Macaroni and Cheese extreme – a buttery golden breadcrumb crust top coupled with a rich, gooey inside and three different cheeses.
I will warn you straight up: this isn’t Aunt Petunia’s well-intentioned but lukewarm, limp, and flavorless Macaroni and Cheese. You will have to exert much more willpower to resist this award winning baked macaroni and cheese creation. What awards has it won, you ask? Only the undying love and respect of my dear familial relations! And that’s the best award a home cook can aspire to.
So next time you are craving something warm and cheesy, and find yourself searching “macaroni and cheese near me,” try turning to your stovetop and this creamy macaroni and cheese recipe instead! The crunchy crust, gooey innards, and surprisingly complex flavor profile won’t disappoint.
You might also take a look at my tangy Macaroni Salad, or my Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, for a tropical adventure. Beefaroni and Beef and Tomato Macaroni Soup are two other fun options for hearty and filling weekend lunches!
How To Make Macaroni and Cheese
This macaroni and cheese recipe takes a little work, but the sumptuous end result is well worth the effort! First you mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and thyme with melted butter. (If you are tempted to eat this by itself, you are not alone.)
Next you whisk flour and warmed milk into another batch of melted butter, and add spices, seasonings, and cheeses. Your Southern macaroni and cheese sauce is complete! After cooking the macaroni to al dente, mix it with the sauce, sprinkle on the bread crumbs and some additional cheese, and bake to perfection!
Let’s Talk Mac and Cheese Variations
Oh boy, is there ever a wonderful world of mac and cheese variations out there. Below is a list of some of the greatest hits, like homemade baked macaroni and cheese and macaroni and cheese casserole.
Pioneer Woman Mac and Cheese
My presentation of the fabulous Pioneer Woman Mac And Cheese recipe incorporates egg, mustard, and paprika! You’ve gotta try it.
Crock Pot Macaroni And Cheese
Creamy Mac And Cheese
Creamy mac and cheese is the way to go on rainy days and winter months. We have got to keep that chill at bay somehow!
Best Mac And Cheese
The best mac and cheese recipes in my opinion are made from scratch. Homemade sauces, a few secret spices, no canned ingredients — now that’s a recipe for YUM.
Stovetop Mac And Cheese
Stovetop mac and cheese is a classic choice. This option is good for summertime, when you want to stay away from the oven!
Instant Pot Mac And Cheese
Instant pot mac and cheese recipes are a great choice for those of you in possession of this luxury gadget! I’m always amazed at what that baby can do.
One Pot Mac And Cheese
One pot mac and cheese is ready made for fans of speedy cleanup. Is there anyone this description does NOT apply to?
Southern Mac And Cheese
With Southern mac and cheese, you can count on a rich, creamy, subtly spiced sauce.
Mac And Cheese Casserole
Mac and cheese casserole makes a super housewarming gift, new baby assist, sick friend present, or potluck contribution.
Paula Deen Mac And Cheese
Paula Deen mac and cheese uses sour cream and condensed cheddar cheese soup! That’s some authentic southern cookin’ for ya.
Mac And Cheese Bites
Mac and cheese bites make a tasty after school or kids’ party snack.
Baked Mac And Cheese
I love baked mac and cheese for its inimitable, delicately crunchy crust of cheese and flavor! Creamy baked mac and cheese is up there on the list of culinary wonders of the world.
Homemade Baked Mac And Cheese
Homemade baked mac and cheese combines the best of two worlds — dat crust, and the TLC that only homemade cooking provides.
Velveeta Mac And Cheese
Velveeta mac and cheese is another old standby! You won’t have to worry about clumping with this recipe.
Fried Mac And Cheese
Fried mac and cheese is the dictionary definition of comfort food.
Mac And Cheese Balls
Serve mac and cheese balls at your next event with toothpicks or as finger food!
What I Love Most About This Easy Mac And Cheese
It’s a difficult decision, but I’m going to have to pick the thick sauce of this easy mac and cheese! That or all the smiles around my table.
Recipe Notes For Homemade Mac And Cheese
As mentioned below, be sure to study the box of your macaroni of choice. Overcook, and you’ll have something gooier on your hands than anticipated!
This shouldn’t happen if your heat is on medium, but try not to scald the milk in your homemade mac and cheese either. Frequent stirring helps here.
When you mix melted butter and flour, that is a thickening agent called a roux! Yes, like so many things tasty, it comes from the French.
Macaroni And Cheese Recipe
I hope you enjoy this macaroni and cheese recipe as much as my family! I’ve found that baked macaroni and cheese recipes provide a direct route to the heart.
Macaroni and Cheese
- 8 Tablespoons 1 Stick Unsalted Butter--Divided
- 2 Cups Dry Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 Cups Parmesan Cheese Grated
- 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme Leaves
- 5 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
- 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 2 1/2 Cups Divided Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shredded
- 2 Cups Sharp White Cheddar Cheese Shredded
- 2 Cups Gruyere
- 1 Pound Dried Elbow Pasta
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and dried thyme leaves in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour batter into the bowl with bread mixture, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
- While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
- Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese,1 1/2 cups Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere; set cheese sauce aside.
- Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer's directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
- Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, 1/2 cup Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.
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Source: Martha Stewart