How To Bake Mac And Cheese

Don't Miss

More About This Recipe

How To Make The Best Baked Mac And Cheese
  • When youre craving homemade mac and cheese, this southern baked version is a wonderful option. It takes just 15 minutes to prep and 45 minutes of hands-off time, which means you can do more of what you want and spend less time standing over the stove. Not a macaroni connoisseur but ready to learn all the ways to make mac and cheese? We did the heavy lifting, delving deep on the cheesy details, so you can learn all about it before you begin. Who knew there were so many ways to make it? And if this baked mac and cheese recipe isnt your style, weve got lots more mac and cheese recipes for you to search through!

Faq: Baked Mac And Cheese

What can I add to macaroni and cheese?

This recipe is great as is, but you could always add fried onions on top, mix in pulled chicken or pork, lobster, crawfish, shrimp, crab meatanything that sounds good to you!

What is the most popular cheese used in mac and cheese recipe?

Sharp cheddar cheese is best and the most popular for mac and cheese.

What can you put in macaroni and cheese instead of milk?

You can use evaporated milk, heavy cream, or half and half.

What is the best pasta for mac and cheese?

Use elbow macaroni noodles for the best results. Any noodle with grooves and ridges will also work.

How to avoid lumps in mac and cheese?

Pour the milk in slowly while whisking constantly.

You May Like: Does Babybel Cheese Melt

Some Variations Of This Recipe:

  • Add in a can of drained and rinsed diced tomatoes for a cheesy tomato mac and cheese.
  • Stir in some cooked crumbled bacon or sausage for a meaty twist on this classic dish.
  • Swap out the cheddar cheese for another type of cheese, like Gruyere, Swiss, or pepper Jack.
  • Add a layer of bread crumbs on top of the mac and cheese before baking for a crispy topping.
  • For a creamier mac and cheese, use half and half in place of the milk.
  • Stir in a couple of handfuls of spinach leaves or chopped kale for a healthy dose of greens.
  • For a spicier mac and cheese, add some diced jalapenos or red pepper flakes.
  • Try using different noodles, like shells, rotini, or penne.
  • Swap out the all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour if you need this dish to be gluten-free.

As you can see, there are endless possibilities for mac and cheese! Get creative and experiment with different ingredients to find your favorite combination.

You May Like: Roth Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

How To Measure Pasta For This Recipe

Sometimes a reader or two has had an issue with how much pasta this recipe needs. This recipe is written by volume and sometimes people think that since a cup is 8 ounces that they can simply use 12-16 ounces of pasta or go by the weight of the dry pasta written on the box.

Youll end up with problems if you do this. Please follow the volume instructions and measure your pasta dry in a measuring cup meant for dry items . Small pastas like ditalini or little wagon wheels can go up to about 2 cups and be fine in the recipe, and large ones like bow tie or cellentani can as well. If you will stick to elbow pasta until you get the hang of things youll be better off.

Ive made this recipe with every pasta shape on the market and if you will measure in cups, your recipe will be just right.

Baking Mac And Cheese Without Foil

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

If youre looking for a cheesy, comforting dish without all the fuss, this no-foil-baked mac and cheese is for you. This easy recipe comes together in just a few minutes and is baked to perfection in the oven.

Theres no need to pre-boil the noodles or make a roux for this recipe. Combine all of the ingredients in one pot and bake. The result is a rich and creamy mac and cheese that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

So, ditch the foil and give this no-foil-baked mac and cheese. You wont be disappointed!

Don’t Miss: Is The Wax On Babybel Cheese Edible

How To Make A Bread Crumb Topping

Combine the following and sprinkle over your casserole before baking.

  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 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 is perfect in my oven, the cheese sauce will thicken slightly while standing.

Also Check: Charcuterie Board Lunchable

Southern Baked Macaroni And Cheese

This extra cheesy version of mac and cheese combines three kinds of cheese sharp cheddar cheese, smoked gouda, and Parmesan. My family liked this combination of cheeses. The smoked gouda gives it a hint of smokiness that just makes it awesome! Try it and see for yourself or substitute with any kind of cheese you have on hand.

Also Check: How Long Does Babybel Cheese Last Refrigerated

What Type Of Cheese

This classic mac and cheese recipe is made with cheddar cheese. I particularly love medium or sharp cheddar cheese but any type will do. If you want a more luxurious mac and cheese or youre really trying to impress a crowd, you could use a combination of different cheeses. Just be sure to select a type of cheese that is good for melting, like white cheddar, smoked gouda, gruyere, brie, goat cheese, mozzarella, or fontina.

To Trap In The Heat And Prevent The Cheese From Cooling Down Too Quickly

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe | How to Make Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese are best served hot, so if youre worried about the cheese cooling down too quickly, covering it with foil can help trap in the heat.

