Everyone needs a homemade macaroni and cheese recipe in their pocket, and this is ours. It’s easy to make, tastes amazing, and makes super creamy macaroni and cheese. Jump to the easy recipe for ultra-creamy macaroni and cheese
How to make the creamiest macaroni and cheese
you just look six ingredients (plus salt and pepper). east can even be done in less than 30 minutes (maybe less!).
I like it You can keep it on the stovetop for a quick mac and cheese, or pop it in the oven to bubble and brown. I like it both ways.
We call this our easy mac and cheese, not because it’s not insanely delicious, but because it’s the perfect base for other variations. Check out some suggestions below.
To make our must-have mac and cheese, you’ll need the following:
pasta: Shape and size are entirely up to you. Look for pasta that has the creamy sauce in it. Macaroni and elbows are great options.
butter and flour: It is the combination of butter and flour that makes the sauce thicker. We like to use unsalted butter for this and adjust the salt to taste when making the sauce. That said, salted butter will work if that’s all you have.
Cheddar cheese: Every time we make mac and cheese, we use spicy white cheddar cheese. It’s delicious and melts beautifully. See our notes below for more cheese suggestions. Whatever cheese you use, it’s best to grate it yourself. I know it’s extra prep time, but hand-grated cheese melts much easier in the sauce.
cream cheese: Macaroni and Cheese would be great if you just added cheddar cheese, but to make it super creamy we’re going to add some cream cheese. It adds a nice silky texture and since it’s a bit tangy it lightens the flavor a bit.
salt and pepper: Nobody wants an unseasoned cheese sauce! Be sure to taste the sauce before serving. If it doesn’t crack, add a little more salt to the pan.
Variations on macaroni and cheese.
This recipe can be easily adapted to other variations. Here are some of our favourites:
Baked Mac and Cheese: Once the pasta and cheese sauce are combined, transfer to a casserole dish and top with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs. We shared this baked mac and cheese a while back.
Garlic Macaroni and Cheese: Both fresh and roasted garlic work great in this recipe. Add both just before adding the flour to the butter. For fresh I would use 2-3 cloves. For roasted garlic, you can increase to 6 or more cloves. Check out our Roasted Garlic recipe.
Use different types of cheese: Cheddar isn’t the only cheese that can be used. Try Gruyère, Fontina or Monterey Jack, all of which melt easily. For more flavor, a little Parmesan or Pecorino is delicious, and for a more grown-up dish, try blue cheese!
Spicy Macaroni and Cheese: Mustard (Dijon or dry mustard), nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper are classic cheese sauce ingredients. Smoked paprika is also very tasty.
Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese: A favorite child! Toss roasted broccoli or steamed broccoli in a pan before serving. This is how we make roasted broccoli.
Light Mac and Cheese: Replacing half the cheese sauce with mashed cauliflower saves calories and still tastes amazing.
Easy ultra-creamy macaroni and cheese
Here’s our quick and easy homemade macaroni cheese recipe. It is prepared on the stovetop and requires no cooking. That doesn’t mean you can’t cook it. We have shared how to do this in the recipe below. Thanks to butter, flour and milk, the sauce becomes velvety and super creamy. To the sauce we add a whole pound of cheddar cheese (the hotter the better) and some cream cheese. Cream cheese is optional but adds zest and even more creaminess.
Makes 8 servings
Watch us at the recipe
1 pound dry pasta such as elbow macaroni, clams, or penne
5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
5 tablespoons (45 grams) all-purpose flour
5 cups (1180 ml) milk, preferably warm, whole milk or 2% reduced-fat
1 pound white cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces cream cheese, optional
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Baked macaroni and cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, then follow package directions, but cook 1 minute less than package says. drain.
Meanwhile, prepare the creamy cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a large, tall saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and mix the butter and flour in and around the pan until they smell toasted and look light brown; 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in the warm milk while stirring. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to simmer and thicken. (The sauce will only thicken after simmering.)
Reduce the heat to low, then add the cheddar and cream cheese, salt, and black pepper. When the sauce is smooth and velvety, add the cooked pasta. If the sauce looks wet/thin don’t worry, the pasta will absorb some of the extra moisture as it cools. Turn off the heat, then cover with a lid. Let stand 5 minutes, stir again, then serve.
After adding the pasta to the cheese sauce, place in a large casserole dish, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs (optional) and more grated cheese. Bake uncovered in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven until the top is bubbly and golden brown; 25 to 30 minutes.
Advice from Adam and Joanne
- Storage: Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. To freeze, transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Bake covered in a 350 degree F oven for about an hour. Or thaw overnight and reheat on the stovetop (if it seems dry, add an extra tablespoon or two of milk).
- Nutritional Information: The nutritional information below is an estimate. We use the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
If you make this recipe, take a picture and use the hashtag #inspiredtaste. We love seeing your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste
Nutritional value per serving: Part 1/8 of the recipe / calories 571 / total fat 31.9g / Saturated Fatty Acids 18.2g / cholesterol 89.6mg / sodium 564.7mg / carbohydrates 48.7g / fiber 2 g / total sugar 2.3g / protein 21.8g
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Source : inspiredtaste.net