Faqs About Homemade Mac And Cheese
This mac and cheese recipe is one of my most popular, so here are some of the commonly asked questions.
How do you store mac and cheese?
Store the leftovers of this homemade mac and cheese recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Since it thickens as it cools, you may need to add 1-2 TBS of milk when it’s reheated it to restore its original creaminess.
Can homemade mac and cheese be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze this homemade mac and cheese, however I don’t recommend it. Since this mac and cheese recipe is so easy to make, there’s really no need to freeze it. If you’re looking for a freezer-friendly mac and cheese recipe check out my baked mac and cheese!
What main dish goes well with mac and cheese?
If you’re looking to serve this mac and cheese recipe as a side dish instead of the main event, here are some suggestions for other dishes that pair well with it: meatloaf
What Can I Add To Stove Top Mac And Cheese
Of course, theres still plenty of room for customization here. Thats the fun part!
- Try pepper jack or chipotle cheese to make a spicy mac.
- Substitute mozzarella for Monterey Jack for a milder flavor
- Top with breadcrumbs and bake to make this Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese with Panko Crumb Topping.
- Try adding shrimp and scallops for a fancy pants Seafood Mac and Cheese.
The possibilities are endless, so if youre looking for an awesome base recipe that you can make for any occasion, this is the one!
Choose Your Cheeses Thoughtfully
You might think you can just throw whatever cheeses you happen to have in the fridge into your mac and cheese, and, to a certain extent that’s true. But if you’re looking to make the creamiest mac and cheese you possibly can, you’ll want to be a little more discerning. A cheese like Parmesan, for instance, isn’t going to melt super well, meaning it’s better for a topper than for your creamy cheese sauce. Cheddar and similar cheeses that melt well will make your sauce the creamiest it can be.
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Variations Of Mac And Cheese
- Bacon if you love bacon, feel free to add some crispy, crumbled bacon to the topping, or even inside the mac and cheese as well!
- Stovetop if youd prefer not to bake this mac and cheese, you dont have to! Make sure you boil your pasta until al dente , and youll only need about 3 3 1/2 cups of cheese total. No need to layer the pasta and cheese, just add all the cheese to the sauce, then combine with the pasta.
- Different Toppings Im a huge fan of the cheese layer on top, since it gets nice and crispy, but we also love tossing 1 cup of panko with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and using that as a topping. 1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers with 2 Tbsp of butter work amazingly well too!
- Different Baking Times the recipe calls for a lower baking temperature and time, but most of the time I find myself adjusting that based on my familys tastes. I like to bake this mac and cheese at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to get that glorious cheesy crust.
Easy Stovetop Mac And Cheese
This Mac and Cheese is easy to make on the stovetop and its ready in just 15 minutes. Skip the box and make the good stuff!
This Mac and Cheese is easy to make on the stovetop and its ready in just 15 minutes. Skip the box and make the good stuff!
Its easy to make your own delicious mac and cheese at home in under 15 minutes. Boil your pasta in one pot and in another make a simple cheese sauce. The sauce starts with a traditional roux . Salt, white pepper, onion powder, and ground mustard are whisked in to add flavor. Milk is then poured in and as it comes to a simmer the roux slowly mixes in. The roux acts as a thickening agent and just as small bubbles appear for the simmer, your mixture should already be thickened. The heat is turned off, shredded cheese is stirred until melted, and then all that is left to do is stir in the drained al dente pasta from your other pot. Youll never use a boxed mix again!
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Your Family Will Go Crazy For This Baked Macaroni And Cheese Recipe Sinfully Creamy & Gooey With A 3
Today Im here for you, with another classic comfort food dish: macaroni and cheese!
You probably remember from my last chocolate pound cake post how all I want to do lately is make comfort food. Life is really hard right now! And nothing makes you feel like everything is going to be ok quite like fat and carbs.
