Stove Top Mac and Cheese With Hummus 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Feb 13, 2018

There are a few extra reasons to love this already-beloved comfort food favorite: The sauce technique has been simplified, and the stir-in of hummus, which is hard to detect even for a young purist's palate, boosts the protein in the dish.

In testing, we found that a combination of pepper Jack cheese and red pepper hummus yields cheerful color and a mild kick.

Serve with peas or a green salad, or roasted tomato halves.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces dried elbow macaroni or other short pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded mild or sharp cheddar, Colby or Monterey Jack cheese (see headnote)
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1/2 cup plain or red-pepper hummus (homemade or store-bought; see headnote)


Bring a large pot of water (about 4 quarts) to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch or two of salt, then the pasta. Cook according to the package directions, just until al dente.

Meanwhile, warm 1 cup of the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and the flour in a liquid measuring cup, whisking away any lumps. As soon as you begin to see a little steam rising from the heated milk, whisk in the milk-flour mixture. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, to form a slightly thickened sauce that has the consistency of heavy cream.

Reduce the heat to low; begin stirring in the cheese (to taste), a cup at a time, letting each addition melt before adding the next. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the powdered mustard, stirring to form a creamy, smooth sauce. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta and place in a mixing bowl. Pour in the warm sauce, then add the hummus and stir to thoroughly incorporate. If the mac and cheese consistency seems too thick, stir in up to 1/4 cup more milk.

Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a 2015 recipe on

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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