Wednesday, September 19, 2012

By spousal request - Franco American Mac and Cheese Copycat Recipe

So the easiest way to tell you how this all came about and went down is to tell you in a conversational format.  We are pretty random people and sometimes I don't know where thoughts in my husbands head come from.  However, I will just accept that he thinks of weird things at weird times and love the guy anyway.  After all.......he is so dang adorable.  So here we go


George: I have an idea!

Me:  Oh no, what is it?

George: (always has a story) When I was little my mom used to buy Franco American Macaroni and Cheese.  But it was like fat spaghetti noodles, you know like big worms.  She could buy it really cheap at the commissary for like 19 cents a can.  When she didn't feel like cooking she would make it for me.  I think "we" should try and copy it!

Me: I remember eating it a couple of times. 

George: You do?  I think you are to young to remember it.

Me: I am young, and gorgeous but that is beside the point.  I have eaten it.

George: It looked almost like turkey gravy, it was this gross color of greenish orange, but it was SO good.

Me: I could use bocatini pasta, to cover the fat spaghetti noodle part, I wonder what we should use for the rest. 

George:  I don't know but I can taste and tell you if it is right.  Ok?

Well, isn't it odd how he doesn't know how we could do it but he is sure willing to taste every single one of my efforts.  Unlucky for him I got it on the first try.  Mwaaahahahhahaha! 

Anyway, I had bought a can of cheddar cheese soup earlier in the week to make a "kid friendly, halloweenish" recipe.  I decided I would use the same thing because it seemed the flavor was really close to be right on.  By the way, leave me alone about the canned cheddar cheese soup.  I know some of you are having heart palpitations right now over it.  Relax.  2 times in like 10 years......that is my frequency of usage. 

I actually wasn't even going to blog this because it is so easy.  But I decided, with George's urging to just do it.  He is so excited, I had to oblige.  It is almost embarassing to post this as a "recipe".  But here goes nothin'....

Ok, you will need:

1/2 lb bocatini pasta (fat spaghetti with a hole down the center)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
3/4 cup milk (any that you choose)
2 tbsp melted butter

Boil your pasta, and I suggest for the authentic really soft pasta feel, to cook it on the high end of the recommended range.  Perhaps even 1 minute longer.  While it is cooking in a bowl mix the soup, milk and cooled melted butter in a bowl.  Mix until completely combined.  Drain pasta and put back in the hot pot, immediately add the cheese mix and let simmer for a minute or 2 on low heat. 

Me:  George, I think it is done!  I even got the color right!

George: It looks good, looks like the right color, kind of pastey and colorless.  (sounds appetizing right?)

George: (takes a bit) OMG honey, it is right on!  Just need to add a little pepper. 

So here you have it.  By request of my husband, a recreation as best as we can tell of Franco American Macaroni and Cheese!

Your "canned food made homemade"chefwannabe


  1. I LUVED that stuff so much man!
    Also, you can along with the cheddar cheese soup, use Udon noodles. Just boil them for a few minutes to soften them, then drain, and pour in the soup. Very close to the original Franco American canned stuff. They should bring it back!

  2. I can't believe as much Asian food as we eat I didn't think of Udon......good call, we will try it! Thanks for reading!

  3. I just made it. Wonderful. It seemed to need salt. My wife added white cheddar, just a little to her bowl. It was better than salt. It added richness and saltiness. I'll check out the udon noodles but the bocatini was great.

    1. Hello! Thanks for letting me know you tried and loved it. I ALWAYS error on the side of less salt, I figure everyone can add their own and I have bad habit of using to much on the regular! HA! The bocatini are the best in my opinion, I just knew udon MIGHT work as well. Thanks for reading, I appreciate hearing feedback!

    2. This stuff rocked. Thanks for this recipe.

  4. You may want to add a little flour to the cheddar cheese soup. If I recall correctly? The sauce had a pasty texture to it and clung to the pasta. It was a thick meal with very soft noodles.

    It is time for Campbell to make it once again.

    1. Hi Julie! It was perfect for us, but if you try it and add flour let me know how it goes! The pasta soaks up just enough to make it thick and creamy!! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I ended up using Macaroni noodles ( but it was too thick. While the sauce was very close, the pasta itself was too "pastie" and thick, didn't taste quite right. Still working on it myself, especially trying to find the right noodles. :)

  6. Thank you, I was just reminiscing about this. Some poor girl on Facebook thought the idea of canned macaroni and cheese was "ewww", but ohhh my sister and i LOVED that stuff growing up. I'm gonna have to try this recipe.

  7. Oh my goodness, I have trying to remember the name of this macaroni and cheese. My son's 30th birthday is coming up and I wanted to make some for him. I have been googling canned mac and cheese and finally found you. Will definetly try this. Thanks for a few laughs.

  8. What brand of cheddar cheese soup?

  9. Made this for me and my kids today...Bingo! No doubt about it, this IS it! I boiled the bucatini a bit longer as suggested but they were still near the "al dente" side, so I think next time, I will let them cool off in the pasta water, add a touch of Sea Salt and then drain, mix with the sauce and let it simmer til sauce sticks to the noodles. The taste is SPOT on! I thank you and my 30 yr old son, 25 yr old son, and my 21 yr old daughter thanks you! Love it!

    1. Awesome!!! So glad you all loved it!!! Thanks for taking time to let me know! WOOOHOO!

  10. Made it tonight for my kids. I was telling them about the Franco American stuff. Didn't think this recipe tasted like it, no offense. The sauce as I remember it had a different taste and was white, not yellow. The boccatini was close but not quite big enough. I realize now that I'm in my 30's that I spend a lot of time trying to recreate my childhood, lol. Wonder if my kids will do the same some day.

  11. We need to campaign to Campbells to return this item to store shelves. It is the only way to get it right. This is why we need to enforce monopoly law. I am tired of company's merging and eliminating product afterwards. Happened to Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Franco American, and a slew of others. Once a food is a hit. Leave it alone!!!!