This mac n cheese will be the best mac n cheese recipe you will ever make at home. Outrageously cheesy and ultra-creamy. I have used three different cheeses for this recipe. There is absolutely nothing that I love more than cheese, and when you mix it with pasta, it’s out of the world.
It’s the universal comfort food that is warming our hearts with its creamy cheese goodness. From a simple combination of macaroni and cheese to a culinary masterpiece. This has become a cherished dish in countless households. And this mac n cheese recipe is most definitely a keeper.
The roots of macaroni and cheese can be traced back to ancient Rome, where cheese and macaroni were combined to create a simple and delicious dish. As time passed, mac n cheese evolved and became popular around the world.
Making homemade mac n cheese is a gratifying experience that brings both joy and comfort. With simple ingredients and a few steps, you can create a rich and creamy masterpiece that will delight your taste buds. Whether you choose the stovetop version or opt for a baked one, this classic dish is perfect for cosy dinners, potlucks or whenever you crave. And if you are looking for a real deal, then this recipe is IT.
Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- It’s All about Cheese: Baking mac n cheese allows the flavours to melt together and intensify. The cheese gets wonderfully melted and bubbly creating a rich and creamy texture on the inside. While slight browning on top adds a depth of flavour that enhances the overall taste of the pasta.
- It’s Customizable: Baked mac n cheese can be customized in many ways. You can experiment with loads of toppings, like adding breadcrumbs or crispy bacon for extra flavour. You can get creative with your favourite flavours for this recipe.
- It’s Simple: It can never disappoint you. You can never go wrong with baked mac n cheese because the ingredients are so stupidly simple. Even the worst mac n cheese bowl tastes almost always delicious.
- Loved By All: Great for kids. Baked mac n cheese is loved by kids due to its mild and familiar flavour. It can be a great way to introduce new ingredients or vegetables by incorporating them into the dish, making it more appealing and nutritious for kids. It’s a total crowd-pleaser. It is a dish that is suitable for various occasions. From family dinners to potlucks and parties. It’s a universal comfort food that can bring people together and put a smile on their faces.
Ingredients Used In The Recipe:
- Cheese: in this recipe, I have used three kinds of cheese. Mozzarella cheese, liquid cheese blend and cheddar cheese. Try to use a good melting cheese and a flavour that enhances the taste and texture of the baked mac n cheese. And speaking of cheese, you have so many options to choose from. And my personal favourite is sharp cheddar and, obviously, mozzarella used in the recipe. You can replace these cheeses with smoked Gouda, Monterey Jack, or Colby Jack.
- Roux: this recipe starts with a roux. And this is the important ingredients that will give you the creamiest mac n cheese of your life. Roux is a base sauce that is used as a thickening agent and then poured into milk to create a creamy sauce.
- Vegetables: for this recipe, I have used mushrooms and onions. You can add corn, broccoli or even chicken to get protein.
- Seasonings: for seasoning, I have used ground pepper, salt, nutmeg, chilly flakes, oregano and roasted garlic. You can also use dried parsley, peri-peri powder, or smoked paprika.
- Pasta: for cooking mac n cheese, elbow pasta is preferred. But you can use any type of tubular pasta that you have.
How To Make Baked Mac N Cheese?
For complete instructions, see the recipe box.
Make Roux: In a heavy bottom pan, make a roux by adding butter. Let it melt completely, and then add in onions and mushrooms and sauté it for a few minutes.
Add Flour: Add in all-purpose flour and cook for a few minutes.
Add Milk: Gradually pour in room temperature milk and not warm milk. Warm milk may turn all-purpose flour into clumps.
Add Seasonings: now add in all the seasonings that, are salt, ground pepper, nutmeg, chilly flakes, oregano, and roasted garlic. Mix with a spatula and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Add All Cheese: add in cheddar, mozzarella, and liquid cheese, blend into it and give it a good mix.
