Homemade Mac and Cheese

795

Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (whole milk preferred)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional for topping)
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (optional for topping)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Make the Cheese Sauce:
    • In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously for about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and slightly golden (this is your roux).
    • Slowly add the milk and heavy cream to the roux, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble (about 5-7 minutes).
    • Reduce the heat to low and add the shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses to the sauce. Stir until the cheeses are completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
    • Add the garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder (if using), salt, and pepper to the cheese sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Combine Pasta and Sauce:
    • Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir until the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce.
  4. Optional Topping:
    • If you prefer a baked mac and cheese with a crunchy topping, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • Transfer the mac and cheese to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
    • In a small bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the mac and cheese.
  5. Bake (Optional):
    • Bake the mac and cheese in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and crispy.
  6. Serve:
    • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy your creamy, cheesy homemade mac and cheese!

Tips:

  • For added flavor, mix in cooked bacon bits, sautéed onions, or steamed broccoli before baking.
  • If you like a spicier mac and cheese, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to the cheese sauce.
  • Use a mix of your favorite cheeses to customize the flavor to your liking.