Mac and cheese is a classic comfort food that never fails to satisfy. Whether you’re making it for yourself or serving it at a gathering, there are a few key steps to follow in order to create the best mac and cheese you’ve ever had. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of making this delicious dish from scratch.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
- Bread crumbs (optional)
- Experiment with different types of cheese: While cheddar and Parmesan are traditional choices, feel free to mix it up with other types of cheeses like Gruyère or fontina for unique flavors.
- Add-ins: For some extra flavor, you can add cooked bacon, sautéed onions, or even diced tomatoes to your mac and cheese before baking it.
- Serve with a salad: Mac and cheese can be quite rich on its own. Consider serving it alongside a fresh green salad for balance.
Step 1: Cook the Macaroni
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt to the boiling water and cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the Cheese Sauce
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour until well combined to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue stirring until the mixture thickens.
Add salt and black pepper (if desired) to taste.
Add 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese and all of the grated Parmesan cheese to the saucepan. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
Step 3: Combine the Macaroni and Cheese Sauce
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a large baking dish, combine the cooked macaroni and cheese sauce. Mix well until all of the macaroni is coated with the cheese sauce.
Step 4: Add Toppings (Optional)
If you prefer a crispy topping on your mac and cheese, sprinkle bread crumbs over the top of the dish. This will add an extra layer of texture and flavor.
Step 5: Bake in the Oven
Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
Once baked, remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
With these steps, you can create a delicious homemade mac and cheese that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Enjoy!