Do you love the creamy, cheesy goodness of mac and cheese? Then you’re in for a treat! In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps to make the perfect mac and cheese.
From picking the right ingredients to achieving that perfect gooey consistency, we’ve got you covered. So, get ready to cook up a delicious dish that’s sure to please even the pickiest of palates!
How to Make Mac and Cheese on the Stovetop
For a homemade version of boxed mac and cheese that’s just as quick and simple, This stovetop mac and cheese recipe uses common ingredients and takes only 25 minutes to prepare.
You’ll want to save this dish for hectic weeknights. The good news is that it’s so basic that once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll probably remember it.
Step 1: Boil macaroni
Heat a saucepan of water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni for approximately 8 minutes, or until al dente.
Tip: To make thicker mac and cheese, double the amount of macaroni.
Step 2: Make a Roux
While the macaroni is cooking, begin preparing the roux. A roux is a thickening agent composed of one part fat and one part flour that serves as the foundation for this velvety mac and cheese.
Step 3: Add Cheese and Macaroni
Finally, the most important step: add cheese! Slowly whisk in the Cheddar cheese until it’s smooth and melted. We recommend grating your cheese because pre-shredded cheese does not incorporate as effectively as block cheese. Once the macaroni has finished cooking, drain it and toss it into the cheese sauce until it is coated.
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Amazing Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 lb. dried elbow pasta
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 1/2 cups half and half
- 4 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese divided (measured after shredding)
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese divided (measured after shredding)
- 1/2 Tbsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. paprika smoked
Variations of Mac & Cheese
- Bacon – If you enjoy bacon, feel free to add some crispy, crumbled bacon to the topping or even into the macaroni and cheese!
- You may cook this mac and cheese on the stovetop if you don’t want to bake it. Make sure you boil your pasta to al dente (see the packet for precise times), and you’ll only need around 3 – 3 1/2 cups of cheese in total. There is no need to pile the pasta and cheese; simply add all of the cheese to the sauce and incorporate it with the pasta.
- Different Toppings – I prefer the cheese layer on top because it becomes lovely and crispy, but we also enjoy mixing 1 cup panko with 2 Tbsp melted butter and using it as a topping. 1 cup smashed Ritz crackers with 2 Tbsp butter also works great!
- Unique Baking Times – The recipe calls for a lower baking temperature and time, but I usually change them based on my family’s preferences. I like to bake this mac and cheese at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to achieve that lovely cheesy crust.
Can You Bake This Macaroni and Cheese?
This stovetop mac and cheese is all about convenience, but if you have some additional time and want bubbly, baked mac and cheese, bake this dish.
To do so, follow the first three steps above and then top with your preferred toppings, such as bread crumbs, Parmesan, crushed crackers, and so on. Bake for approximately 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit 177 degrees Celsius, or until golden brown and bubbling.
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How Can I Store Mac and Cheese?
Leftover mac and cheese can be stored in an airtight container for three to four days. To reheat, add a splash of milk or cream and heat in the microwave or over the stove, stirring occasionally.
Mac & cheese can be frozen for up to six months. Allow the mac and cheese to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe bag, eliminating as much air as possible.
Label and freeze with the date. When you’re ready to serve, just place the dish in the fridge to thaw overnight. Reheat according to standard procedure.
And there you have it – the steps to making the most amazing mac and cheese ever! With this recipe, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.
Just be sure to serve it with a smile and a big helping of love. After all, that’s what makes mac and cheese so special! So go ahead and cook without giving up, knowing you have a fantastic recipe in your back pocket.
Therefore, feel free to continue cooking without giving up, knowing that you have an amazing recipe at your disposal.