Creamy Baked Mac & Cheese
October 24, 2021
"My friend was looking for a creamy mac & cheese recipe. I was intrigued because I had never made M&C from scratch. I found a bunch of recipes that sounded good and did some adjusting. This is what I came up with."
- Serving Size: 1 (290.9 g)
- Calories 697.1
- Total Fat - 38.2 g
- Saturated Fat - 22 g
- Cholesterol - 99.4 mg
- Sodium - 1265 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 58.5 g
- Dietary Fiber - 7.3 g
- Sugars - 5.1 g
- Protein - 32.4 g
- Calcium - 917.9 mg
- Iron - 1.1 mg
- Vitamin C - 0.3 mg
- Thiamin - 0.3 mg
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 1 1/2 qt baking dish (8x8 or round).
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep from sticking.
While water is coming up to a boil, grate cheeses and toss together to mix, then divide into three piles. Approximately 1 1/2 cups for the sauce, 3/4 cups for the inner layer, and 3/4 cups for the topping.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over MED heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Mixture may look like very wet sand. Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often. Slowly pour in about 1 cup or so of the milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until smooth. Slowly pour in the remaining milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.
Continue to heat over MED heat, whisking very often, until thickened to a very thick consistency. It should almost be the consistency of a semi thinned out condensed soup.
Remove from the heat and stir in spices and 3/4 cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine. Stir in another 3/4 cups of cheese, and stir until completely melted and smooth.
Add the drained pasta to the cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully. Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with 3/4 cups of grated cheeses, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture.
Sprinkle the top with the last 3/4 cups of cheese. Sprinkle the panko crumbs on top of cheese and bake for 30 minutes, until cheesy is bubbly and lightly golden brown.
Turn on broiler and broil for 2-3 minutes until top is starting to brown in spots. Check after 2 minutes that it isn't burning.
NOTE 1: Grate your own cheese - the packaged kind has added ingredients to keep it from clumping and it won't melt as well
NOTE 2: You can adjust the types of cheese, as long as you have a total of 3 cups
NOTE 3: You can alter the the amounts and kinds of milk/cream to your preference with total of 2 cups
Tips & Variations
No special items needed.