The Time-Saving Mac And Cheese Hack You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

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Mac and cheese is a gooey mixture that's the perfect comfort food on so many levels, and it turns out, this iconic dish has been a part of our lives for hundreds of years. As per The Daily Meal, there has been a record of cheese and pasta-based dishes since the 14th century. In the medieval cookbook, the Forme of Cury, a recipe was listed that pretty much ticks all the mac and cheese boxes: cheese, butter, and hand-cut pasta. Honestly, what else do you need in life?

Boxed mac and cheese can be a quick fix when you're looking for something delicious that doesn't require too much effort. The bad news? It can be quite unhealthy for you. As explained by Today, many varieties of packaged mac and cheese contain a number of harmful chemicals that you really don't need in your diet. The best way to get quick and relatively healthy mac and cheese? Prepare the dish at home in a bid to control your ingredients. We spoke to Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND award winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal best selling author of The Best 3-Ingredient Cookbook to find out what's the best way to prepare this delectable dish and whether there are any hacks that can make it healthier — here's what we found.

Use your time wisely

When it comes to homemade mac and cheese, there's a simple hack to help you make it faster and healthier. According to Amidor, the key is to keep things really simple; In fact, you just need three ingredients to get the dish right. "One step you can actually skip is cooking the macaroni separately," the nutrition expert and cookbook author told Mashed. "Instead, you can cook the pasta in just enough water to cover the pasta and once that is absorbed, add a liquid like evaporated milk which will add flavor and thickness."

You can make your meal healthier by using evaporated skim milk instead of the full-fat version if you're concerned with saturated fat. Post that, you just need to slowly stir in your favorite shredded cheese for maximum flavor. You can also choose to make your dish even lighter by using a smaller amount of high-quality cheddar cheese mixed with a reduced fat cheddar. As Amidor explains, "With full fat cheese, a little goes a long way." That's all there is to it, really. Who would've thought?