This dish is delish -- and nothing like the stuff in the box. Easy creamy cheese sauce binds macaroni noodles, and it's all topped with buttered breadcrumbs and baked until it's bubbly. (recipe doubles easily)MORE+LESS-
teaspoon white pepper
cups sharp cheddar, finely shredded
tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375° F. Cover bottom and sides of 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
In large pan, cook macaroni as directed. Drain and set aside.
In saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp butter, and blend in flour and seasonings. Bring to a boil (it will be dry). Add milk and cook until sauce is smooth and thickened, stirring constantly. Add the cheese, stirring until smooth.
In large bowl, combine cheese sauce and cooked macaroni, mixing gently to coat noodles. Place mixture into casserole dish.
Mix melted 2 Tbsp of butter and 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs until well combined. Sprinkle over top of noodles. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until sauce is bubbly.
- Add chicken, ham or Italian sausage if desired. Add a dash or two of red pepper sauce, or 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, for a bit more of a kick.
Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
4 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 3 1/2 High-Fat Meat; 4 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
7 Yummy & Clever Mac and Cheese Add-Ins
If your kids are anything like ours, they'd probably eat boxed mac and cheese at every. single. meal. That can get old pretty fast! Here's what to add to mac and cheese to take it to the next level. Ready to think outside the box?
We love us some mac and cheese around here! Especially homemade macaroni and cheese. Sometimes, though, it's just so much dang easier to reach for the boxed stuff.
*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
Whether you've got a pantry full of boxed macaroni and cheese, or kids who refuse the homemade stuff (hey, it happens), we'll show you how to make some magic. These macaroni and cheese add-ins are certified crowd-pleasers!
How do I make my mac & cheese recipes not watery?
Use either cornstarch or flour to fix a runny mac and cheese as they can help thicken a liquid. Mix a tablespoon of either of the two in a separate bowl with 2 tablespoons of cheese sauce. Continue mixing until it becomes smooth.
When the desired mixture is achieved, add and combine it with the milky cheese sauce. Keep stirring until you get the desired thickness.
You can learn how to make a simple roux here as well. It&rsquos the base of all mac and cheese and a great skill to have in the kitchen.
- 1 (8 ounce) box elbow macaroni
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour milk into butter-flour mixture while continuously stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Add Cheddar cheese to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.
Fold macaroni into cheese sauce until coated.
You can never have enough cheese, and I usually add an extra half cup without ruining the recipe. Keep a careful eye on the milk when boiling, as milk boils fast and burns easily. Burnt milk will show up in the recipes flavor if overcooked.
A Little Back Story
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson, purportedly a great lover of both cheese and Italian food, served his baked macaroni and cheese at dinner parties all the time?
During the age of European colonization, seafaring men would transport dried macarone -- one of the few staples that could survive a year aboard ship -- from Italy to Britain and to the American colonies.
American colonists did not have the selection of fresh produce and other ingredients that the Italians had their meals were improvised from a larder of fresh or sour milk, stale bread, and pork drippings. So the imported pasta would often be served with a simple white sauce -- milk thickened with flour and butter. Sometimes, it was baked in a casserole with buttered breadcrumbs on top. A recipe for a casserole of macaroni, white sauce, and grated yellow cheese was first recorded in the "Boston Cooking School Cookbook" in 1896.
Kraft introduced its macaroni-and-cheese dinner in 1937 as a way to market processed American cheese and Tenderoni macaroni. It swept the nation. Recipes for homemade macaroni and cheese began to appear frequently in cookbooks.
Nowadays, making delicious homemade macaroni and cheese has become a mission for some people: They are always trying to make it more comforting, cheesier. It&aposs a completely worthwhile way to spend your time.
Baked Mac and Cheese
We did it. We finally moved to the Midwest after 20 years of living in California.
It almost feels a bit surreal as we cope with the 22 degree weather. I mean, it was 65 degrees when we left LA!
But honestly, it feels like home. Except home is filled with 17 unopened boxes filled with my kitchen stuff.
So I need to unpack as fast as possible so I can never leave my Chicago house and instead, nest inside with my new electric blanket and the coziest homemade mac and cheese ever.
This is your classic mac and cheese – there are no surprises here and there’s no fuss at all. It’s simple, it’s quick, and it’s completely made from scratch.
It’s perfectly cheesy without being too gummy, and the crunchy tops are just to die for before you get into that creamy heaven underneath.
You can of course choose to bake these in individual ramekins to avoid any kind of sharing or you can dump the entire mixture into a 2-qt baking dish.
Either works. It’s just that sharing can be a bit difficult on this one.
Yield: 5-6 servings
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
total time: 45 minutes
Everyone’s favorite classic mac and cheese! Super simple, super easy and super quick. You’ll never want the boxed stuff ever again!
- 1/2 pound elbow pasta
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk*
- 12 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, about 3 cups, divided
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions drain well.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, paprika and onion powder until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in evaporated milk until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese and Parmesan. Stir in pasta season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide pasta mixture into 5 (10-ounce) or 6 (8-ounce) ramekins or ovenproof bowls.* Place onto a baking sheet sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.
- Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
- Serve immediately, garnished with chives, if desired.
*I do not recommend substituting milk as the sauce will break in the oven, and the consistency will vary quite a bit.
*If you do not have ramekins or ovenproof bowls, this can also be baked in a 2qt baking dish.