Mac Attack Series | Homestyle Mac and Cheese

March 19, 2018 , In: Eat, Recipes , With: No Comments

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Before we dive into this week’s Homestyle Mac and Cheese… Did you get a chance to check out last week’s Butternut Mac and Cheese? If you’re allergic to nuts or want to sneak some extra veggies into your kids’ diets, swap in the Butternut Mac for the Basic Mac I’m using in today’s recipe! The sauce tip I mention goes for both versions of mac! Alright, here we go!

“I’m a mac and cheese freak. Homemade or from the blue box, I’m not picky!” -Candy Crowley

If you’re like me (and apparently Ms. Crowley), you had two kinds of mac and cheese when you were growing up. The blue box kind and the “Company’s Coming” homestyle mac and cheese. The powdered (is that real) cheese with almost elbow shaped pasta from the box vs. real grated cheese topped with breadcrumbs or crackers, that only made an appearance at the table when someone was coming over for dinner.

I have to admit, I do the same thing… sort of. I will make my basic mac and cheese until I’m blue in the face for my own dinner or for my family. But when I am entertaining a crowd or hosting Friendsgiving, I’ll bust out this baked version and watch the casserole dish’s contents disappear quicker than it took me to fill up!

The Proof is in the… Mac and Cheese!

I hosted about fourteen people for a Friendsgiving two years ago and it was a blast! Everything I made was vegan (my kitchen, my rules) and I invited a bunch of coworkers from the restaurants in which I was working. Along with this homestyle mac and cheese, I had just about every classic Thanksgiving dish you can imagine.

Fun Fact: The Casserole Dish featured in these pictures belonged to my great-grandmother!

Creamy, Homestyle, Golden Brown Deliciousness.

The trick to keeping this version creamy like it is straight from the stove is by thinning out the sauce. Then just quickly broiling the casserole until golden brown. The more the sauce cooks the thicker it gets and then it’s not as silky and creamy as you’ll want it to be. Hence, the addition of water or non-dairy milk and a little more oil

For the topping, I like to use either bread crumbs or crumbled buttery crackers mixed with melted butter, garlic powder, and lots of black pepper. If I’m feeling extra fancy, I’ll add some dairy free shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan.

I’m excited to share next week’s recipe with you because it’s about to get funky! We are branching away from tried and true standard Mac and Cheese. Safe to say this one’s going to have a bit of a “Spin”… It’s Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese! See you next Monday!

Mac Attack Series | Homestyle Mac and Cheese

Yield: 8-10

Mac Attack Series | Homestyle Mac and Cheese


  • 1 Basic Mac Recipe (try Not-So Basic or Butternut
  • 1/4 cup water or non-dairy milk
  • 3 TBSP Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs or crushed buttery crackers (Ritz is dairy-free!)
  • 3 TBSP melted dairy free butter (I use Soy-Free Earth Balance)
  • 1/4-3/4 TBSP Black Pepper, depending on your taste
  • 1 TBSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TBSP Dairy Free Parm (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Daiya Cheddar Shreds (optional)
  • Fresh Parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat Oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare your choice of basic mac and cheese, adding additional 1/4 cup water or non-dairy milk and 3 tablespoons of oil to the sauce recipe.
  3. In a separate dish, combine breadcrumbs/cracker crumbs, butter, black pepper, garlic powder, and dairy free cheeses if using. Stir to combine you're looking for it to be like wet sand, adding more melted butter if necessary.
  4. Transfer the macaroni into a 8” by 8” casserole dish.
  5. Sprinkle the breadcrumb topping evenly on top of the macaroni.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
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Kaiti J

Welcome to Garnished with Gratitude! I'm so glad you're here. I'm Kaiti, a fan of healthy-ish ways, lists/plans, and I'm a total goofball. I'm here to create a space that provides resources to live your best life! From food and exercise to visualization and inspiration, this site is for you.

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