I have kids, which automatically means that Macaroni & Cheese is requested OFTEN in my house. My 4 year old son thinks that he should eat it daily. Yikes- sorry little man! But once a week or so with some grilled chicken and steamed broccoli, or steak and brussel sprouts- well that’s just fine with me.
I am not a fan (at all) of boxed mac and cheese. I do use it in a pinch sometimes, but honestly, I live in Wisconsin and I’m pretty sure we do not believe in powdered cheese of any kind. With real, fresh cheese around every corner, this mom has no time for the fake stuff! 😉
I know it doesn’t look like much, but this macaroni and cheese is a winner. It uses real cheese without being too greasy like some recipes turn out to be. Whether you need a hearty side dish to feed a group (I made a huge double batch of this for our annual Pig Roast this year and it literally disappeared), or something for just the family, this macaroni and cheese is great. Serve with grilled chicken and some steamed broccoli or a nice salad and you’ve got the whole meal covered! Adapted from Chef John on Allrecipes.com
Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese
6-8 servings, 45 mins total
- 1 (16oz) box noodles, I use Fusilli or Cellentani but almost any kind works
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam and bubble, stir in the flour; cook on medium heat until flour just begins to turn pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Add pepper and whisk in 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk and whisk again. Bring the sauce just to a simmer.
- Stir in nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat off, then add 2 1/4 cups of Cheddar cheese; stir until melted and combined. Stir in Dijon mustard.
- Transfer the macaroni into a casserole dish, then pour in the cheese sauce; stir to thoroughly combine sauce with pasta. Mix panko bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter in a small bowl, and sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese topping are golden brown, about 20 minutes.