Making Baked Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a classic comfort food that everyone loves. While the stovetop version is quick and easy, the baked version takes it to a whole new level. In this tutorial, we will show you how to make delicious baked mac and cheese from scratch.
Gather Your Ingredients
Before you start, make sure you have all the ingredients ready. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
Cook the Macaroni
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the elbow macaroni.
Cook according to package instructions until al dente (firm but not too soft). Drain the cooked macaroni and set aside.
Create a Cheese Sauce
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk until well combined. This creates a roux, which will thicken our cheese sauce.
Add the milk gradually to the roux, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
Once the sauce has thickened, remove the saucepan from heat. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and grated Parmesan cheese to the saucepan. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce. Stir until all the macaroni is coated with the cheesy goodness.
Bake Your Mac and Cheese
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the mac and cheese mixture into a greased baking dish.
Sprinkle some extra shredded cheddar cheese on top of the macaroni for an extra cheesy crust. You can also sprinkle some paprika for added flavor and a touch of color.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
Serve and Enjoy!
Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. The baked mac and cheese should be creamy on the inside with a crispy crust on top.
- You can add cooked bacon, diced tomatoes, or sautéed onions to your mac and cheese for additional flavors.
- If you like it spicy, sprinkle some cayenne pepper or hot sauce on top before baking.
- For a healthier version, you can use whole wheat pasta and reduced-fat cheese.
Now that you know how to make baked mac and cheese, it’s time to try it out yourself. Gather the ingredients, follow the steps, and indulge in this cheesy delight!