Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time Prep: 15m

Yield: Makes 2 to 3 main-dish or 4 to 6 side-dish servings

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Give up the box mix because making Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese from scratch is easier than you think. Shredding a block of cheese adds a little more prep time but the smooth and creamy results are worth it. This dish makes for a great side dish that the family will love, or a fun casserole to bring to your next potluck dinner. For more tasty mac and cheese recipes, see our complete Macaroni and Cheese recipe collection.

  • 1 (8-oz.) package elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (8-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Keep warm.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, black and red pepper, 1 cup shredded cheese, and cooked pasta.
  3. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Sharp Cheddar Cheese. To lighten, 2% reduced-fat milk and reduced-fat cheese may be substituted.
  6. One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese: Prepare recipe as directed, stirring all grated Cheddar cheese into thickened milk mixture until melted. Add cooked pasta, and serve immediately. Prep: 10 min., Cook: 7 min.

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-oz.) package elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (8-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

Instructions

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Keep warm.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, black and red pepper, 1 cup shredded cheese, and cooked pasta.
  3. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Sharp Cheddar Cheese. To lighten, 2% reduced-fat milk and reduced-fat cheese may be substituted.
  6. One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese: Prepare recipe as directed, stirring all grated Cheddar cheese into thickened milk mixture until melted. Add cooked pasta, and serve immediately. Prep: 10 min., Cook: 7 min.