Welcome to the world of comfort food! As a professional chef, I have come across countless recipes that warm the soul and bring a smile to everyone’s face. And today, I am delighted to share with you a timeless classic that never fails to impress – the baked mac and cheese recipe. This beloved dish is a perfect blend of creamy cheese, tender pasta, and a crispy golden crust that will have you reaching for seconds (and maybe even thirds!). So, get your aprons on, gather your ingredients, and let’s dive into the art of creating the ultimate baked mac and cheese that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Trust me, once you try this recipe, you’ll never go back to the boxed version again!

Baked Mac n Cheese Recipe: Creamy and Delicious Comfort Food

Looking for a comforting and indulgent dish that will satisfy your cravings? This baked mac n cheese recipe is the perfect choice. With its rich and creamy cheese sauce and crispy breadcrumb topping, it’s sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike. Follow this step-by-step guide to create a mouthwatering dish that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

General Information:

  • Making Difficulties: This recipe is easy to make, but it requires some stovetop cooking and baking in the oven.
  • Preparation Time: Approximately 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: Approximately 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Instructions:

Step 1: Cook the Macaroni

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the elbow macaroni until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Al dente means that the pasta should be cooked until it is still slightly firm. This will prevent it from becoming mushy when baked.

Step 2: Prepare the Cheese Sauce

In a saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the all-purpose flour until combined, creating a roux.

A roux is a mixture of equal parts fat and flour, used as a thickening agent in sauces and soups.

Slowly pour in the milk while whisking continuously, ensuring there are no lumps. Cook the mixture until it thickens and comes to a simmer.

Add the shredded cheddar cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and paprika to the saucepan. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.

Step 3: Combine the Macaroni and Cheese Sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large baking dish, combine the cooked macaroni and the cheese sauce. Stir until all the macaroni is coated in the creamy sauce.

Smooth the top of the macaroni and cheese mixture using a spatula.

Step 4: Add the Breadcrumb Topping

In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and melted butter until well combined.

Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

Step 5: Bake the Mac n Cheese

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the macaroni and cheese is bubbling.

Keep an eye on the dish towards the end of the baking time to prevent the top from burning.

Step 6: Let it Rest

Once baked, remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the macaroni and cheese to set slightly.

Serve the baked mac n cheese hot and enjoy the irresistible combination of cheesy goodness and crispy breadcrumbs.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy!

Scoop generous portions of the cheesy macaroni into bowls or plates and serve immediately. This dish pairs well with a side salad or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.

Prepare to indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience with this delicious baked mac n cheese recipe!

In summary, this baked mac n cheese recipe is a simple and satisfying dish that captures the essence of comfort food. With its creamy cheese sauce and crispy breadcrumb topping, it’s a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone coming back for more. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a dish to impress at a gathering, this mac n cheese recipe is a winner. So, grab your ingredients, follow the step-by-step instructions, and treat yourself to a delectable homemade meal that will warm your heart and please your taste buds.

baked mac n cheese recipe

Important Things to Keep in Mind When Making Baked Mac ‘n Cheese

Baked mac ‘n cheese is a classic comfort food that never fails to satisfy. Whether you’re making it for a cozy night in or a gathering with loved ones, there are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure your dish turns out perfectly creamy and delicious. From choosing the right type of cheese to nailing the perfect pasta-to-sauce ratio, these tips will elevate your baked mac ‘n cheese game to a whole new level. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

When it comes to the cheese, the most important thing to remember is variety. While cheddar is the traditional choice, mixing it up with other types of cheese can take your baked mac ‘n cheese to new heights. Gruyère adds a complex nuttiness, fontina brings a silky smoothness, and a touch of Parmesan adds depth. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite blend of cheeses. And don’t forget to shred your own cheese for the best melting results!

Another crucial element in a stellar baked mac ‘n cheese is the pasta. Opt for sturdy pasta shapes like elbow macaroni or cavatappi that can hold up to the rich sauce and maintain their texture. Avoid using pasta shapes that are too delicate or thin, as they may become mushy during baking. Cook the pasta until al dente, as it will continue to cook in the oven. Remember that slightly undercooking the pasta will prevent it from becoming too soft.

One of the most common mistakes when making baked mac ‘n cheese is having a dry and grainy sauce. To achieve a beautifully creamy texture, it’s crucial to create a perfect roux. Start by melting butter in a saucepan, then whisk in an equal amount of flour. Cook the roux until it becomes golden brown, which will give your sauce a richer flavor. Slowly whisk in the milk, little by little, and cook until the sauce thickens. This method ensures a velvety smooth texture and prevents clumps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for a delicious baked mac n cheese recipe? We’ve got you covered! Here are answers to some common questions about making this comfort food favorite.

1. How can I make my baked mac n cheese extra creamy?

For extra creaminess, start with a smooth cheese sauce. In a saucepan, melt butter and whisk in flour to create a roux. Gradually add milk and whisk until smooth. Then, add your favorite cheeses and stir until melted and smooth. This rich and velvety sauce will give your mac n cheese that extra creaminess.

Another pro tip is to make sure to fully cook the macaroni before baking it. Undercooked pasta can lead to a dryer end result. Cook the pasta until it’s al dente, or slightly firm to the bite. This way, it will continue to absorb the cheese sauce and stay tender during baking.

2. Can I use different types of cheese in my baked mac n cheese?

Absolutely! In fact, using a variety of cheeses can take your mac n cheese to the next level. Combining different cheeses can add depth of flavor and create a more complex taste. Try a combination of cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack for a classic blend. You can also experiment with cheeses like Gruyere, fontina, or even blue cheese to add unique flavors to your dish.

When using different types of cheese, make sure to shred them yourself for the best texture. Pre-shredded cheeses often contain additives that can affect the consistency of the sauce. Also, don’t forget to balance the different cheeses. Some varieties may be saltier or milder, so taste as you go and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

3. How can I make my baked mac n cheese crispy on top?

If you love that crunchy, golden topping on your mac n cheese, try this trick. After pouring the macaroni and cheese mixture into a baking dish, sprinkle a generous amount of breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter evenly over the top. The butter will help the breadcrumbs brown and create that deliciously crispy texture.

Another option is to use crushed crackers, panko breadcrumbs, or even crushed potato chips for added crunch and flavor. Just be sure to watch your mac n cheese closely while it bakes to prevent the topping from burning. If it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

4. Can I make baked mac n cheese ahead of time?

Yes, you can! Baked mac n cheese is a great dish to prepare in advance. Simply follow the recipe until just before baking. Once you’ve combined the cooked macaroni and cheese sauce, transfer it to a baking dish and let it cool to room temperature. Then, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, remove the dish from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to take off the chill. Bake it according to the recipe instructions, adding a few extra minutes to account for the dish being cold. This make-ahead method is perfect when you want to save time or prepare a dish for a gathering.

5. Can I freeze leftover baked mac n cheese?

Absolutely! Baked mac n cheese freezes well, making it a convenient option for meal prep or saving leftovers. Once the dish has cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight container or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil. Label it with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.

To reheat frozen mac n cheese, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then, transfer it to a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. If you prefer a crispy top, remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of baking. Enjoy your cheesy goodness!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese | How To Make Creamy Macaroni and Cheese #onestopchop


In conclusion, this baked mac n cheese recipe is the ultimate comfort food that will leave you craving for more. With its creamy, cheesy goodness and crispy golden topping, it’s a dish that will impress even the toughest food critics. Whether you’re cooking for a family gathering or just treating yourself, this recipe is a must-try. So go ahead, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and let the aroma of melted cheese fill your kitchen. Get ready to indulge in a dish that will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds. Happy cooking!