaps.
  • Spread hamburger mixture evenly over the crescent rolls.
  • Top evenly with tater tots.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until tater tots are done.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over the top of the casserole.
  • Return to oven cooking 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Let the casserole cool for 5 minutes before serving.