Best Baked Macaroni And Cheese Recipe

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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.

Mac And Cheese Tip #: Its All About The Cheese

But you already knew that, right? Not all macaroni and cheese recipes are created equal. Our recipe is all about that cheesy triple threat combo! Our mac and cheese recipe gets a major flavor boost from Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Triple Cheddar Shredded Cheese! A mouthwatering mixture of medium white cheddar cheese, sharp cheddar cheese and medium cheddar cheese, Tillamook Triple Cheddar Cheese makes ours the very best mac and cheese recipe out there!

Homemade Baked Mac And Cheese

There is absolutely nothing I love more than cheese. And when you add pasta to it? Fuggetaboutit.

Mac and cheese is one of those recipes that can take on so many different forms. I love it anyway I can get it but baked mac and cheese is my very favorite and Ill tell you why The topping. I use breadcrumbs for my topping occasionally, but, a Panko topped mac and cheese is just that much better.

I mix in Parmesan, butter, and paprika with the Panko so it crisps up beautifully and gets a nice golden brown color when this amazing homemade mac and cheese is baked.

Im going to be honest here. When I make mac and cheese, its the mac to cheese ratio that I am most concerned about. I love it when the mac and cheese is oeey gooey and the cheese sauce is just so creamy. GIMME.

With all this cheese going on in this macaroni and cheese recipe, I need a little help from my KitchenAid Deluxe Stand Mixer and its handy dandy Fresh Prep Slice/Shredder attachment. I picked up this beauty at Walmart this past week and I am in LOOOOOVE. I was torn between the options: SILVER | COBALT | PISTACHIO. But, when I pictured them in my kitchen, I knew I had to go with the cobalt its just stunning!

I use my stand mixer about 954 times each week. Being a food blogger and mom means Im in my kitchen a lot baking up goodies and whipping up amazing dinners like this homemade baked mac and cheese. I am always, always looking for help in the kitchen and the Kitchen Aid Deluxe Stand Mixer is the answer.

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How To Make Gourmet Mac And Cheese:

1. Cook the pasta: cook your favorite pasta according to package instructions, just until al dente t! Strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside

2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until perfectly crispy. Make sure to leave a tiny bit of that delicious bacon grease in the pan for step number 2the sauce!

3. Make the sauce: melt butter, whisk in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in milk. Mix together cornstarch and half and half. Gradually add it to skillet followed by mustard, chicken bullion, onion powder, garlic, powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook until slightly thickened and remove from heat.

4. Stir in cheddar cheese, bacon, and pasta. Pour mixture into 8×8 baking dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

5. Top with crumb topping: Add panko, melted butter and olive oil to a skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until crumbs are golden brown. Evenly sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the gourmet mac and cheese. Add remaining bacon crumbles on top.

6. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm.

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Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe


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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.

Can You Freeze Mac And Cheese

Yes, I have frozen it with success! I make it up to the point of baking, cover well, and freeze right in the pan. Then I bring it out and let it thaw at room temp for an hour or so, and then into the oven. Just like making it ahead and refrigerating it, the result isnt quite as saucy. But still delish.

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Add The Pasta And Sauce To A Dish

After the cheese has melted, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir until all the noodles are well-coated.

Then, add the mixture to a greased 3-quart baking dish. Top with more cheese…

Then, bake! I like to broil for a few minutes at the end of the cooking time to give it a little color and extra crisp around the edges.

How To Make Instant Pot Mac And Cheese

The Best Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
  • Add pasta, liquids, butter, hot sauce and seasonings.
  • Dont stir. Just gently press down with a wooden spoon to make sure all the pasta is submerged. This ensures the pasta will cook and not be hard. Stirring could result in a burn notice on your Instant Pot.
  • Pressure cook for 4 minutes.
  • Quick release. I tested performing a natural pressure release, and it usually resulted in overcooked pasta, so I prefer to do a quick release.Be aware, this recipe is starchy, and can sputter quite a bit when venting. I usually place a folded paper towel loosely over the vent to prevent any kitchen messes. Keep in mind, this isnt recommended by Instant Pot, just something I do do this at your own risk.
  • Turn off your Instant Pot. This prevents any possible overcooking by keeping it on keep warm.
  • Stir in heavy cream, and cheeses. Add in the cheese a handful or so at a time, stirring really well after each addition. Keep stirring until a creamy sauce forms.
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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.

    Hello, lover.

    How To Make Baked Macaroni And Cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Cook the macaroni pasta according to the directions on the package
  • Lightly grease the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole pan using nonstick cooking spray
  • Using a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, ranch dressing and evaporated milk
  • Whisk everything together until it has fully blended and the mixture is smooth
  • Gently fold in the cheese and then add in the cooked pasta
  • Spoon the mixture into the casserole pan
  • Melt the butter
  • Mix the bread crumbs with the butter in a small bowl and then sprinkle over the top of the macaroni
  • Bake for 20 25 minutes or until the macaroni and cheese is heated throughout and the top is a golden bown
  • I mean seriously. How good does that look?!