Add Macaroni: Fold in the boiled macaroni and give it a final mix until all the macaroni is coated with cheese.
Prepare Skillet and Oven: Take a skillet and brush butter inside the skillet. Preheat the oven to 180C (OTG mode: Upper rod+ lower rod + fan).
Bake: Transfer mac n cheese into the skillet and cover the top with mozzarella cheese along with some cheddar cheese. Bake it at 180°C (350°F) for 10-12 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
Garnish: Garnish it by placing fresh parsley leaf on top.
How To Store Baked Mac N Cheese?
Let the mac n cheese come to room temperature before keeping it in a container. This helps in preventing condensation from forming inside the container.
Portion it into individual servings so that it’s easier to reheat without affecting the entire batch.
Transfer the mac n cheese into an airtight container that is suitable for both the fridge and freezer. It is best to use glass or plastic containers with secure lids. Alternatively, you can use aluminium foil or food-grade plastic to wrap the dish directly.
Chef’s Tip For The Recipe:
Tip For Cheese
Use block cheese, then shred to use it. As shredded cheese is coated with preservatives so that it doesn’t stick together. You need to shred it yourself for the best results.
How To Cook Macaroni
Cook your pasta a little bit less than al dente. As it is a baked mac n cheese, the macaroni will keep cooking in the sauce while in the oven.
Tip For Roux
Make sure not to burn the roux. Otherwise, the pasta may have a pungent smell of burning.
Do not stop stirring the milk after pouring it into the pan. If the pan is too hot or you stop stirring for a minute or two, it may scorch the sauce resulting in clumpy sauce.
Be generous with the sauce. As the cheese sauce is the heart of the recipe, make sure to make a slightly larger quantity of the sauce. The pasta tends to absorb the sauce while it’s baking. So having extra will ensure creamy and cheesy mac n cheese.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Although elbow pasta is traditionally used to make mac n cheese. You can experiment by using shells, penne or fussily pasta for making the pasta. Just make sure to choose pasta that can hold onto the sauce.
Boil your pasta less than al dente to prevent the pasta from becoming mushy. The pasta will continue to cook while in the oven, so slightly undercooked pasta will help maintain a good shape.
Yes, you can make it ahead of time. Prepare the pasta as usual, but skip the baking part and keep it in the refrigerator after covering it with plastic wrap. And when you need it, take it out of the fridge, then let it come to room temperature. Bake it according to the instruction. The baking time may differ a little to heat it thoroughly.
Yes, you can freeze baked mac n cheese. Allow it to cool completely after baking and place it in an airtight container, then freeze it. When you are ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator and reheat it in the oven until heated thoroughly.
Avoid overheating it after adding cheese to the sauce. Once the cheese is melted, reduce the heat or remove it from the heat and stir gently to incorporate the cheese. Also, avoid vigorously stirring, as it can cause the sauce to become grainy or oily.
- 65g Macaroni
- 200ml Milk
- 1 + 1/2 Tsp All-purpose flour
- 30g Butter
- 30g Onion
- 50g Button Mushrooms
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Ground pepper
- 1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Chilly flakes
- 1/2 Tsp Oregano
- 5g Roasted Garlic
- 45g Cheddar Cheese
- 200g Liquid cheese Blend
- 85g Mozzarella cheese
- Some parsley for garnish
- Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese for the topping
- In a saucepan, take butter and let it melt. Add in onions and mushrooms, then sauté it for a few minutes.
- Add in all-purpose flour and cook until golden brown.
- Gradually add in milk while stirring continuously.
- Now add in salt, ground pepper, oregano, nutmeg, chilly flakes and roasted garlic and mix. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Add in mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese and liquid cheese blend and gently mix them.
- Add in boiled macaroni and give it a final mix.
- Now, grease a skillet with butter and transfer the pasta to it.
- Spread mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese on top.
- Bake it at 180°C (350°F) for 10-12 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
- Garnish the top with a fresh parsley leaf.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes