How Long To Bake Mac And Cheese
There is only one rule that you need to remember when baking mac and cheese: dont bake it too long otherwise youll bake away the sauce leaving you with a dry mixture.
Baking it at around 20 minutes at 375 degrees F guarantees you that same stretchy cheesy baked mac and cheese with all the heart-melting sauce. Or you can also bake it at 30 minutes at 350 F
Although weve tried a couple of Mac and Cheese recipes, nothing compares to this one which has a smooth silky sauce that permeates every inch of elbow macaroni there is.
Youd fall head over heels with the brimming Southern flavors of what this baked mac and cheese has to offer. Its got a note of heat and smokiness. Youd need a bigger a spoon, for sure!
This would be delightful at any time. Oh, especially during these cold winter months. So dont wait for special occasions to whip up a pan of this.
Heck, you could even make this on the daily. You can also explore different southern comfort food ideas to prepare every day! Go ahead, take a bite, nobodys looking.
Tips For The Best Homemade Baked Mac And Cheese
- Use block cheese and shred, do not buy the pre-shredded cheese. The pre-shredded cheese is great for so many things but not macaroni and cheese. Its coated and wont melt properly. You need to shred it yourself for the best result.
- Cook your pasta to slightly less than al dente, about one minute shy is perfect. The reason is that this is baked mac and cheese so the pasta will continue to cook in the homemade cheese sauce in the oven. You dont want soggy macaroni.
- I used elbow pasta but really, any tubular past will work.
- This mac and cheese recipe starts with a roux. The roux is super important to getting the creamiest cheese sauce of your life. Here is what you need to look for:
- The roux is whisked together until bubbly and golden.
- Whisk in cold milk not warm to prevent the flour from clumping.
- Cook the roux until you see bubbles on the surface and then continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes before adding the cheese.
Storing Crock Pot Mac And Cheese
The leftovers from this mac and cheese recipe need to be refrigerated. Let the leftovers cool completely, cover, then refrigerate for up to 3 days. For optimal texture, add enough milk to thin the sauce before packing up the leftovers, that way you can easily scoop out a portion to reheat, and the milk will meld into the cream sauce as it reheats.
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To Bake Or Not To Bake:
You dont have to bake the mac and cheese in this recipe. Everything gets fully cooked and is essentially ready to eat after the cheese and noodles are added. However, I love the extra gooeyness that comes when the cheese is baked and I think baking it adds a level of sophistication you just dont get without.
Freezing Mac And Cheese
There are two ways of freezing mac and cheese. You can either freeze it after it’s baked or you can prepare your mac and cheese, but freeze it before baking. If you freeze it before baking, it tends to come out creamier and less grainy when it’s time to cook it because it hasn’t been heated up twice. Either way, the process for freezing your mac and cheese is almost identical.
Prepare your recipe according to the recipe’s instructions and transfer your macaroni and cheese to a freezer-safe glass dish. If you want to bake your macaroni and cheese before freezing, cook it now per the instructions, but shave a few minutes off. According to the University of Georgia Extension, foods that you’re planning to reheat should be slightly undercook before freezing.
Once your mac and cheese is done cooking, allow it to cool completely and then cover it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. If you’re freezing the macaroni and cheese before baking, skip that part and cover with plastic wrap right after transferring the mac and cheese to your dish. Transfer your dish to the freezer and freeze. According to PBS, you can keep frozen macaroni and cheese for up to three months.
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How To Make Mac And Cheese:
This might take a little longer than boxed mac n cheese, but let me tell ya, the extra time and effort is SO worth it. Plus, most of the ingredients you need are ones you already have on hand, and the steps are simple.
PASTA. Begin by cooking pasta according to package directions, and set aside.
SAUCE. In a large saucepan, melt ½ c. butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking until smooth. Heat the mixture to a low boil until thickened. Remove from heat.
ASSEMBLE. Add the hot pasta to a greased 9×13 baking dish. Then, sprinkle 6 cups shredded cheese over the pasta . Pour the thickened cream sauce over the pasta and cheese. Let it sit until the cheese has melted and then stir together.
TOP & BAKE. Melt 2 TB butter over medium heat. Add in bread crumbs, stirring constantly until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Pour over the mac and cheese. Bake at 325° for 14-15 minutes. Serve warm, and ENJOY!
CROCK POT VERSION
To make Mac n Cheese an even easier dish you can make it in a crock pot. Pour your pasta in first cover them with your sauces and cheese. Cook on Low for 2-3 hours. For our favorite crock pot mac and cheese .