Whenever I really want a treat, I allow myself to indulge in one of my favorites, like chocolate chip cookies, or soft, yeasty bread slathered with butter, or homemade cinnamon rolls with gooey cream cheese frosting on top.
It makes me feel so much better!
Macaroni and cheese is right up there too. It so cheesy and savory and ooey-gooey good!
This is my go-to recipe and Im so happy to be sharing it with you. You are going to love how rich and creamy it is, and the seasonings are absolutely incredible. I use a blend of cheeses that creates the perfect balance of savory, funky, milky, and tangy, and you can make this on the stovetop OR bake it in the oven, for a main course or side dish that will make you feel all the warm fuzzies.
Read on, for everything you ever wanted to know about the best ever mac n cheese recipe!
Creamiest Baked Mac & Cheese
Theres a few ways to make this better-than-average baked mac and cheese recipe. The first is undercooking the pasta so its slightly more al dente once you add the hot, creamy cheese sauce, the pasta will absorb the heat and continue to cook. Second is using way more cheese sauce than you think you need in order to prevent the cooked macaroni from drying out. And third, a combination of oven baking and broiling will result in a bubbling hot pasta dish with a crispy, crunchy topping.
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Why This Mac And Cheese Sauce
Out of all the recipes on the internet, why choose this cheese sauce for mac and cheese?
- 7 simple ingredients
Technically the hot sauce is optional, but I promise it makes this cheese sauce SO GOOD. A little vinegar really does bring out the flavor of the cheese sauce.
How Do You Keep A Cream Sauce From Separating When Reheating
Too much heat is the enemy of creamy sauces
Too much heat and the sauce will split, so the trick is to go low and slow. Heat the pasta slowly with as little heat as you can get away with, this should minimize the risk of the sauce splitting. You never want the sauce to boil, or even get close to boiling.
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Can You Make Macaroni And Cheese In The Slow Cooker
Mac and cheese is also one of the easiest dishes to make, but when you hear slow cooker, your first thought might be that it would take all day.
Not so! Slow cookers are a great way to make macaroni and cheese. You can have mac and cheese ready in less than an hour if you use the right ingredients and follow these simple instructions.
The best part about this recipe is that it requires only one pot. There is no need for multiple dishes and pots just your slow cooker !
For baked mac and cheese, the extra baking step is necessary to achieve that golden bubbly texture!
How To Reheat Mac And Cheese
1. First, grab a microwave-safe bowl. Put however much mac and cheese you plan on eating into the bowl. Remember, mac and cheese gets less and less appetizing the more you reheat it, so only take out what youre going to use.
2. Add milk. The biggest secret to reviving leftover mac and cheese is to add a little bit of milk when you reheat it. Start by adding just one tablespoon of milk per cup of noodles. The amount of milk needed to make it the creamiest leftover mac and cheese youve ever eaten will solely depend on how much youre planning to eat, but the idea stays the same. Dont worry if it looks a little funky at first, as it takes the milk a second to work its magic. If youd like to add more texture and flavor to the dish, just substitute half-and-half or cream.
3. Cover with plastic wrap. Once youve added your milk, cover your leftover mac-and-cheese masterpiece with plastic wrap, leaving one corner slightly open to release steam. If you feel weird or uncomfortable about putting plastic wrap in the microwave, an inverted plate will also work.
4. Heat it up slowly! Heating your dish up too quickly will result in an oily pile of cheese and noodles. If youre heating up a single serving, set the timer for one minute. Once that minute is up, take it out and stir your mac and cheese. Then, put it back in the microwave and continue to heat it in 30- to 60-second intervals until its temperature is to your liking.
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Best Cheese For Mac And Cheese
A combination of Gruyere and mozzarella cheese. Gruyerefor the most superior flavour with the best melting qualities for creamy sauces such as this theres no contention in my view. And mozzarella for stretch nothing does the cheese pull like a good mozzarella!
But honestly, any cheese that melts well works is excellent with Mac and Cheese, such as cheddar, tasty, Colby, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Emmental.
