Mac And Cheese Recipe Step By Step

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Special Equipment Used In This Recipe

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Step by Step
  • Box Grater remember, the best mac starts with freshly shredded cheese!



Post has been updated in September 2019 with new photos and additional information.

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!

Start With Bchamel: The Secret To A Creamy Cheesy Sauce

When making macaroni and cheese, this sauce serves as the base and whatever cheeses you choose are melted into it.

Béchamel is one of the mother sauces in the classic French system. Its made by cooking equal parts butter and flour until smooth and golden , then whisking in warm milk to make a smooth, creamy sauce. The thickness of a béchamel sauce is determined by the ratio of milk to butter and flour.

How To Avoid Grainy Cheese Sauce:

  • The type of cheddar makes a difference. High quality aged cheddar cheese will give you a stronger taste and smoother texture. More mild and inexpensive cheddar cheeses will have less flavor and almost a grittier taste.
  • Use fresh grated cheese. Pre-shredded store-bought cheese will not melt the same as freshly grated cheese, and grating the cheese helps it melt smoothly and evenly in the sauce.
  • Bring the cheese to room temperature. I like to grate the cheese very first, before moving forward with the recipe. That allows it to sit at room temperature while I prepare the white sauce.
  • Use low heat. In order for the cheese to melt properly and smoothly we want it to have gradual changes in temperature . When its time to add the cheese to the white sauce, remove the sauce from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. It only needs to be warm enough to melt the cheese.
  • Dont over-stirthe sauce once the cheese has melted. Add the noodles and quickly assemble in pan and put into the oven.

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Stove Top Mac And Cheese Recipe

Im calling for a mac and cheese recipe revolution. For those sweltering Summer days when cranking up the oven means turning our kitchen into a sauna, or for those times when I dont want to be a dishwasher, but still want to have a satisfying home cooked meal, I need a meal that can be cooked fairly quickly and efficiently. Enter the solution and what I call, my mac and cheese revolution: the One Pot, Stove Top, Creamy Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

How To Make Mac And Cheese Sauce

Easy Instant Pot Macaroni &  Cheese (Step

Step 1: Make Roux by this point, you already know the ins and outs of a roux and how to make it , so were going to skip to step 2.

Step 2: Whisk in Milk slowly add milk to the roux, whisking constantly so it doesnt burn. Continue to whisk for around 4-6 minutes, or until things begin to thicken.

Dont rush this process. we PROMISE things will thicken!

Step 3: Remove from Heat once things are thick, turn the heat off.

Step 4: Whisk in Shredded Cheese then, add shredded cheese, garlic, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and whisk until the cheese melts.

Give your cheese sauce a taste and add more hot sauce, as desired.

Step 5: Enjoy! mix mac and cheese sauce with macaroni noodles and serve immediately.

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Best Mac And Cheese Recipe

This is hands down the best mac and cheese recipe because of its perfectly balanced cheesy and creamy taste. The kids absolutely love it. When I make my homemade mac n cheese recipe for guests, it instantly puts a smile on everyones face. Its truly a winner and one your family will ask you to make all the time.

Also Check: What Cheese Has The Least Calories

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.

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Making Standard Kraft Macaroni And Cheese

  • 1Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the water into the saucepan. Place the saucepan on the stovetop and adjust the temperature to high. Wait until the water begins to bubble rapidly.XResearch source
  • 2Cook the macaroni for 7-8 minutes. Open the package with the dry macaroni in it. Carefully pour it into the boiling water, taking care not to splash the water. Stir the macaroni occasionally as it cooks. When the macaroni feels tender, this means that it is ready.XResearch source
  • Pick up a piece of macaroni using a fork when 7 minutes is up to check that it feels tender. If not, continue boiling the macaroni for an extra 30 seconds and then check it again.XResearch source
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir the macaroni.XResearch source
  • Avoid overcooking the macaroni as it will turn mushy.
  • 3Drain the water from the macaroni. Remove the saucepan from the heat once the macaroni is tender. Place a colander in the sink and gently tip the contents of the saucepan into it. The water will drain away, leaving the macaroni in the colander.XResearch source
  • Dont rinse the macaroni with fresh water.
  • 4Place the macaroni, margarine, milk, and cheese sauce mix into the saucepan. Transfer the macaroni from the colander back into the saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of margarine, 14 cup of milk, and the cheese sauce mix into the saucepan.XResearch source
  • The cheese sauce mix is the second packet in the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box.
  • How Long To Bake Mac And Cheese

    Baked Macaroni & Cheese Recipe Step by Step

    Your mac and cheese will take 15 to 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 400F. Allow time for the stovetop cooking of the pasta and the sauce. In total, youll have this whole recipe ready to serve piping hot in just 30 minutes. While it bakes, its easy to throw together a salad to accompany the meal.

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    What Else Can I Add To Mac And Cheese

    Right heres the place mac and cheese can get actually enjoyable. Along with altering the cheeses, you may swap up the herbs and spices, add in some veggies, or your favourite protein to make your personal selfmade mac and cheese creation. Listed below are another enjoyable substances so as to add to your mac and cheese:

    • Cooked hen

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    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.

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    Baked Mac And Cheese Vs Stovetop

    While a casserole of nicely browned, baked macaroni and cheese may be more traditional, some cheese combinations simply taste better when served straight out of the saucepan without ever visiting the oven.

    As a general rule of thumb, macaroni and cheese recipes that incorporate semi-soft cheeses like fontina, Gruyère and Gouda can be baked with consistently delicious results. Here are a few examples of baked macaroni and cheese recipes and the cheese varieties weve chosen for each.

    • Classic Baked This is a traditionally flavored version made with sharp cheddar and creamy Muenster cheese.
    • Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pictured in this post, this recipe is made with fontina, chèvre , bits of sun-dried tomatoes, and a crispy crumb topping.
    • French-Inspired This recipe is made with three fabulous varieties of French cheese: Ossau-Iraty , chèvre , and Mimolette .
    • Baked Truffle Made with a combination of fontina and fresh mozzarella cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and white truffle oil, this recipe is one of our all-time favorites.

    Recipes that include soft, velvety cheeses like Brie and mascarpone are at their creamy best when served stovetop style. Heres a couple for you to try.

    • Creamy Stovetop Made with a mild combination of fontina and cottage cheese, this super creamy rendition is a favorite for kids.
    • Stovetop Lobster This recipe uses mascarpone and Gruyère cheese, chunks of lobster, and fresh chives to make a decadent treat that we reserve for special occasions.

    Making Instant Pot Mac And Cheese Ahead Of Time

    Easy Instant Pot Macaroni &  Cheese (Step

    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.

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    Step : Add The Milk And Cheese

    • Once the water level is low, immediately add the evaporated milk and bring it to a boil. Other recipes Ive seen use milk instead, but using milk improperly could result in scorched mac and cheese. Since I dont have much faith in myself LOL, I used evaporated milk which not only solves this problem completely, but also ensures my emulsified sauce remains smooth and creamy
    • Pour in the cheese afterwards. Reduce the heat to low and stir continuously to mix the cheese. milk and macaroni. Youre done once the liquid has been reduced to a creamy sauce, which would take around 2 minutes or more. Taste and season with salt if needed

    How Can I Dress Up My Macaroni And Cheese

    This baked macaroni and cheese may be the most versatile dish ever. Add in some red pepper for kick, any cheeses you like , add veggies like broccoli and chopped chicken and its a one-dish meal even. Or BACON. Hello. Yeah. Make some garlic bread crumbs for the top if you want some crunch and throw those on. Its really endless.

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    What Makes It Additional Tacky

    For this additional tacky selfmade mac and cheese, I did use barely extra roux and added about 30% extra cheese than I typically do to my easy stovetop mac and cheese recipes. And Im not even sorry about it. The thicker sauce and further cheese made this mac and cheese so lusciously creamy and tacky that I couldnt cease sneaking forkfuls between pictures. AND the perfect half is that it even stays clean and creamy when reheated within the microwave. Mac and cheese heaven!

    Tips On How To Make Do


    Begin by shredding an 8oz. block of sharp cheddar. Its crucial to shred the cheese your self as a substitute of utilizing pre-shredded cheese. For extra info on that, see the part above the recipe titled Keep away from Pre-Shredded Cheese.

    Subsequent, boil 8oz. of macaroni in response to the field instructions . Drain the macaroni in a colander.

    You can begin the cheese sauce both whereas the macaroni is boiling, or wait till its draining and simply make it in the identical pot to avoid wasting on dishes. Add 3 Tbsp butter, 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, and ½ tsp onion powder to the pot.

