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Our Favorite Homemade Mac & Cheese

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: comfort food
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • bread crumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350*.
  • Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  • While macaroni is cooking, melt butter or margarine in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Stir in flour and salt and continue cooking/stirring until the mixture is bubbly.
  • Slowly add milk (about 1/2 cup at a time), stirring and heating to nearly a boil after each addition.
  • Simmer and stir the sauce until it thickens a bit (usually less than 5 minutes).
  • Add 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.
  • Add cooked macaroni to cheese sauce, stirring until the macaroni is evenly coated.
  • Transfer to a 1 1/2 qt. baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
  • Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bread crumbs.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and macaroni is heated through.

Notes

We love this recipe both for quick dinners at home and also to take as a side for potlucks.  Here are some tips for feeding a group:
  • We like the Barilla Protein Plus pasta for when the macaroni won't be eaten right away - it stays slightly firmer for a longer period of time.
  • If you need to make a bigger batch, just double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 pan.
  • If you need to use a slow cooker to keep it warm for a while, make the following changes to the basic recipe above:
    • Cook the pasta for only 5 minutes (rather than whatever time is specified on the box.)
    • Add all of the cheese to the cheese sauce (rather than reserving some to put on top).  Omit the bread crumbs.
    • Rather than baking in the oven, transfer the macaroni & cheese to a slow cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and set to "Warm".  A double-recipe fits in a 5 qt slow cooker.
    • Check and stir the macaroni every 30-45 minutes to make sure it is heating evenly and the edges are not turning brown.