This is the ultimate comfort food in our house. Whenever I eat this, it totally takes me back to my childhood. We very rarely had the “blue box” and I plan to keep it that way in my house. The love of mac-n-cheese was almost ruined for my brother and I when my dad didn’t dice the onions small enough and we detected them. Remember the drama and over exaggeration from the sloppy joes? I’m sure it applied in this situation too. Since then, we have gone onion-less so I continue to keep it that way but you can surely add them to taste if you wish.
This is something I learned by watching and helping my mom in the kitchen. I have never actually seen a recipe for this written out so I actually had to measure out ingredients to share this with you all. This is just the ultimate reminder of family and it means so much to us. This is another family dish that is at every holiday and special occasion table. Special days wouldn’t be the same without it.
This recipe can be changed up so easily and can be made into a meal by adding shredded chicken, broccoli or crumbled Italian sausage. We usually use all cheddar (16 oz.) but occasionally I like to change it up by substituting some of the cheddar for gouda or pepperjack (or any other cheese that you love). This time we went with pepperjack for an added zing.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
16 oz. pasta (we usually use shells or cavatelli)
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups milk (I use skim and it’s still satisfying and creamy)
8 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
8 oz. pepperjack, shredded
2 oz. Velveeta (for added creaminess without a “processed” taste), optional
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to al dente directions.
2. Meanwhile, melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour to make a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes to cook away the flour taste.
3. Slowly add the milk to the roux. Cook for several minutes until the mixture has thickened. Stir in salt and pepper.
4. Add the cheese and stir until melted.
5. Mix cooked noodles and cheese sauce in a 13×9 baking dish. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over mac-n-cheese.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.