How To Make Baked Mac And Cheese:
- Preheat oven, prepare baking dish: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9 or 12 by 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Toast panko: Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko and spread even, let toast, tossing frequently until golden brown. Set aside in bowl.
- Cook pasta: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni just to al dente according to package instructions. If its done early before sauce toss with a little olive oil so it doesnt stick together.
- Make roux and sauce: In a large saucepan or medium pot melt remaining 5 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking slowly pour in warmed milk and half and half. Season with 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook until thick: Cook mixture stirring constantly until thickened .
- Stir in cheese off heat: Remove from heat let cool 1 minute then stir in 2 cups cheddar and 1 cup gruyere .
- Toss pasta with sauce: Pour drained pasta into a bowl, pour in sauce and remaining 1 cup gruyere cheese. Toss to evenly coat with sauce.
- Layer in baking dish: Pour into prepared baking dish, spread into an even layer. Sprinkle panko over top and gently spread into an even layer.
- Bake: Bake in preheated oven until edges are just barely bubbling, about 20 minutes .
- Let cool just a few minutes and serve warm.
Best Macaroni And Cheese Recipes
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Macaroni and cheese is possibly the quintessential comfort food. Toddlers love it, kids love it, and adults of all ages love it. Like all comfort food, mac and cheese is made in a variety of ways that are often passed down in families. Plus it lends itself to doctoring up. Check out these recipes for good eating.
Macaroni And Cheese Waffles
For something less labor-intensive but still delicious, waffled macaroni and cheese is the way to go. We layer slices of cold mac and cheese with extra cheddar and stick them in the waffle iron. Cook them long enough and the cheese turns into a crispy crust, while the interior stays gooey. Serve with hot sauce andif you feel like getting a little crazymaple syrup.
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Macaroni And Cheese With Bacon
Cooked crumbled bacon and green onions take this macaroni and cheese with bacon recipe to a new level. The green onions go into the cheese sauce, and the bacon is sprinkled over the casserole before the buttered breadcrumb topping is added. If you prefer the bacon throughout, mix the bacon into the cheese sauce and macaroni before you put the mix into the casserole dish.
Baked Macaroni And Cheese Casserole With Cheddar And Gruyre
I grew up on the stovetop variety, but I’ve grown to appreciate baked mac and cheeseespecially for its crispy top. This classic recipe uses a cheddar-packed béchamel, plus grated Gruyère. You can use other semi-dry cheeses like Swiss and Fontina, if you’d prefer. The crunchy topping is simply panko mixed with melted butter and seasoned with salt.
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Classic Creamy Mac And Cheese
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Take one look at the photo above and its easy to see why this mac and cheese recipe has been Angela Daviss most popular recipe on her blog, The Kitchenista Diaries. It has everything you want: several kinds of melty cheese, a proper bechamel, and breadcrumbs. Plus, a lot of subtle seasoning notes to really bring it all home.
Special Equipment Used In This Recipe
- Box Grater remember, the best mac starts with freshly shredded cheese!
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Post has been updated in September 2019 with new photos and additional information.
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Fully Loaded Pizza Macaroni And Cheese
The first steps in pizza-fying mac and cheese are to take care of the cheese and the sauce. That means replacing the cheddar with mozzarella and a little parmesan, then adding tomatoes and basil. You could stop there, but we go all in, loading the mac up with Italian sausage, pepperoni, soppressata, black olives, and pepperoncini.
Overview: Macaroni And Cheese Sauce Ingredients
Use a mix of whole milk and half-and-half. Using all whole milk creates a thinner cheese sauce. Heavy cream creates a thick-as-a-brick cheese sauce. Using a combination of whole milk and half-and-half creates the perfect sauce consistency.
How about the ground mustard? Your macaroni & cheese will NOT taste like mustard. Ground mustard is a traditional ingredient in most mac and cheese recipes because it adds a sharp kick and depth of flavor. Thats the same reason I use it in this ham & cheese strata.
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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.
How To Make Mac And Cheese In The Crockpot
This is just an overview the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
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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.
The 30 Best Mac And Cheese Recipes
Macaroni and cheese, perhaps the ultimate comfort food. This creamy, cheesy, gooey pasta dish is a favorite for all ages. Its just one of those dishes you cant help going back for.
Whether eaten as a main, or piled alongside some fried chicken or meatloaf as a side, its a dish we can all agree is absolutely irresistible. We decided to compile a list of delicious and easy Mac and Cheese Recipes to up your comfort food game.
Here youll find everything from basic stovetop and baked recipes, to unique methods like sheet pan, slow cooker and instant pot.
We have rounded up recipes that include various meats and veggies, and even some with unique flavorings like Cajun seasoning and Indian masala.
Cook your way through this list of great macaroni recipes, Im sure many of them will find their way into your regular rotation!
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Fall Mac & Cheese With Butternut Squash & Bacon
When theres an abundance of seasonal produce filling the shelves at the grocery store or farmers markets, you might feel guilty for craving something as simple and timeless as mac and cheese. This recipe offers the best of both worlds, allowing you to itakie advantage of falls finest butternut squash.
How To Make The Creamiest Macaroni And Cheese
Youre only looking at six ingredients . Itcan even be made in under 30 minutes .
I love that you can keep this as a quick stovetop mac and cheese or slide it into the oven to get bubbly and browned. I love it both ways.
Were going to call this our basic mac and cheese not because it isnt incredibly delicious, but because its the perfect base for other variations. Take a look below for some suggestions.
