Mac and cheese is a classic comfort food that is loved by people of all ages. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or hosting a dinner party, learning how to bake mac and cheese is a skill that will always come in handy.
In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of making the perfect baked mac and cheese. So put on your apron and let’s get started!
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional toppings:
- Crumbled bacon
- Sliced tomatoes
- Fresh parsley
Step 1: Cook the macaroni
In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add salt. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the instructions on the package until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the cheese sauce
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until well combined, creating a roux. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add milk gradually to the roux, whisking continuously to ensure no lumps form. Cook the mixture until it thickens and comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted and smooth.
Step 3: Combine the macaroni and cheese sauce
Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked macaroni and stir until all the noodles are evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 4: Baking
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the mac and cheese mixture into a greased baking dish.
For added texture, you can sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the macaroni. This will create a deliciously crispy crust.
Step 5: Optional toppings
If desired, you can add additional toppings to customize your baked mac and cheese. Some popular options include crumbled bacon, sliced tomatoes, or fresh parsley.
Step 6: Bake and serve
Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. Once baked, let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Your homemade baked mac and cheese is now ready to be enjoyed! The combination of creamy cheese sauce, tender macaroni noodles, and crispy breadcrumb topping is simply irresistible. Serve it as a main course or as a side dish alongside your favorite meats or vegetables.
Baking mac and cheese adds an extra layer of flavor and texture that takes this classic dish to new heights. So why settle for plain stovetop macaroni when you can indulge in a cheesy, gooey delight straight from the oven?