Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese

This is a great way to add a little nutrition and zest to macaroni and cheese without altering the flavor profile. Just make sure to saute the onions until soft, translucent and sweet so they blend in more seamlessly. If you have a tomato lover in the house, garnish with chopped tomatoes just before serving. Yum!


4 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
6 cups low-fat milk
1 pound (about 4 cups) elbow pasta
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt (optional)
1 tomato, diced


  1. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the flour and stir well for about 30 seconds to integrate the flour with the butter and prevent burning. Once the flour is incorporated, add the milk (gradually at first, to thin out lumps in the roux) while stirring constantly.
  2. Partially cover the pan to accelerate the process of bringing the milk to a near-boil. Once it is bubbling and nearly at a boil, add the elbow pasta. Stir briefly to prevent sticking, and then cover the pan. Bring back to a near-boil, reduce heat, and  simmer gently for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the pasta is al dente.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Taste and add salt if necessary. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir briefly. Sprinkle tomatoes on top, and serve.

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