How to Make Macaroni and Cheese

Sometimes the best medicine after a stressful day is a big bowl of comfort food. You know the kind--the lip-smacking, grown-up versions of childhood favorites that can never be beaten by fancier meals. Macaroni and cheese oozes comfort, but don't be tempted to reach for a box. Cheese powder? Really? You can do better than that! Real, made-from-scratch macaroni and cheese is easy to make, and it produces the perfect dose of home-cooked comfort after a hard day.
Hi. I'm Miranda with Recipe.com and today I'm gonna show you how to make Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. Now, regular stovetop macaroni and cheese is certainly delicious, but when you bake it and get that golden brown yumminess on top, it's even, even better, and the recipe that I'm gonna show you today is exactly that. So let's get started with our ingredients. Over here, I have 1 quart of milk, 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1-1/2 cups divided of shredded parmesan cheese so 1 cup here and the remaining half cup here, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 eight-ounce packet of cream cheese softened so I just left it out of the refrigerator for a little bit, and then a quarter cup of all purpose flour. Over here, I have a 16-ounce package of elbow macaroni which is the quintessential macaroni and cheese shape which has already been cooked. My oven is behind me, preheated at 350 degrees, and over here I have this large saucepan. So, to start, I've put this on low heat and we are going to begin by melting our butter in here, so just let this melt and then the next step is to whisk in our flour. When you're adding flour into any sort of liquid, you always wanna do it gradually so that the liquid can absorb the liquid rather than kind of like overwhelming it. Just whisk, whisk, whisk, so we're gonna keep going until this is all in here incorporated. Now we are going to gradually add in our milk. These little sort of like-- little balls of flour and butter than you have over here will start to melt into a paste as you incorporate the milk. Now, it's gonna be hot so...just-- let me do half. And at this point you can turn your heat up to medium and help that milk to warm up a little bit and help to-- the butter and the flour nice and melted and pliable so it will all mix together. Okay. So we have medium heat now and what we're going to do is for the next 20 minutes, we are going to be stirring constantly, you don't have to literally stand here for 20 minutes, but like every few minutes, you wanna be whisking and stirring, and we are going to let this mixture cook until it's bubbly and thickened and then we'll come back in 20 minutes. Okay, so it's been 20 minutes. Look how nice and thick and bubbly our flour, milk, and butter mixture is so we're gonna turn off the heat and we are going to add in the cup of parmesan. Remember, we've reserved half a cup over there that we're gonna leave to the very end, so add in the parmesan, the mozzarella, cream cheese, and we're just gonna stir this until it's all nice and incorporated and make sure that that cream cheese is nice and melted in here. Okay, now, let's add in our macaroni... and give this a mix 'til all the cheese is incorporated. Oh, my gosh, this smells so good, and the mozzarella gives it this just great stringy, yummy quality, so now we are going to spoon it in to our greased baking dish here. Like look at all this cheesy goodness. My goodness, 3 different types of cheese in here. Now, don't forget, we have the last little bit of parmesan and we're just gonna sprinkle this over the top and it will get nice and brown and crispy, so speaking of, we're gonna pop it in the oven now which, remember, has been preheated at 350 degrees, and let it cook for about 30 minutes or until the top is nice and golden brown. Okay, so our macaroni and cheese baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and check it out. We have some yummy little golden brown happening at the top, all this melted, delicious cheese, and the smell in here is fantastic. I cannot wait to dive in. There you have it, that's how you make Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. Thanks for watching, and for more great recipes and savings, visit us at Recipe.com.

What You'll Need

  • 2   tablespoons butter

  • 1/4  cup all-purpose flour

  • 1   quart milk

  • 1  8  ounce package cream cheese, softened

  • 1 1/2  cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

  • 2   cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

  • 1  16  ounce package elbow macaroni, cooked


Step By Step

1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2
In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
3
Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
4
Add cream cheese, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, and Mozzarella cheese; stir.
5
Add macaroni to cheese mixture; stir. Spoon into a lightly greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
6
Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.


You can make a gluten-free version of this recipe by substituting corn flour for the white flour and using rice noodles instead of regular macaroni noodles. If you get the urge to substitute different kinds of cheese to discover your own yummy flavor combination, know that the cheese substitution will change the recipe's texture, as well as taste. The cream cheese and mozzarella cheese give this macaroni and cheese dish its extra-creamy consistency. But if you're looking for a bit of variety, by all means test out a few versions of this comfort food. If you're craving other ideas on preparing this classic dish, check out recipes for three cheese or classic baked macaroni and cheese.
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