It’s time that I share my tried and true mac and cheese recipe with you!
This method can take a little effort, but I really love cooking it “from scratch,” and it’s become an easy recipe as I’ve practiced over time. Also, you can totally take the base of this mac and cheese and turn it sweet to make homemade pudding – more on that later!
I give you my Homemade Mac and Cheese:
- 1 pound dried macaroni noodles
- 16-oz. block cheddar cheese (sharp or mild)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon each of the following seasonings:
- Black pepper
- Dry ground mustard
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Optional: ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Optional: if baking, ¼ cup panko or plain or seasoned bread crumbs mixed with 2 tablespoons melted salted butter
Shred the block of cheese and set it to the side.
Measure out your seasonings, and place them on a plate to the side.
Boil a large pot of water, and cook the noodles according to the packaging. When finished, drain the noodles.
In a separate large pot, turn the heat to medium, melt the butter, and then add equal parts flour, mixing well to combine and cook for a few minutes.
Add the milk and whisk well to combine. Stir frequently and cook until the milk becomes thick. This forms the base of your cheese sauce.
Once the mixture becomes thick, add the shredded cheese and mix well to combine.
Add your seasonings and mix well. Taste the cheese sauce and add more seasonings, if you like.
Add the noodles to the cheese sauce and mix well. You can serve it at this point, or, you can bake it.
If you opt to bake it, preheat your oven to 375° and mix the breadcrumbs and melted butter together. Butter an oven-safe baking dish, add the mac and cheese to the baking dish, and then sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top.
Bake it covered for 20 minutes, and then uncover it and place it under the broiler until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
And, it wouldn’t be a true “recipe” of mine without a few notes:
- Grated colby jack cheese would be a lovely substitute for the cheddar cheese!
- You can use any type of pasta – don’t feel limited to just macaroni noodles.
- I like a slight hint of spice to my mac and cheese, so that’s why I prefer to add a little cayenne pepper. You do you, though!
If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think!