How To Bake Macaroni And Cheese
Learn how to bake macaroni and cheese and serve an easy to make American classic for dinner tonight. Baked macaroni and cheese has a golden brown crusty surface and a creamy, cheesy, center. Add a salad and a vegetable side dish to complete this simple meal.
To bake macaroni and cheese, you will need:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups milk
- 4 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 pound elbow macaroni, uncooked
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- Casserole baking dish
- Cook the elbow Macaroni. Fill a deep pot half full of water and add a little oil. Bring the water to a full boil. Add 1 pound of elbow macaroni and stir. Bring the macaroni to a full boil, stirring occasionally, and cook the elbow macaroni for 7 minutes. Note: The undercooked elbow macaroni will finish cooking during baking. Drain the macaroni in a colander and pour into a casserole baking dish. Set aside.
- Make the cheese sauce. While the macaroni is cooking, make the cheesy white sauce. Start by grating 4 ½ cups of cheddar cheese. Set ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese aside. Warm 3 cups of milk in the microwave for 2 minutes or in a sauce pan over a low heat. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to a deep sauce pan and melt over a medium heat. Add salt and flour to the melted butter and mix thoroughly using a rubber spatula. Slowly add the warm milk and mix until the sauce is smooth and lump free. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly to keep the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan. When the sauce thickens, remove from the heat, and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and mix until the cheese is melted. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked macaroni and mix thoroughly.
- Bake the macaroni and cheese. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan or in the microwave. Add the bread crumbs and a dash of salt to the butter and mix. Sprinkle ½ cup of shredded cheese over the top of the macaroni and cheese then sprinkle the buttered bread crumbs over the cheese. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Tips: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cheeses in the cheese white sauce. If you like a lighter flavor, make the white sauce with 2 cups of shredded Asiago cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. A sprinkle of basil in the sauce during cooking makes this the perfect sauce to use with any pasta. Keep a close eye on the macaroni and cheese while it is baking to avoid burning the top. If the top of the macaroni browns too quickly, cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil for the duration of baking.