    Place the pot over medium warmth and permit the butter to soften. Whisk the butter, flour, and onion powder collectively because the combination begins to get bubbly and frothy. Prepare dinner and whisk for about one minute after it turns into bubbly.

    Whisk 2 cups of milk into the butter and flour roux. Proceed whisking because the milk begins to warmth .

    Permit the milk to return as much as a delicate simmer, at which level it can thicken to the consistency of heavy cream or gravy. Flip the burner off at this level.

    Season the sauce with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp sizzling sauce, or the seasonings of your selection .

    Add the cooked and drained macaroni again to the pot and stir to mix with the cheese sauce.

    And thats it! Your selfmade mac and cheese is completed. Dont inform me you dont need to dive proper into that pot of mac and cheese and swim round a bit.

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    Perfect Mac And Cheese In 5 Steps:

  • Preheat the oven. Preheat to 325 degrees and lightly grease a square baking dish.
  • Cook the macaroni. Slightly undercook your noodles . Drain and set aside.
  • Make the roux. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Blend in the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add milk and cheese. Stir in milk and half and half, slowly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup shredded cheese to the sauce and stir just until melted. Add the cooked macaroni noodles and toss to coat them in the sauce.
  • Pourinto baking dish. Pour half or the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle ½ cup cheese over the top. Pour remaining pasta over it and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • What Makes It Extra Cheesy

    For this extra cheesy homemade mac and cheese, I did use slightly more roux and added about 30% more cheese than I generally do to my simple stovetop mac and cheese recipes. And Im not even sorry about it. The thicker sauce and extra cheese made this mac and cheese so lusciously creamy and cheesy that I couldnt stop sneaking forkfuls between photographs. AND the best part is that it even stays smooth and creamy when reheated in the microwave. Mac and cheese heaven!

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    Make The Cheese Sauce

    While the macaroni is cooking, make the cheese sauce. It’s really easy but there are a few notes that we’ll go over to ensure your success!

    Make a Roux

    This homemade mac and cheese sauce starts with a roux. What is a roux? It’s a mixture of fat and flour that is used to create thick sauces. Start by melting the butter and then adding the dry ingredients .

    Use a whisk to combine the ingredients until the mixture is homogenous . Let it cook for about 60 seconds before moving on!

    Add wet ingredients.

    After the roux has cooked for 60 seconds, add the milk and whisk the mixture really well. Add the sour cream or Greek yogurt and whisk again. At this point the mixture will be fairly runny. Cook over medium heat whisking every 10-15 seconds until the sauce starts to thicken.

    Do NOT let this mixture boil! If you do you may end up with a mac and cheese sauce that is too thick. Once the sauce has thickened enough to stick to a spatula, turn the heat to low. Then it’s time for the next step…

    Add the cheese & whisk until smooth

    Add the cheese and whisk until the sauce is smooth and all the cheese is melted. This will take 1-2 minutes over low heat. At this point it is important to taste the cheese sauce and adjust the salt/garlic according to your tastes!

    How To Make Homemade Mac And Cheese Step By Step Photos

    Easy Instant Pot Macaroni &  Cheese (Step

    Start by shredding an 8oz. block of sharp cheddar. Its very important to shred the cheese yourself instead of using pre-shredded cheese. For more information on that, see the section above the recipe titled Avoid Pre-Shredded Cheese.

    Next, boil 8oz. of macaroni according to the box directions . Drain the macaroni in a colander.

    You can start the cheese sauce either while the macaroni is boiling, or wait until its draining and just make it in the same pot to save on dishes. Add 3 Tbsp butter, 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, and ½ tsp onion powder to the pot.

    Place the pot over medium heat and allow the butter to melt. Whisk the butter, flour, and onion powder together as the mixture begins to get bubbly and frothy. Cook and whisk for about one minute after it becomes bubbly.

    Whisk 2 cups of milk into the butter and flour roux. Continue whisking as the milk begins to heat .

    Allow the milk to come up to a gentle simmer, at which point it will thicken to the consistency of heavy cream or gravy. Turn the burner off at this point.

    Season the sauce with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp hot sauce, or the seasonings of your choice .

    Begin adding 8oz. shredded cheddar to the pot, one handful at a time, whisking until it is completely melted before adding more. If the sauce cools down too much to continue melting the cheese, you can put it over low heat briefly, but avoid allowing the sauce to simmer again. Overheating cheese sauces will cause them to break and become grainy and oily.

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