There are few comfort foods that are universally loved, but a good Homemade Macaroni and Cheese has to be one of them. Velvety soft cheese, whether baked or stovetop, with or without a crunchy topping, is a staple in any cook's catalog. I know your family probably has their recipe for Homemade Macaroni and Cheese or at least you'll have fond memories of eating Kraft or Velveeta as a kid. The reason mac and cheese is a favorite is because it rarely disappoints.
What makes a good sauce
A great mac and cheese always starts with...cheese! I like to use several cheeses (cheddar, monterey jack, parmesan) so that the cheese flavor is robust and well rounded. You can use many different types of cheeses as long as they melt well together. For instance if you want a creamy smooth texture, don't use a crumbly cheese like blue cheese as it won't fully incorporate with the rest of the cheeses. That being said, if you want that flavor, go for it! I usually start my sauce off with making a roux, then adding milk and heavy cream. I'll then season generously with salt, pepper, paprika and ground mustard (ground mustard also helps the cheese get that golden color).
I decided to use Cavatappi pasta for this mac and cheese. The classic of course is using elbows, but I've also made great mac and cheese with shells, penne or orecchiette. One of my favorite times having mac and cheese was at my cousin's wedding. There was a Make your own mac and cheese bar with different toppings to choose from. It was so cool and an idea I might just steal for whenever we have people over next.
Macaroni and Cheese remains a classic for a reason and with so many variations it will never become boring. What is your favorite type of Homemade Macaroni and Cheese?
Make it a Meal
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Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is a classic dinner recipe that never gets old! Cheesy, delicious and easy, this recipe will not dissapoint!
- 1 Pound Dried Pasta Elbows or Cavatappi preferred
- ½ Cup Butter
- ½ Cup Flour
- 1 ½ Cups Milk
- 2 Cups Half and Half
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Ground Mustard
- 2 Cups Sharp Cheddar
- 1 Cup Cheddar Jack
Cook pasta per package instructions until al dente. Set aside.
In a large pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir together until fully incorporated. Cook roux until flour is cooked through and it has a slight nutty aroma.
Slowly add milk to roux mixture, whisking together so that it is smooth and fully blended together. Add is half and half.
Add in seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk in cheese and stir until fully incorporated. Let simmer for several minutes until sauce thickens.
Add pasta to the sauce mixture and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve and enjoy!
Because we are in San Francisco, our living space is tiny and our outdoor space is tinier. That doesn't stop Arya from relaxing outside as much as she can!