Family Recipe Fridays: (Somebody’s) Grandma’s Mac and Cheese

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A couple of years ago I had the privilege of working on a Bible study called No Other Gods by Kelly Minter (as I may have mentioned once or perhaps a dozen times on this blog). It was a new thing for LifeWay, both a young adult and women’s study, complete with recipes and a Web site. I loved it and was so excited to throw myself into the project.

I led a test group for it, I wrote the leader’s guide, I was the copy editor of course, and then I cooked every single recipe in the book. It took me a day and a half and then I served a gigantic and varied buffet to some co-workers.

And then I cried at the dishes.

Anyway, this macaroni and cheese was my favorite recipe from NOGs (although the black beans and brown rice are a close second!). We had a big family dinner at my grandma’s apartment this summer the night before my grandpa‘s funeral and I offered to cook. I made apricot pork loin, salad, green bean casserole, and this mac and cheese. The family then decided I am never to show up without it again. So I think that makes it a family favorite.

macaroni and cheese

(Somebody’s) Grandma’s Mac and Cheese


  • 1 lb. ziti or penne rigate
  • 2 10 oz. bars of extra-sharp cheddar cheese (like Cracker Barrel brand)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs


Slice cheese to medium thickness. Slice butter about the same width as the cheese. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.

Boil the pasta for 3-4 minutes–you only want to cook it partially. Test by biting one piece: once you can leave an imprint of your teeth, the pasta is done. Drain.

Take the baking dish and place half of the pasta on the bottom of the dish. Dot with half of the butter squares and half the cheese. Add some of the milk–come up to about the pasta layer or a little bit above. Repeat layers once.

Put the dish on a cookie sheet to catch any overflow. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes.

After this, top the dish with Italian bread crumbs, then cook for another 10 minutes.

10 thoughts on “Family Recipe Fridays: (Somebody’s) Grandma’s Mac and Cheese

  1. Oh my gosh! That sounds wonderful! Unfortunately, we have only had mac and cheese that you can have in the microwave in 3 and a half minutes, these days.
    I love the pasta tip!

    And I'm linking up today! I'm so excited. Thanks for letting me play along!!

  2. That sounds so easy and so incredibly cheesy, in a good way of course! I always make the sauce separate, but I love this idea. I'm definitely trying it next time I make mac and cheese.

  3. It's true. You may be stuck with this one forever at family parties, as it was very good and brought comfort to our souls. Isn't it amazing the power that food has to ease an aching heart?

  4. Hi Jessie! It's Lauren from BSU. I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that the ladies' Bible study I'm in just chose to study No Other Gods. We all took a trip to Lifeway this morning and each spent 30 minutes on our own to find two books to share with the group and consider selecting for our next study. One of the group members found No Other Gods, and I thought that it sounded familiar. I thumbed through the book to see if I could verify my hunch that it was the one you had worked on, and it turns out it was. After everyone shared their two selections, we all had the opportunity to state which one we liked best–and everyone chose No Other Gods. I'm really excited about starting it; I like the concepts of involving all of the senses and developing strong relationships by means of how each session is arranged. I'll let you know how it goes! 🙂

  5. omg i made this tonight, sooooo good. i have to hide it from me and my husband as we keep putting the spoon in it, just one more bite lol.

    perfect directions, perfect outcome.

    thanks so much!

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