How To Make Macaroni And Cheese
Learn how to make delicious homemade macaroni and cheese using our fool-proof ingredient ratio and easy step-by-step instructions.
Macaroni and cheese is quintessential comfort food, but if youve only ever had the blue box variety, youre really missing out! Whether stovetop or baked, weve got the formula for getting creamy, delicious results every time.
Read on for tips on choosing the right pasta and cheeses, and get our step-by-step instructions for making the perfect mac and cheese sauce.
In This Post:
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Making Mac And Cheese Ahead Of Time
- Make as directed , transfer to baking dish and cool completely. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate 1-2 days ahead.
- Before baking, let dish sit on counter for 30 minutes.
- Bake at recipe temperature for 25-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
As a caveat, this recipe, as with most mac and cheese recipes, loses some of its creaminess when made ahead. This dish has been tested when made right away, which yields the best results.
I would increase the amount of sauce slightly if you need to make this recipe ahead of time.
How To Make Baked Mac And Cheese
Its a straightforward recipe, starting with a basic butter-flour roux that is used to thicken milk to make the cheese sauce. For first timers, I think the short video below will help give you the confidence that youve got this!
The simple trick to avoid lumps in the Mac and Cheese Sauce is to pour the milk in slowly while constantly stirring, then just switch to a whisk if needed to remove any stubborn lumps!
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Tips To Make Homemade Mac And Cheese
- Cook your pasta al dente as the noodles cook extra in the sauce and you dont want them mushy.
- Dont forget to salt your pasta water.
- While not everyone agrees with rinsing the pasta after cooking, in this particular recipe it stops the noodles from cooking and the sauce is created with a texture that pairs perfectly with the rinsed noodles.
- A sharper cheddar cheese will add a stronger cheese flavor.
- Pre-shredded cheeses contain additives to keep it from sticking together which affects the way it melts. The sauce is best if you shred your own cheeses.
- Allowing the baked macaroni and cheese to rest for a few minutes after baking will thicken the sauce.
- Most importantly of allDo not over bake this recipe.
When cooking your macaroni noodles, cook them according to the package directions but you want them to be still firm. If your package says 6-8 minutes, just cook them 6 you get the idea. I choose not to top this baked macaroni casserole with a bread crumb mixture but if you really like bread crumbs on your macaroni and cheese, by all means, add some!
Gather & Measure The Ingredients
This easy mac and cheese recipe is super fast-paced once you start cooking, so its important to have all the ingredients measured and ready to go! As you can see there are only eight, common ingredients in this recipe that most of us have on hand at all times! We will discuss the ingredients and possible substitutions later in this post .
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Baked Macaroni And Cheese
Baked macaroni and cheese doesnt have to be complicated with layers of ingredients to be the soul-warming food you crave. This homemade baked macaroni and cheese is my most favorite and has pleased crowds, small families, kids and picky eaters alikegive it a try and youll see why.
Sometimes you buy that glowing yellow macaroni in the box. Your kids like it, but it glows like the kryptonite they used in the old Christoper Reeve Superman movies.
Thats not normal people.
And I hate to break it to you, but theres nothing real in that box either.
I hate feeding it to my kids and I dare say that you hate it too. But I can also guess you dont know many other alternatives. Sure, you can get a box of Velveeta and melt that over some noodles. That works too, but that stuff doesnt even need to be refrigerated. Its mystery cheese.
So if youre looking for the real deal, the old school baked macaroni and cheese the way your grandma might have made itthis is it.
And just so you know, aside from the baking, this easy macaroni and cheese took 15 minutes and only two pans to make. One for boiling the pasta and a good enameled cast iron pan for the sauce and the baking cuts down on dishes. So yes, even you can make this on a week night.
Tips To Make The Best Baked Mac And Cheese
To make the best and easy baked mac and cheese without roux or extra flour, make sure to use the best quality macaroni pasta shells .
I recommend using the regular kind of pasta shells for this for the best results.
I am not sure if gluten free pasta or any other kind of pasta like whole wheat pasta or chickpea pasta will work for this recipe since I havent tried them myself.
Sof if you are not on a specific diet, stick with regular macaroni pasta shells for this baked mac and cheese recipe.
The kind of cheese that you use for this baked mac and cheese recipe is very important as it decides the flavor and cheesy texture of the baked mac and cheese.
Make sure to use the recommended amount of cheese for the recipe, or it may not turn out good.
The cheese in the dish helps the pasta to thicken so if you use less cheese, it may end up with a lot of liquid mess. To avoid this, make sure to use the recommended amount of cheese!