Why Does My Cheddar Cheese Not Melt
As a cheese gets older, the protein strands start to break down, which makes it less likely to stretch. An aged cheddar cheese still has the same pH level and comparable levels of fat and moisturebut the protein strands have broken down. So when you heat it, the aged cheddar cheese will still melt.
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Cooking Tips For Baked Mac And Cheese
- Boiling the pasta cook the pasta less than you normally would. I like to boil my elbow pasta for between 4 and 5 minutes. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, and you dont want it to get mushy.
- Use room temp liquids if you can cold liquids generally take longer to thicken than warmer ones. I usually set my milk and half and half out while the water for the pasta is coming up to a boil.
- The cheeses use your favorites! Our personal favorites are the cheddar and gruyere used in this recipe, but you can be very creative with the cheese selection here. Mozzarella, gouda, smoked gouda, swiss, monterey jack, colby jack, colby. There are plenty of reader comments down below the recipe that talk about the cheeses they used!
- Shred your own I know its a pain, and its SO tempting to use the pre-shredded cheese in the bags. But those bags of cheese contain a starchy substance that keeps the cheese from clumping which also prohibits it from melting as well as it should.
Black Folks Baked Mac And Cheese Cooking Tips
Its time for some cooking tips!
Southern baked mac and cheese is a classic dish that everyone loves. However, it can sometimes be challenging to know how to make the perfect version of this timeless favorite, so Im here with some cooking tips for baked mac and cheese, so you never have to worry about making a bad batch again!
- Start with a good quality macaroni. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the water to keep noodles from sticking.
- Make sure youre using a baking dish thats not too deep. An 8-inch baking pan or 8-inch cast iron skillet are perfect for this oven recipe!
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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.
Kraft Macaroni And Cheese In The Instant Pot
So, making my mac and cheese was super easy. This is truly a five ingredient Instant Pot Mac and cheese Recipe.
I simply dumped the water in the pot, added 4 Tablespoons of butter, and dumped in the mac and cheese. Do not stir the pasta in, it is better if it isnt all sitting on the bottom of the pot. Sure most of it will be, but stirring almost assures that all of it is there with the potential to stick.
Pressure cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes and give a three minute natural release, then quick release. Do not be shocked if it looks like it has too much liquid as seen in the above photo. Go ahead and stir in 1/4 cup of milk and the contents of the Kraft cheese packet. Mix well and let it still on keep warm for a minute or two and it will thicken up.
Note: previously this recipe used 1/2 cup milk, but changed to 1/4 to match the current box instructions. I tested it with 1/4 cup and all was good!
So there you go! Super easy Instant Pot Kraft macaroni and cheese!
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How Do You Make Cheese Sauce Stay Melted
Do add acid. When making fondues, sauces, and soups, adding white wine or lemon juice helps keep cheeses melted and smooth. The added acid in these ingredients binds to the calcium in the melted cheese, preventing it from cross-linking with the proteins and keeping them separate instead of clumped together.
Creamy Mac And Cheese Recipe
July 23, 2021 by CourtneyThis content contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
After years of searching, I finally found the best creamy mac and cheese recipe around. Super cheddary, rich, and easily made on the stove top in under 30 minutes This is going to be making many more appearances on our family table.
Note: This recipe was updated in 2021 with new photos, tips, and a recipe thats EVEN MORE CREAMY. However, if you made and loved the original, weve still included it as well!
If youve got a pulse, I assume you love creamy mac and cheese. The question of Why we love it is a real nature vs nurture debate.
The Nature side says that all people are born with an instinctual drive to consume melted cheese, the highest form being Creamy Homemade Mac and Cheese.
While the Nurture side would argue that this love addiction is likely inherited from our parents pushing boxed mac and cheese on us like street peddlers from the time that we could hold a fork. To their credit, we loved every bite.
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Instructions For How To Make Lobster Mac And Cheese
Makes about 6-8 portions