Aluminum foil helps distribute the heat more evenly so that all of the cheese melts evenly.

Creating tiny air pockets between the pasta and the foil allows heat to flow more evenly around the dish. It Melts the Cheese Evenly.

Then It Keeps the Cheese from Sticking. It Prevents the Cheese from Burning. It Makes Cleanup Easier, and finally, its a Great Hack for Camping!

Also Check: How Long Is Babybel Cheese Good For

Faqs About Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Should you cover your mac and cheese when baking?

No, you want to bake this recipe uncovered so the top gets nice and crispy.

How do you keep mac and cheese from drying out in the oven?

Making sure you dont over bake it is the most important thing you can do to prevent dry mac and cheese.

How do you tell if baked mac and cheese is done?

The top will be lightly browned and the filling with be bubbling ever so slightly.

How do you keep mac and cheese creamy?

Dont over bake it, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Once its pulled from the oven, you can loosely cover it with foil so that it doesnt dry out as it cools.

What is the best milk to use in mac and cheese?

I suggest using full-fat dairy: whole milk, half and half or heavy cream.

Do you rinse macaroni for mac and cheese?

No. Do not rinse the macaroni after it has been cooked.

Also Check: Aldi Mama Cozzi Take And Bake Pizza

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!

You May Like: Does Babybel Cheese Need To Be Refrigerated

You May Like: Do Sealed Cheese Sticks Need To Be Refrigerated

German Cheese Spaetzle By Bianca Zapatka

We love a good elbow macaroni, but spaetzle amps up the basic mac and cheese to an entirely new world of wonderful. Spaetzle are dumpling-like in consistency, meaning theyre soft and tender but retain a delicious chew. When doused with vegan cheese sauce and topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms, we swear a vegan angel gets its wings.

How To Make Mac And Cheese:

Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Homemade macaroni and cheese is seriously simple to make! With the help of pre-shredded cheese, it truly is a straightforward process that ends with a gloriously creamy pan of mac and cheese that you will love! Heres how its done:

  • Preheat your oven and place the rack in the centerthis rack placement ensures an even, golden brown crust on top of your creamy mac and cheese!
  • Cook your pasta just one minute shy of al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so this keeps it from becoming mushy.
  • Make a two-ingredient roux! Butter and flour is all youll need for this step to make a simple rouxaka, the base of your homemade cheesy cream sauce.
  • Slowly, slowly add some whole milk to your roux, whisking as you go. The more slowly you add the milk the thicker the sauce will be.
  • Add Tillamook Triple Cheddar Shredded Cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard powder and stir to complete that luscious, silky sauce!
  • Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  • Top with buttery panko and extra cheese and pop that baby in the oven!

And there you have it, easy mac and cheese! I personally enjoy my serving slathered in sriracha, but it also pairs well with green peas, a big salad or with a few green apple slices on the side! Sometimes I go crazy and sprinkle the finished mac and cheese with a little parmesan as well.

Also Check: Baked Mac And Cheese With Eggs And Sour Cream

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!

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.

Recommended Reading: Laughing Cow Cheese Not Refrigerated

Tips For The Best Mac & Cheese

  • Freshly grated cheese dont use pre shredded. They have anti caking agents that can make the sauce grainy.

  • No bloated overcooked pasta Cool macaroni slightly and lightly coat in butter. This stops the macaroni from absorbing more liquid while baking, resulting in bloated overcooked pasta and less sauce.

  • To avoid lumps in your sauce, stir constantly as you slowly pour the milk in and keep stirring once the milk is all added. If necessary, switch to a switch to get rid of stubborn little lumps!

  • Plenty of sauce Because I like my Mac and Cheese saucy, not dried up so you can cut it like cake!

  • Can you make Mac and Cheese ahead of time? Most recipes are not suitable for making ahead, but this recipe is! The best way is to cool pasta then toss with sauce and adding breadcrumb topping. Cool, refrigerate or freeze then bake on the day of .

  • How long can Mac and Cheese stay in the fridge? Unlike most, this Macaroni Cheese recipe is good for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Most Mac and Cheese will not keep well because theres not enough sauce so it gets absorbed by the pasta and youre left with dry, sauceless pasta.

  • Freezing? Yes! Assemble, cool, do not bake, just freeze it. Thaw then on the day of, bake per Note 5 in the recipe.

  • Add ins? This recipe is great as it is, but theres tons of add-in options. Add shredded chicken, sautéed onion and bell peppers/capsicum, bacon, hot sauce , dried herbs of choice.