Also,it is very important to use good quality cheese.
If you can, it is always best to shred the cheese yourself at home.
If you use packaged shredded cheese, make sure you are familiar with the cheese that you are using and its good for baking.
Because some of the shredded cheese comes with extra ingredients and may make the pasta dry when it cooks.
So use the cheese that you normally use for pasta dishes so you know its of good quality!
Below you can read the no boil easy baked mac and cheese recipe in detail.
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Be Careful With The Roux
Though a roux is important for thickening up your cheese sauce, you want to make sure that you dont add too much of your flour and butter mixture because otherwise the sauce can get too thick, which negatively impacts the creaminess. Too much butter and flour will make your sauce more like glue than a creamy, rich sauce.
Homemade Mac and Cheese on the Stovetop. This irresistibly cheesy macaroni recipe comes together quick and easy. Not to mention the homemade cheese sauce is thick and creamy. Use your favorite cheese to make this a dish the whole family will love!
Smooth and creamy, this Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese comes together in less than 30 minutes on the stovetop. This is the perfect family dinner! It also doubles as a side dish and pairs wonderfully with BBQ meats, like this smoked pulled pork.
Southern Baked Mac & Cheese
There are three major takeaways from Millie Peartree’s famous baked mac & cheese.
Salt and pepper, to taste
If you dont like sharp cheese please feel free to use mild or any other cheese you like
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How To Make Homemade Roux For A Creamy Sauce
To make a simple and flavorful roux, start by melting a stick of butter in a medium saucepan.
Whisk in the salt and pepper. A very important step is to continue stirring for a good 2-3 minutes until roux turns a bit darker in color. It becomes richer and even more fabulous.
Slowly whisk in the milk until mixture is thick and creamy. This step will take a couple minutes over medium heat.
Stir in cheese until creamy and cheese is melted through. I prefer a finely shredded mild cheddar. It melts quickly and has a perfect cheddar flavor.
How To Thicken Mac And Cheese
Usually, mac and cheese come with tomato sauce and bacon, which gives the dish a smoky and salty flavor. However, sometimes you are looking to make your mac and cheese more creamy to get that gravy-like texture.
Its not very difficult to accomplish this and its also not very time-consuming. The question then arises: how do you thicken mac and cheese?
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Is Baked Mac And Cheese Better Than Stovetop
Although stovetop mac and cheese cooks faster, baked mac and cheese has an unrivaled and addictive cheesy and crispy topping.
Proving that faster isnt always better!
Baked macaroni and cheese is a Southern family favorite because its hearty, easy to make, and kids love it! Its delicious as soon as it comes out of the oven.
This recipe for oven-baked mac and cheese will have you coming back for seconds and thirds!
Its the perfect recipe to try at home when youre feeling bored with your usual pasta dinner routine or youre ready for a soul food take on an old classic!
How Do You Make Southern Baked Mac And Cheese The Black Way
When I think of a traditional Southern soul food meal, baked mac and cheese is one of the first things that come to mind. A delicious combo of two perfect comfort foods- macaroni and cheese can be found all over the Southern states.
Southern baked mac and cheese the Black way is still boiled in milk and then baked. But nowadays, this iconic recipe includes additional ingredients with the traditional elbow noodles, butter, and milk.
Southern mac and cheese, which originated in my home state of Virginia, is a popular recipe passed along from chefs like Hemings in the 1700s.
Its legacy continues as its passed from African-American generation to generation and handed down from chef to chef through today.
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How To Make Crock Pot Mac And Cheese
- Add pasta and liquids to the slow cooker. Sprinkle in seasonings and stir.
- Cover and cook 1 hour. Stir. Cover and cook another 10 minutes.
- Stir in cream cheese and grated cheese. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Stir and serve.
How easy is that?! No fancy cream sauce to make just hands-off cook time so you can go relax!
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Homemade Mac and Cheese is a rich, creamy casserole that is truly a show stopper! Not only is this creamy macaroni and cheese recipe easy to make it, has a special ingredient making it extra delicious!
This dish has so much velvety cheese in a quick homemade sauce that, once you try it, this is going to be the only baked macaroni & cheese dish youll ever need!
Hello, my name is Holly and I am addicted to Macaroni and Cheese. It doesnt even have to be fancy, I love crock pot mac & cheese, stove top mac and cheese, baked mac and cheese or even out of a little blue box.
Of all of the mac and cheese recipes, *this* little gem right here is the best mac and cheese recipe ever and always gets rave reviews!