Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Mac & CheeseMy mom taught me this basic recipe when I was about ten years old. I’ve been making it ever since.

Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese

(Prep time 30-45 min. Bake time 45 min.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 8 oz bricks Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (16 oz total), shredded
  • 1 – 8 oz brick Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 Cup shredded cheese blend (I use Mexican but 4 or 6 cheese blend will work)
  • 4 1/2 Cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 5 Cups milk
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 sleeve of Saltine Crackers, crushed (10-15 crackers)

Prep:

Shred all cheeses, place near your stove-top

Chop half of a small onion until it is finely diced

Crush saltines into uneven rough crumbs and chunks, set aside

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Directions:

Boil macaroni until almost done (it should be plumped up but just shy of al-dente). It will finish cooking in the oven. Drain water and put cooked macaroni in a large oven-safe casserole dish or dutch oven and set aside. You can put a small amount of butter in it to keep it from sticking together, or just boil your macaroni as you make the cheese sauce.

In a large saucepan (I think mine is 8 quarts) melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the flour and whisk together to form a roux. Add one cup of milk and keep whisking until it thickens. Add rest of milk slowly, stirring constantly.

Oven Baked Goodness

Once milk is added, add diced onion, salt and pepper. Let cook for two to three minutes until mixture is warm enough to melt the cheese. Add shredded cheeses one handful at a time, stirring constantly to avoid sticking and scorching on the bottom of your saucepan. When all the cheese is added and melted, pour cheese sauce over cooked macaroni and stir. It should be loose, you may think you have too much cheese sauce. You don’t! It will cook down and be perfect once it bakes.

Take the crushed saltine crackers and spread evenly over the top of the mac and cheese. Do NOT stir. This becomes a crunchy cheesy crust that is nom-tastic.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool for ten minutes before serving. It will still be steaming hot, so be careful. Enjoy!

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About Beth

Newlywed. Lover of bicycles, cupcakes, penguins, polar bears, animals, books, cooking, and video games. I'm old enough to know better, but sometimes I do it anyway.

Posted on October 7, 2012, in Recipes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’ve been doing a bit of a survey… do you put ketchup on your M&C?

  2. Reblogged this on Steel Magnolias & Sweet Tea and commented:
    Another recipe to try.

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