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Who doesn’t love homemade macaroni and cheese? I’ll tell ya who – serial killers + vegans and/or those who are lactose intolerant. This mac n cheese recipe is delicious (and hearty) enough to stand on its’ own, or you could serve it as a side. My favorite way to serve it is as a side with delicious pork chops as the main entrée!
What makes this baked macaroni and cheese recipe so delicious? The cheese blend! PSA: do not purchase pre-grated/shredded cheese. I know it’s easier.. but honestly, it’s more expensive and it does not taste as good. And plus, do you really wanna be that person who messes up a mac n cheese recipe because you used meh cheese? No, I didn’t think so.
Did I tell you the best part of this macaroni and cheese recipe? It makes AMAZING leftovers. No, seriously.. but then again, you probably will not have any leftovers.. better double this recipe up!
What you need to make seasoned and salted’s Homemade mac n cheese:
- pasta (I suggest elbows, cavatappi, or shelbows)
- unsalted butter
- all-purpose flour
- half and half
- medium cheddar cheese
- sharp cheddar cheese
- black pepper
- dried mustard
Enjoy, and as always, please let me know if you make this recipe – and if you do, don’t forget to tag @seasonedandsalted and #seasonedandsalted on Instagram!
- 1/2 lb macaroni or other pasta – I suggest macaroni, cavatappi, or shelbows
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter plus extra for preparing the baking dish
- 5 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk, 2%
- 1 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded*
- 1 cup medium sharp cheddar cheese, shredded*
- 1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded*
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- Preheat your oven to 325°F and butter the inside of a 2 qt baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of salted (always) to a boil. Cook the dried pasta for about 1 minute less than the package directs you for al dente — you don’t want mushy noodles!Drain the cooked pasta and drizzle with olive oil or toss with a bit of butter to prevent it from sticking, set aside.
- While you are bringing the pot of water to a boil, grate your cheeses. Honestly, if you make a lot of recipes with shredded cheese, I think it is worth it to purchase a food processor. It is so easy and fast to shred cheese using a food processor. If not, use a box grater.
- Once you’ve grated the 3 types of cheese (sharp cheddar, medium sharp cheddar, and gruyere), combine and mix them. You will have a total of 3 cups of cheese. Set aside 1 1⁄2 cups of shredded cheese (this will be used for the sauce). The other 1 1⁄2 cups will be used for the middle and top layer, but we will get into that later.
- Time to make the roux. A roux (pronounced like roo), is the term for when you cook flour with fat (normally, and in this case, butter), in order to thicken a sauce.
- First, combine the 3⁄4 cup of 2% milk and 1 1⁄4 cup of half and half, set aside. Melt 1⁄2 stick of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently. Slowly add about half of the milk/half and half mixture in while whisking constantly, until smooth. Then pour in the raining milk/half and half (continuing to whisk) until it is all smooth and well-combined.
- Once combined, continue to cook while whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the 1⁄2 tbsp salt, 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, tsp paprika, and 1⁄4 tsp dry mustard. Then add The 1 1⁄2 cup of cheese you set aside for the sauce. Mix to combine until the cheese has completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Grab a large mixing bowl and dump the drained pasta into it. Then pour the cheese sauce on top and mix to combine fully. Pour half of the macaroni and cheese into the prepared 2 qt dish, then top with half of the reserved cheese, sprinkling on top evenly.Add the remaining macaroni and cheese to the dish and sprinkle the last bit of cheese on top in an even layer.
- Bake the macaroni and cheese at 325°F for about 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden on top. Let the macaroni and cheese set for about 5-10 minutes before serving.