To make our go-to macaroni and cheese, you will need the following:
Pasta: The shape and size are entirely up to you. Look for pasta that will hold onto the creamy sauce. Elbow macaroni and shells are great options.
Butter and Flour: Its the combination of butter and flour that thicken the sauce. We like to use unsalted butter for this and then adjust salt to taste when making the sauce. That said, salted butter will work if that is all that you have.
Cheddar cheese: Whenever we make macaroni and cheese, we reach for sharp white cheddar cheese. Its flavorful and melts beautifully. For more cheese suggestions see our notes below. Whatever cheese you use, its best to grate it yourself. I know its extra prep time, but hand-grated cheese melts so much easier into the sauce.
Cream cheese: The mac and cheese would be excellent with just cheddar cheese added, but to make it ultra creamy, well stir in some cream cheese. It adds a lovely silky texture, and since it has a little zinginess, it brightens up the flavor a bit.
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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.
Nancy Fuller’s Creamy Stovetop Mac And Cheese
Nancy Fuller combines shell pasta with a melty mixture of cheddar, Colby jack and cream cheese to infuse this stovetop mac and cheese with creamy goodness. For some surprise heat, add a heaping teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a dash of hot sauce and a 1/8 teaspoon of paprika.
Get the Recipe: Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
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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.
An Irishman’s Mac And Cheese
Okay, we promised you crazy, and this dish can bring it! Imagine an Irish colcannon with bacon, kale and potatoes in a scrumptious mash-up with a traditional mac and cheese. And if that’s not outrageous enough, top it off with a crumbled mound of potato chips before serving. You’ll want to bookmark this one for St. Paddy’s Day.
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Macaroni And Cheese Variations
This recipe is easy to adapt to other variations. Here are some of our favorites:
Baked Mac and Cheese: Once the pasta and cheese sauce are combined, add it to a baking dish and bake with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs sprinkled on top. We shared this Baked Macaroni and Cheese a while back.
Garlic Mac and Cheese: Fresh garlic and roasted garlic are excellent in this recipe. Add either to the butter just before adding the flour. For fresh, Id use 2 to 3 cloves. For roasted garlic, you can increase to 6 cloves or more. See our recipe for making roasted garlic.
Use a Variety of Cheeses: Cheddar isnt the only cheese to use. Try easy melting Gruyere, Fontina or Monterey Jack. For more flavor, a bit of parmesan or pecorino cheese is lovely, and for a more adult dish, try blue cheese!
Spiced Macaroni and Cheese: Mustard , nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper are classic additions to the cheese sauce. Smoked paprika is also delicious.
Broccoli Mac and Cheese: A kid favorite! Stir roasted broccoli or steamed broccoli into the pot before serving. Heres how we make roasted broccoli.
Lighter Mac and Cheese: Swapping half of the cheese sauce for pureed cauliflower cuts calories and still tastes incredible.
The Best Cheese 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 pepper jack for a little kick. If you have bits of cheese leftover, you can combine them all together in this easy homemade cheese sauce.
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 cheese 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! Give it a try! .
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Macaroni And Cheese With Black Beans And Chipotle
This Southwestern-inspired macaroni and cheese similarly combines pasta and legumes. Mix in canned black beans and chipotles in adobo , then add a minced fresh chili or two if you want it extra spicy. Scallions and cilantro brighten the dish upwe stir in some towards the end of cooking and save the rest for a garnish.
Of The Best Macaroni And Cheese Recipes On Planet Earth
Macaroni and cheese is everything we could want: hot, melted cheese blended in creamy harmony with pasta, one of our all-time favorite comfort foods. Whether your favorite version is classic, jazzed up or lobstered, its hard to get enough. But who was responsible for making it popular, anyway?
Thomas Jefferson was an American founding father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third president of the United States. But one could argue his greatest achievement was helping to popularize macaroni and cheese in the U.S.
After encountering macaroni in France and northern Italy in the late 1700s, Jefferson arranged for a special macaroni extruder to be shipped to his home in Virginia, where he served macaroni to guests at presidential dinners, putting the noodle in the spotlight. There even exists a recipe for macaroni noodles written in Jeffersons own handwriting.
In honor of this important contribution to American cuisine, lets make some of our favorite recipes for the dish. Weve got 38 variations, including some for vegans.
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My Favorite Cheeses For Macaroni And Cheese
Depending on your mood, the cheese you use in macaroni and cheese can vary. Cheddar, fontina, gruyere, parmesan, and pecorino are all excellent options, but the combination of cheeses I go back to over and over again is a hearty amount of extra sharp white cheddar and a smaller, but potent amount of pecorino-romano cheese. The cheddar turns creamy and smooth and the pecorino adds a pop of salty cheese flavor to the sauce.
Okay, now this is where I get on my soapbox for a second. No matter which cheese you use for this, if you can, grate the cheese yourself. A previously shredded bagged cheese just doesnt melt the same way as hand grated cheese. I wish that wasnt true, but for now, to make the best mac and cheese, its best to shred the cheese yourself.
Velveeta Mac N Cheese Ingredients
- 3 cups elbow macaroni
- Stir over low to medium heat until cheese has melted.
- Season with salt and pepper as desired.
This recipe reheats in the microwave well too. So you can make a bigger batch if you want and enjoy the leftovers.
If youre facing a busy family week, its a great way to make sure that you have something easy to pull out for dinner! We rarely have a complaint when its on the menu here either as a main dish or a side dish!
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