This recipe is for cheaters, and was born during a serious mac ’n cheese craving around the midnight hour and I was forced to work with the few ingredients I had left over in my kitchen. The cooking techniques for a creamy batch of mac ’n cheese vary as much as the countless variations – be it green chili, bacon bits, roasted red pepper, or topped with your favorite chili. Typically I recommend using Ben’s Baked Mac ’n Cheese, however this “quick fix” recipe is the next best option when you’re short on time, money, and don’t mind cheating by using some canned cream of chicken soup (sorry vegetarians). If you can boil water, you can make this recipe and it only takes 15 minutes to yield 4 servings of fail-proof happiness.
- 2 cups dried elbow pasta
- 1 can Campbells Cream of Chicken soup
- 12 slices of packaged sandwich cheese of your choice (I recommend 8 slices mild cheddar, 2 slices provolone, 2 slices swiss)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil in a large pot.
- Meanwhile, heat cream of chicken soup over medium low heat, stirring frequently. Once the soup is hot and bubbling gently, gradually add cheeses, dry mustard and black pepper and stir constantly, turning heat down to low. Cheese sauce should remain hot but not bubbling violently, so keep stirring until pasta is ready. If needed, remove it from heat for 10 second intervals.
- Boil pasta until slightly undercooked (al dente), about 5 minutes, then drain. Return pasta to pot and stir in olive oil until coated evenly.
- Stir cheese sauce into pasta until evenly coated and cover with a lid. Pasta will continue cooking in the hot cheese sauce until ready to serve. If needed, continue to keep warm on low heat until you cook to your liking.