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    The Best Tuna Casserole From Scratch

    The sauce is made from scratch no canned, cream soups here. And its easy you guys. You know I love easy. I used canned tuna but the tuna from the pouches is also great. You just want to make sure you get the water-packed tuna and drain it really well. The oil packed will be a bit too greasy for this tuna casserole recipe.

    Can I Refrigerate Before Baking

    How To Make The Best Baked Macaroni and Cheese (3 Cheese ...

    Yes, you can refrigerate macaroni and cheese before you bake it. This make-ahead mac and cheese is a great option for meal prep. Do all the cooking whenever you have the time and bake it right before youre ready to eat.

    To refrigerate before baking, you will complete all the steps up to putting the mixture in the pan. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate for up to two days. When youre ready to bake it, pull the mac out of the fridge while the oven is preheating and top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

    You will need to bake the macaroni and cheese casserole a little longer since itll be cold. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until heated through.

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    Creamy Baked Mac And Cheese

    The Chunky Chef09/30/2019

    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This baked mac and cheese is a family favorite recipe, loved by both children and adults. It uses a combination of cheeses, layered in the dish as well as melted into a rich and creamy cheese sauce, for the ultimate in cheesy deliciousness! Perfect for a comforting dinner or as a holiday side dish!

    Looking for other comfort food dishes? Check out my Homemade Sloppy Joes, Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Crockpot Meatloaf, and Homestyle No-Boil Mashed Potatoes!


    Baked mac and cheese. Its nearly the universal comfort food, and there are SO many variations! In fact, I almost didnt post this recipe, as there are SOOOO many mac and cheese recipes available, and most people already have their favorite way of making it.

    Of course, theres no right way or wrong way, so Im here sharing the way I like to make my mac and cheese .

    More Must Make Casseroles

    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish and set aside.
    • Cook noodles according to package directions, removing when al dente. Drain, and set aside.
    • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, bell pepper, and onion and cook until onion is translucent, stirring frequently.
    • Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Slowly add milk and cook, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Stir in Dijon mustard.
    • Add tuna, peas, noodles, and cheddar cheese and fold into the sauce.
    • Pour mixture into the prepared dish.
    • Combine Panko, Parmesan cheese, smoked paprika parsley and melted butter in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top.
    • Bake casserole for 25 to 30 minutes, uncovered, or until heated through and golden brown on top. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

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    Can I Make This Macaroni And Cheese Ahead And Bake It When Im Ready

    Yes you sure can. Just let it cool down, put some plastic wrap right against the surface of the mac and cheese and stick it in the fridge. If you have a few minutes to bring it out and let it warm slightly before you bake it, do that. But if you cant, just bake it till the center is hot and the edges are bubbling.

    How To Make Homemade Mac And Cheese


    Making homemade macaroni and cheese is surprisingly easy and quick!

  • Cook Pasta Cook pasta al dente drain & rinse.
  • Make Sauce A homemade cheese sauce with lots of cheese takes about 10 minutes. .
  • Combine and bake Toss sauce with pasta and top with remainder of shredded cheese.
  • Bake until golden and bubbly.
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    Tips For Perfect Cheese Sauce

    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.
  • 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 is perfect in my oven, the cheese sauce will thicken slightly while standing.

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    Variations Of This Recipe

    • PROTEIN Feel free to add in some shredded chicken, pulled pork, or some crispy bacon for an extra protein punch.
    • VEGGIES Trying to get your veggies in? Stir in some steamed broccoli or cauliflower.
    • TOPPINGS If you love a topping on your mac and cheese, transfer the cooked cheesy mac to a baking dish and top with either some extra cheese, buttered panko breadcrumbs, or buttered crushed Ritz crackers. Broil a few minutes until crispy.
    • COOKING LIQUID If you prefer to use all chicken broth, or all water feel free to do that. Just make sure there are 4 total cups of liquid.
    • DIFFERENT CHEESES Gruyere, Gouda, Fontina, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Colby, or all Cheddar. These are all good melting cheeses and will give you a smooth sauce. However, feel free to play around with different combinations that you like!

    The Best Baked Macaroni And Cheese Recipe

    Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

    This is the BEST baked macaroni and cheese recipe! Brown and crunchy on top and smooth and creamy in the middle, youll get an amazing taste like the gourmet baked macaroni and cheese at your favorite restaurant for just a fraction of the price! Super delicious, this baked macaroni and cheese will please your entire family!

    Macaroni and cheese is a staple food for most families with kids and there are all kinds of macaroni and cheese. From homemade to the box with powdered cheese to the box with creamy cheese, everyone has a favorite. But if you havent ever had baked macaroni and cheese, youre in for a treat!

    Our daughter, mega foodie that she is, particularly loves baked macaroni and cheese because it is creamy and delicious on the inside with a super tasty browned crispy top. She always wants to try this tasty food whenever she gets the chance, but its amazing how much it costs to buy macaroni and cheese pre-made at a restaurant.

    Instead of paying $5 per serving at a restaurant, try our easy baked macaroni and cheese recipe, which you can easily make for $8 for 6-8 servings and takes less than 10 minutes of prep work!

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