How To Make The Best Baked Macaroni And Cheese:
This recipe is the best because its SO easy to make. No fussing with making a roux or a cheese sauce.
Here are the simple steps:
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.
What Is The Best Mac And Cheese Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion for 2 minutes. Meanwhile,bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutesor until al dente drain. To the milk mixture add the Cheddar and American cheeses stir until cheese melts.
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Whats The Best Kind Of Cheese For Mac And Cheese
My favorite blend of cheese for baked macaroni and cheese is extra sharp cheddar and Gruyere , but you can try it with other two other types of smooth melting cheese such as:
- Monterey jack
- White cheddar
Then keep in mind some of those cheeses are more mild then others like mozzarella for instance in which youd want to add some bold parmesan or romano cheese. You can also just use all sharp cheddar here.
Also keep in mind not all cheeses are created equal. Ive listed the brands of cheese I like to use here. Cracker Barrel cheddar melts smoothly and has a great flavor, and I like that Murrays Gruyere has a stronger flavor than some other brands.
What Can I Do With Sloppy Joe Meat
Number one, slap some on a toasted bun!! After that, here are some of my favorite things to do:
- Spoon some over some crispy waffle fries. Bonus points if you also melt some cheese over the fries before adding the sloppy joe meat!
- Add some to a grilled cheese.
- Roll up in crescent roll dough and bake at 375 F degrees for about 12-15 minutes. Cheese makes a great addition to these as well!
- Add some on top of a burger.
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Make The Cheese Sharp White Cheddar
If you’re looking for the smoothest, creamiest cheese sauce for the best macaroni and cheese ever, you’ll want to use sharp white cheddar. This cheese, according to , makes for the most luxurious sauce. Other kinds of cheeses can get gritty, stringy, or otherwise unappetizing, but not sharp white cheddar that one stuns every time. Plus, the flavor is the perfect compliment to your otherwise rich, fatty dish. The sharpness of the cheese will cut through the butter and cream flavors to round things out.
Find Tons Of Other Dreamy Cheesy Meals In Ree’s Bestselling Cookbooks
And stir together until its all melted. Go ahead and turn off the heat.
Now its time for seasoning! Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt If youre sensitive to salt, start really low and work your way upand remember that the cheese imparts quite a bit of salt to the mix.
BUTand this is importantbe careful not to UNDERSALT the mac & cheese. It really needs ample salt to put the flavor over the top.
*I also use paprika, cayenne pepper, even ground thyme every now and then. Play with different ground spices and see what you like best.
And finally, add plenty of black pepper, of the Black Dust variety. Honestly, I love freshly ground pepperbut not in homemade Mac & Cheese. For me, it has to be the powdery stuff.
Now THATs what Im talkin about.
And guess what? You can just steam some fresh broccoli and spoon some of this over the top. Kids from all over the land will show up at your doorstep.
Did you know a single serving of broccoli is positively loaded with Vitamin C?
Now just dump in the drained, not-fully-cooked macaroni!
And stir the mixture together.
I use a little less than the full amount of cooked macaroni, because I love it extra creamy and coated. Just add it according to how you like it.
Now, you can either dish it up as it is right now, which makes for an ultra-creamy love fest
OR you can pour the macaroni into a buttered baking dish. This is a 2-quart dish, but a 9 x 13 pan would work just fine.
Kinda like this.
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What Are The Best Cheeses For Baked Mac And Cheese
As I mentioned above, the secret to creamy baked mac and cheese is Velveeta cheese! This American cheese just melts smoother than other cheeses and gives the sauce that creamy mouthfeel that weâre all looking for. Iâve found that an equal ratio of cheddar cheese and Velveeta cheese yields the best of both worlds â a smooth, creamy mac and cheese with plenty of rich, sharp cheddar flavor.
If you like a combination of other cheeses, you can feel free to replace some of the cheddar with other good melting cheeses. Try Gruyere, Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack, gouda, smoked gouda, Swiss or mozzarella. The options are endless, so pick your favorites!
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Cooking Tips For Crock Pot Mac And Cheese
Ive tested this recipe more times than Id like to admit, and through all those trials and errors, Ive come up with a few helpful tips.
- Spray the crockpot. I know it might sound weird, but it really helps keep the pasta from sticking too much to the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Use the right liquids. For most of my attempts, I was using regular, whole milk, and every time it would thicken way too much and sort of seize up on me. Ive found that a mixture of chicken broth, evaporated milk, with a little heavy cream for richness, yields the best creamy sauce.
- Grate your own cheeses. I know I know. Its SO tempting to open a bag of pre-shredded cheese from the store and Ive done it on occasion. But most commercial pre-shredded cheeses are coated in cellulose, which essentially keeps the cheese from all clumping together in the bag. Ever noticed how bags of pre-shredded cheese that are coming up on their expiration date usually have clumps of cheese stuck together inside? Its because the cellulose is just about gone from the cheese. That coating prevents the cheese from truly melting down into a gloriously gooey cheese sauce, and can leave your sauce a bit on the gritty side.
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Give Cottage Cheese A Try
When you’re considering which cheeses to use for your extra creamy mac and cheese, you might want to consider adding in some cottage cheese. It’ll make the sauce extra creamy and extra cheesy without complicating the overall flavor profile too much. Again, you’ll want some with a tiny bit of fat if possible for the creamiest, richest sauce, but if you can’t swing cottage cheese with fat, the fat-free kind will work as well.
