Thursday, December 6, 2012

Creamy Shells & Cheese

You remember the blue box, right?  That one that sat in the cupboard when we were small?

The one that solved all babysitting crises.

The one that made even a stubborn eater ask for more.

Yes, that one. 

The one we don’t buy anymore. 

That’s okay though.  This substitute is way better. 

And, it’s just as simple to make.  Plus – it only uses one pan!

Creamy Shells & Cheese – Adapted from White on Rice Couple


  • 2 C whole wheat pasta shells
  • 2 C milk
  • 1/2 tsp. dried mustard
  • salt
  • 1 C extra sharp cheddar cheese


In the bottom of a large saucepan, combine 2 C whole wheat pasta shells with 2 C milk.  If desired, add salt and 1/2 tsp. ground mustard. 

Bring the milk to a slow boil, stirring the entire time.  You’ll tell the milk is ready to boil when small bubbles begin to form around the edges. 

Reduce the heat, and stir often, while simmering for 5-7 minutes until the pasta is done.  Then, remove the pasta from the heat. 

You’ll still have some milk left in the pan at this point.  If you don’t you’ll want to add about 1/4 C milk before the next step. 

Add in the cheese and stir to combine. 

Be sure to do this step off the burner, otherwise the cheese will clump, rather than melt nicely.  This works best with freshly grated cheese as opposed to the pre-shredded variety. 

Serve warm & enjoy!

To reheat leftovers, just add a tablespoon or so of milk before warming to bring back the creaminess. 


  1. When does the dried mustard go in? At the beginning or with the cheese? Sounds yummy and something Matt could do when I have a late night teaching!

    1. We've made it twice -- once without the dried mustard, once with; honestly couldn't tell a difference. If you do add it (I'll update the recipe when I get home), add it with the milk.

    2. OK, I just went ahead and made it and it was goooooood! I did add the mustard and I'm not sure if it mattered or not but it was a tasty treat for my late lunch! I took the one-dish concept all the way and made my single serving in a teeny tiny pot I got from Ikea and ate it right out of the pot with a spoon...a true one-dish meal!

      I've failed at mac and cheese a bunch of times with super complicated recipes with a million ingredients...I wish I'd known it could be so easy!

      My only regret is that I used pre shredded cheese (since I had it on hand) so that powdery stuff they put on it made the final product a little clumpy. It was still really tasty but next time, I'll be sure to take the time to grate the cheese myself.

      Thanks for sharing this!

    3. The very first line reads - In the bottom of a large saucepan, combine 2 C whole wheat pasta shells with 2 C milk. If desired, add salt and 1/2 tsp. ground mustard.

  2. Totally had to laugh at the "solves all babysitting crises"! So true, that brings me back. This mac & cheese looks wonderful!

  3. Wow! This looks awesome!!!
    Do you add the salt and mustard in the beginning with the milk and pasta, or when you add the cheese?
    I can't wait to make this!!!


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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