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5 Macaroni & Cheese Recipes Made in a Dorm Kitchen

We asked five members of the University of Alaska Fairbanks community to plan and prepare a macaroni and cheese dish that was affordable and could be made in a dorm kitchen. Then we had students taste test them. Here are the results. All of the recipes seen here were made in the Moore Hall kitchen.

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This recipe was made from a popular brand of pre-packaged macaroni and cheese.

Cost: $7.00 (including 1 pint of milk and ½ lb butter)

Box kit



To prepare: follow directions on box

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serves 2

Tasters described this macaroni and cheese as:

"Not entertaining"

This recipe was designed to include packets of sauces and spices you may have left over from other take out meals.

Cost: $10

1 lb pasta (whatever kind you’ve got this time it was bowtie pasta)

1 q milk

Cheeses from deli counter in store sliced thin enough to cut w/ butter knife

Here’s what was used for this recipe but use “whatever you want”




Any leftover condiment packets

Put the quart of milk and the pasta in the pot together

Add red pepper flakes, (if you have them), with the milk for a little extra zip, we put in a spoonful of garlic dipping sauce from a major pizza chain

Bring to a boil, simmer for about 20 minutes

Once the pasta is cooked, add cheese

Add 1 mustard packet if you have one still

If you have more milk you can use it to thin things out to make it more creamy

Garnish with parmesan packets also liberated from a major pizza chain

Total time: ~25 minutes

Serves 2-3

Tasters described this macaroni and cheese as:

"It's good. Can taste all different cheeses"

"Tastes the most like 'mom's' home cookin. Like the fun shapes!"

"Consistency is different"

"Sharper cheese taste"

"Second place"

"Reminds me of grandma's"

"I like it!"

This recipe was designed to make clean-up easy: it's prepared all in one pot!

Cost: $9-10

1/3 lb of bacon

1/2 lb of pasta

8 oz of cheese

1 cup of evaporated milk

1/2lb frozen broccoli

spice suggestions:

paprika, garlic, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, hot sauce

Cook bacon in the pot

Boil pasta 8-10 min

Drain pasta

Add pasta, broccoli, cheese, milk to pot

Stir until cheese is melty

Total prep time: 20 min

Serves 4

Tasters described this macaroni and cheese as:

"Texture is good. Makes you feel like you're eating something healthy. I like the pepperiness!"

"Bacon is good!"

"Loved the texture. Like flavors of bacon and cheese."

"It's really good"

"Has bacon flavor even when you don't have a bite of bacon. Like the broccoli crunch"

"Can't go wrong with bacon"

"Broccoli and bacon - adds diversity when you're surviving off the stuff"

"Broccoli adds a weird flavor. Maybe on the side"

Very straightforward recipe.

Cost: $4.20


Evaporated Milk

Cheddar (or any cheese)

2pts macaroni

2pts cheese

1pt evap milk

Add pasta to cooking pot

Add water to cover pasta

Boil 8-10 minutes DO NOT DRAIN

Add evaporated milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Serves 2-6

Total time: 15 min

Tasters described this macaroni and cheese as:

"Tastes like a carbonara! Surprising"

"This one will stick to your ribs!"

"Peppery goodness!!"

"Not bad"

"Pretty prime."

"Warm and comforting"

"A home feeling"

"Normal but with pepper"

This recipe was by far the favorite of all those who tried all five.

Cost: $10.00 +

1 quart of heavy cream reduced by 1/2

2 cups shredded cheese, any kind. I used fontina and aged sharp cheddar.

1/4 cup grated parmesan reggiano. 1/2 mixed in 1/2 garnish

Chives if you want, as garnish

Salt and pepper to taste + more pepper for garnish

Cook pasta al dente, not soggy, 8-10 minutes in salty water

While pasta is cooking heat (medium heat) reduced cream until bubbling, make sure not to scorch bottom

Turn off heat on cheese and stir in cheese in batches, adding more as it melts

Season cheese with salt and pepper

Drain pasta when finished and pour pasta into cheese to desired pasta/cheese ratio

Garnish with parmesan, chives and pepper

Total prep time: 15 min

Serves 4

Tasters described this macaroni and cheese as:

"The best macaroni and cheese I've ever had."

"Really super delicious. Like the soupiness"

"I'm enjoying it. I love it!"

"I really liked it. Cheese very present."

"Loved it. Creamy and cheesy. Perfect for sharing with friends."

"Hell yeah!"

"The chef one is really good"

"Oh my god! It's so good. I want to cry."

"Cheese hides in shells for bonus goodness"

Thank you to the mac and cheese preparers!

Andrew Cassel - Basic Mac and Cheese

Tania Clucas - "Leftover Packet" Macaroni and Cheese

Mallory Morton - One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Marmian Grimes - "Pretty Standard" Macaroni and Cheese

Sean Walklin - After Finals Mac and Cheese

They bought and brought ingredients themselves.

Sean Walklin is a legit chef and teaches culinary arts at UAF Community and Technical College. It's no surprise that his After Finals Mac and Cheese was the tastiest. It really was. Try that stuff. SO GOOD!

Thanks to all our macaroni and cheese preparers. We didn't make any vegan mac and cheese or microwavable mac and cheese. Maybe next time!

Hope you have comforting and delicious food wherever you are today.

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