How To Make A Bread Crumb Topping
Combine the following and sprinkle over your casserole before baking.
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon parsley
This recipe makes an extra saucy creamy macaroni. Do not over-bake this recipe. You want it creamy and rich, over-baking will cause it to dry out.
I find that 20 minutes was perfect in my oven note that the recipe will thicken slightly while standing.
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Stovetop Mac And Cheese Option
I love the golden brown edges and top that baking the macaroni and cheese creates, but you dont need to bake it if you dont want to. For a stovetop mac and cheese, simply add the pasta to the cheese sauce and then let it sit, covered for a few minutes. This time gives the pasta a chance to absorb some of the sauce. You can also take a look at this easy macaroni and cheese recipe made on the stovetop.
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.
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Stovetop Mac And Cheese
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This truly is the BEST stovetop mac and cheese recipe! It only requires one pot , its ready to go in about 20 minutes from start to finish, and its perfectly creamy and cheesy and delicious.
This weekend, Barclay and I went to a food festival here in Barcelona that was fabulously, deliciously,entirely devoted to CHEESE.
And it was just about the best thing ever.
Literally everywhere you turned, ooey gooey cheesy dishes were being served. And youd better believe we took full advantage of them. From freshly-scraped raclette toasts, to the most amazing Korean-inspired mushroom grilled cheese sandwiches, to Spanish onion and smoked cheese soup, to vegan Mexican cheesy quesadillas, to the best ricotta Ive ever sampled, to the most dreamy Italian gyoza-ish dumplings filled with potato and cheese and served in a pecorino-sage saucethe day was all of our cheesiest dreams come true. And we left feeling so happy. And soooo full, ha.
That said, there was one dish notably missing at the festival. But, it just so happens that Ive been on a mission this month to nail down my all-time favorite recipe for it. So yesterday, we decided to round out our cheesy weekend by taste-testing a final version of this recipe. And ohhh guys, I think weve got it. Im humbly calling it
The Best Stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe. Ever.
Recipe Notes And Tips
- People swear by Velveeta in this recipe, do not use a substitute. Miss Robie herself uses only Velveeta.
- While pre-packaged shredded cheese works fine, grating your own is the better option. It just melts better.
- Its going to be oily on top after baking, thats how it is with real cheeses and butter. If you think its excessive, blot some up with a paper towel while it rests. I do sometimes.
- Reheats are great, just pop in the microwave.
- This is filling and hearty enough to serve as the main dish but most often it is a side dish. Its unbelievably good alongside collard greens and fried chicken!
Delicious soulful macaroni and cheese, doesnt get any better than this. A real treat and labor of love for Sunday supper and the holiday table. Trust me on this one! Kelly
Try these collard greensin the Instant Pot for some more traditional soul food.
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What Cheese Is Best For Mac And Cheese
Sharp Cheddar is my first choice for flavor however you can certainly use your favorite cheeses. Mix it up and use a bit of gruyere, or even pepperjack for a little kick. If you have bits of cheese leftover, you can combine them all together in this easy homemade mac and cheese sauce.
Now, this recipe has a special ingredient that is a little bit unconventional but makes it extra yummy AND it is optional. The addition of cheddar soup makes the sauce a little bit extra velvety and just adds a little something.
I think its much better than Mac and cheese with Velveeta! The addition of the cheddar cheese soup to this recipe is something you definitely should try! .
Cheese Tip: Buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses dont melt the same way as they have additives to keep them from clumping/sticking.
Making Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is not difficult but below are a few simple tips to make sure it turns out absolutely perfectly every single time!
Instant Pot Mac And Cheese
The Chunky Chef03/23/2020
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is ultra creamy and rich with a velvety smooth sauce! Ready in about 20 minutes, its always a family favorite. Perfectly cooked, every time, and no need to babysit the pasta, or even drain it! Made with no canned milk and no Velveeta.
This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the perfect comfort food! Recipes like my Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa and Instant Pot Sausage Tortellini Soup are great for when you want an ultra-comforting family meal thats ready incredibly fast. This is one of my Pressure Cooker recipes youll definitely want in your recipe box!
INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE
Youve been asking for it, and Ive been working on it this is the Instant Pot Mac and Cheese that will make your mouth completely water, and have you reaching for seconds.
The lusciously creamy cheese sauce, enveloping every noodle so full of flavor, yet so simply made.
This mac and cheese is just as easy as making that macaroni in the blue box but is SO much better for you. No preservatives and other hard to pronounce ingredients. Just pure cheesy goodness!
When I was developing this recipe, I used cheeses that I found melted really well, and gave a good classic mac and cheese flavor, however, Ill also be detailing different cheeses you can use if you prefer another mixture.
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Making Instant Pot Mac And Cheese Ahead Of Time
Some recipes are great, and even better, when made ahead but mac and cheese just isnt one of them.
As the pasta sits, it absorbs more and more of the sauce, making the mac and cheese dry, and the noodles mushy.
In my opinion, this is a recipe that just tastes the best when made right before you eat it.
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.
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How To Make Instant Pot Mac And Cheese