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Macaroni and Cheese

If you'd like to cook and serve this meal immediately (rather than freezing it), bake uncovered until golden and bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes. You can also freeze portions now and bake them as needed for quick weeknight meals.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 1 hour 40 mins
  • servings: 8

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound short pasta, such as cavatappi or macaroni
  • Coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups shredded (12 ounces) sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups very coarse fresh breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 to 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to pot.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons salt; bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in cheeses until smooth. Pour over pasta; toss to coat. Divide among baking dishes.

  3. Step 3

    Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; freeze up to 3 months.

  4. Step 4

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place frozen dishes on a baking sheet; remove plastic. Cover with foil. Bake until bubbling, 60 to 70 minutes for large dishes, 40 to 50 minutes for small. Remove foil; continue baking until golden, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Source
Everyday Food, May 2004

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Reviews (28)

  • melissalg422 9 Sep, 2010

    I made this with 2% milk and no butter mixed in with the bread crumbs to bring the fat content down a little bit and it still tasted great!

  • Saphire4 11 Aug, 2010

    Stixvix: There is another mac and cheese recipe that has basically the same ingredients but with different amounts and number of servings. It uses half a cup of flour, so it is probably the one they were using on the show. You can find it in: Comfort Food>Macaroni and Cheese Recipes>No. 2 (Macaroni and Cheese).
    As for the grainy look to your sauce, I?

  • Saphire4 11 Aug, 2010

    Stixvix:
    There is another mac

  • Stixvix 9 Jul, 2010

    I saw this on TV this weeka and they said to put half a cup of flour and not the one quarter cup amount mentioned online. Can you confimr the promer amount please. Also, when I make a white sauce it seems to always get this grainy look. I tried adding the milk slowly and stiring constantly but I'm doing something wrong. Help!

  • kcohan 1 Apr, 2009

    My family tried this and really enjoyed it. I divided the recipe into two square disposable aluminum pans, filled to the top, and they needed to bake for the full hour (plus time to brown). Each of the pans fed four adults for a couple of days as a side dish - more than the 8 servings the recipe mentions. A great dish to freeze ahead and have on hand for a sick/needy friend... or before you have a baby (as I did!).

  • complaina 7 Nov, 2008

    This recipe was first featured in Martha Stewart Living (in place of Parmesean she used Gruyere) and so I have been making this for a couple of years. This Mac and Cheese is a crowd pleasure for any age. It is Mac and Cheese so kids love it but has a sophisticated flavor that adults love.

  • CCCsMom 7 Nov, 2008

    My kids love this mac and cheese. We put cornbread on top instead of bread crumbs which gives it even more great flavor. It is the perfect blend of cheeses for little ones (and their parents).

  • CCCsMom 7 Nov, 2008

    My kids love this mac and cheese. We put cornbread on top instead of bread crumbs which gives it even more great flavor. It is the perfect blend of cheeses for little ones (and their parents).

  • AlisonGH 7 Nov, 2008

    If you think this recipe is bland, try using gruyere cheese instead of the Parm. It gives this a wonderful, nutty flavor. (A page taken right out of Martha's Macaroni and Cheese 101) We also like to add some additional white or regular black pepper.

  • angieac57 7 Nov, 2008

    I did not like the taste of this mac and cheese. I need more flavor. It was creamy, but was bland.

  • CarenJean 7 Nov, 2008

    I was excited for this recipe, but my husband and I ended up finding it very bland and not worth the time and effort. It was creamy which I liked, but we ended up throwing most of this out, and wouldn't try it again.

  • CarenJean 7 Nov, 2008

    I was excited for this recipe, but my husband and I ended up finding it very bland and not worth the time and effort. It was creamy which I liked, but we ended up throwing most of this out, and wouldn't try it again.

  • CarenJean 7 Nov, 2008

    I was excited for this recipe, but my husband and I ended up finding it very bland and not worth the time and effort. It was creamy which I liked, but we ended up throwing most of this out, and wouldn't try it again.

  • CarenJean 7 Nov, 2008

    I was excited for this recipe, but my husband and I ended up finding it very bland and not worth the time and effort. It was creamy which I liked, but we ended up throwing most of this out, and wouldn't try it again.

  • Autumn 7 Nov, 2008

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHICH ISSUE OF EVERDAY FOOD THIS RECIPE WAS FEATURED?

  • Autumn 7 Nov, 2008

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHICH ISSUE OF EVERDAY FOOD THIS RECIPE WAS FEATURED?

  • Autumn 7 Nov, 2008

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHICH ISSUE OF EVERDAY FOOD THIS RECIPE WAS FEATURED?

  • Vicki370 7 Nov, 2008

    I like to add diced onion to my mac n cheese

  • Autumn 7 Nov, 2008

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHICH ISSUE OF EVERDAY FOOD THIS RECIPE WAS FEATURED?

  • Autumn 7 Nov, 2008

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHICH ISSUE OF EVERDAY FOOD THIS RECIPE WAS FEATURED?

  • Autumn 7 Nov, 2008

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHICH ISSUE OF EVERDAY FOOD THIS RECIPE WAS FEATURED?

  • pattipoopidoo 13 Oct, 2008

    I've made this several times and froze it -- the frozen/reheated portion tastes better than it did the first time! I make it in a casserole dish rather than individual portions. It's a great recipe.

  • Janet44 1 Oct, 2008

    My kids loved it-I made it the same day I ran across the recipe. Thanks!

  • stobk 30 Sep, 2008

    To Mahze - to make a casserole with noodles to freeze, don't cook the noodles, add some more milk or chicken broth and freeze. The noodles will absorb the extra liquid and cook up just like fresh. That's what I do, anyway. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

  • mahze 18 Sep, 2008

    I really don't like overcooked pasta. (If I overcook it, I throw it out.) While this freezing would be very handy, would the pasta absorb extra moisture from being cooked, frozen and then baked for such a long time? Anyone try this and/or have an opinion?

  • megs20002003 17 Sep, 2008

    this is how I have always made mac and cheese but I never thought to freeze it...I will do now though;)

  • aprilsteele 29 Apr, 2008

    This is similar to my Grammy's recipe which I've made all my life but with several improvements. I love that it can be made and then frozen for another day. I often make two at a time; one for that night's supper and another to stow in the freezer. I've also made it for neighbors on many occassions, whether they were bringing home a new baby, or undergoing chemo-therapy...it's good comfort food. Everybody loves it!

  • krhagen 11 Mar, 2008

    It really is the best mac and cheese ever. Definitely make small portions and freeze them, or you will be tempted to eat the whole recipe over the course of two days.