Once you try this quick and easy recipe for baked mac and cheese, you’ll never go back to the boxed stuff again!
I’ve always been a macaroni and cheese connoisseur so when i’m able to make my own with a recipe like this, it makes the world a better place.
So what makes a good macaroni and cheese?
Well, in my opinion, there’s three things…
First and foremost is that commercial powder mixes or cheese “soups” or spreads just don’t do the dish justice.
All they do is imitate cheese flavor and texture and don’t do the job right at all.
The best way to get a rich, creamy, delicious cheese sauce?
Simple, use real cheese! And that’s exactly what you’ll do with this recipe.
Another thing that makes a good macaroni and cheese is how the pasta takes on the cheese sauce.
If it’s simply cooked noodles swimming in some cheesy sauce, that’s not really what i’m looking for.
I want to pasta to completely be ensconced in cheese and to absorb all the cheese goodness, texture and flavor. By baking it in the oven, that is exactly what you’ll do.
And the 3rd thing that I think makes a delicious macaroni and cheese is having a wonderful layer of golden brown melted cheese on top.
It’s heavenly and adds a dimension that simply cannot be found in a box.
Many recipes call for several steps and ingredients but this one uses just the basics and is really the easiest and best recipe for baked macaroni and cheese I’ve ever made.
Take a few minutes and give this one a try.
Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
- Large Saucepan
- Baking Dish
- 1 package elbow macaroni cooked according to package directions., 8oz
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 4oz, usually 1/2 package
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Cook macaroni according to package directions and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over low-medium heat and add flour, salt, pepper, paprika and ground red pepper. Whisk until smooth. Slowly add milk and continue whisking for 5 minutes while still over heat.
- Remove from heat and immediately add 1 cup of the shredded cheese and stir in well until it a nice rich thick cheese sauce.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grease a baking dish and add macaroni and cheese sauce and mix well.
- Cover with remaining cup of shredded cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbly.
- Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.