Tips For Perfect Cheese Sauce

No Bake Mac and Cheese – 4 Basic Ingredients

Have you ever made a mac and cheese that wasnt creamy or smooth? Instead if was grainy or gritty? The worst! Heres a few steps you should take for perfectly creamy cheese sauce.

  • Shred your own cheese. For this recipe, grating your own cheese will give you the smoothest results.
  • Start with a white sauce. A white sauce is made with butter or olive oil stirred with flour and milk. It thickens once it cools, then you stir the cheese into it to make your cheese sauce.
  • Do NOT add the cheese to boiling sauce. When adding the cheese, remove the white sauce from the heat completely before adding the cheese. I usually move this to a different burner so it stops boiling. You dont want to add the cheese to the mixture if its boiling/bubbling. Doing so will cause the cheese to break down causing a gritty texture.
  • Add the cheese a little at a time. I usually do this 1/4 cup at a time, whisking in between until its all melted.
  • You May Like: Who Invented Babybel Cheese

    Making The Cheese Sauce

    Make the cheese sauce while the pasta is cooking. The box will indicate how much milk and butter to use. Put this in a pan with the powdered cheese and heat over medium-low to medium heat. Stir frequently. You want to heat it to the point the butter is melted and its fully combined. Next remove it from the heat and add 1 cup of shredded cheese and 1/4 cup of milk. Mix together and set aside for now.

    Putting it all together

    Once the pasta is done pull the strainer out of the water to drain the pasta.

    Pour the pasta into your slow cooker. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and mix.

    If you need to make another batch of two boxes just repeat using the already hot water.

    Keeping the mac and cheese warm

    Remember to put the slow cooker on warm. You can do that a little in advance if you want.

    How To Keep Mac And Cheese Creamy

    Im sharing a handful of tips to help keep your baked mac and cheese creamy, smooth and saucy.

    • First, no eggs. Unlike the Southern-style mac and cheese, this creamy version does not include eggs. The eggs help to set the casserole, giving it a firm, dry texture. Since thats not what were going for here, youll need to leave out the eggs.
    • Next, lots of sauce. Were not skimping on cheese, milk or cream in this dish. Well make plenty of cheese sauce to coat the noodles. It looks like a lot of sauce, but you need that amount in order to keep the dish creamy in the oven.
    • Velveeta cheese. Thats right, I said it. Blasphemy?! Maybe! But trust me here: Velveeta melts smoothly into the sauce giving the mac and cheese a rich, creamy texture that you just cant quite replicate with other types of cheese.
    • Baking Time. This casserole goes in the oven at a low temperature for just 15 minutes. This short baking time is important because its just long enough to melt the cheese on top and get the noodles hot inside, but its not so long that it dries out the pasta and sauce. If you like a crispier crust on top, you can pop it under the broiler for a few minutes at the end.

    Recommended Reading: Philly Cheesesteak Pizza Ingredients

    Also Check: Private Selection Multigrain Bread

    The Best Homemade Baked Mac And Cheese

    The BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese of your LIFE. Outrageously cheesy, ultra creamy, and topped with a crunchy Panko-Parmesan topping, this mac and cheese recipe is most definitely a keeper. I used three different cheese and a homemade cheese sauce to take this macaroni and cheese recipe over the top. Love cheesy recipes? Make sure to try this Lazy Day Lasagna and Cheesy Kielbasa Rice and Broccoli Skillet next week for dinner!

    This post is sponsored by Walmart and SheKnows Media.

    Whats The Difference Between Manwich And Sloppy Joes

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    Technically Manwich is a pre-made sauce thats used to make sloppy joes. Im not sure exactly whats in it, and have never tried it myself, so I cant say that my recipe tastes similar or not. Manwich is marketed as a easy way to make sloppy joes but in reality, homemade sloppy joes are JUST as easy to make!

    You May Like: What Kind Of Sauce Is On Philly Cheese Steak Pizza

    What To Serve With Baked Mac And Cheese

    Mac and Cheese is worthy of serving as a meal in its own right, served with just a fresh green salad or simple vegetable side. Nothing heavy because Macaroni Cheese is so rich as it is!

    As a side dish, it will compliment virtually any non-Asian main dish. From simple Baked Pork Chops to Steak, a Roast Chicken to Crispy Garlic Chicken Thighs, the only things I probably would not serve with Mac and Cheese would be very light summery mains such as a Tuna Tartare just a little too much contrast.

    And of course, festive gatherings! Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter alongside a grand Roast Turkey or your Herb & Garlic Butter Slathered Turkey Breast, the juicy Roast Pork with impossibly Crispy Crackling or your Prime Rib thats so perfectly blushing pink all the way through, it makes you want to weep.

    Holidays would not be the same without this Mac and Cheese!! Nagi xx

    Popular Articles

    More Recipes Like This