This comforting Classic Macaroni and Cheese is a family favorite you’ll want to make again and again!
CLASSIC MACARONI & CHEESE!
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What do you think of when you think comfort food? I bet mac and cheese is up there at the top of the list. Sometimes, we as moms want to get creative with our meals but sticking to the classics always makes everyone happy. Classic Macaroni and Cheese is a huge crowd pleaser. Something that my family asks for again and again when the weather starts to turn cold.
Look at how cheesy and creamy this is. I usually make a different mac and cheese but when I made this one my family loved it even more! I stuck to the basics, nothing fancy and the results are magnificent. Sometimes simple is best!!
Instead of a bread crumb topping I used panko crumbs. They are exceedingly easy to find now and stay so nice and crunchy on top of the macaroni. The topping was another thing my family loved!! The right cheese is important too! You have to use a sharp cheddar to make the sauce have some oomph to it, using a medium or mild cheese just doesn’t give enough flavor!
Macaroni and cheese dates back to the 14th century, a time honored dish that has been loved by many countries and usually staying pretty true to its’ form with macaroni and cheddar. There are lots of recipes that add in other cheese too and that is fine. For this one I added a small amount of Parmesan but really let the cheddar stand out on its’ own.
Pull out your big casserole dish and make your family happy with this Classic Macaroni and Cheese. Think of making this as a scrumptious side dish for Thanksgiving too. One that everyone will be drooling over and diving into. Mac and cheese freezes so well too and can be easily reheated if made ahead of time. It is portable to take to a potluck and you know there won’t be a scrap left!! Enjoy this classic over the holidays.
Classic Macaroni and Cheese
- 5 1/2 cups milk
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. mustard powder
- 5 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 cup Parmesan grated
- 1 lb. macaroni
Panko Crumb Topping
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan
- 2 Tbsp. butter melted
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 3 quart casserole dish or two smaller ones, I usually stick one in the freezer to have at a later date. Just thaw and bake accordingly. Toss the panko with the Parmesan and butter, set aside. Fill a large pasta pot with salted water and heat over high heat.
Meanwhile in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat the milk. Then melt the remaining 6 Tbsp. butter in another medium saucepan over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour and whisk, cooking for 1 min. While whisking slowly pour in the hot milk a bit at a time until all is incorporated. Let the mixture thicken and bubble while whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add the salt, nutmeg, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Whisk well. Then add the 5 cups of cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of Parmesan, set cheese sauce aside but stir occasionally so the mixture doesn’t form a skin on top.
Once water is boiling in the large pasta pot add the macaroni and cook until al dente. You really want it underdone as it will continue to cook in the oven. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Stir macaroni into the cheese sauce. Pour mixture into the prepared dish or dishes. Sprinkle on the panko crumbs. Bake for 30-45 min. until browned on the top and bubbling. Let cool for 5 min.
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