Comforting Classic Macaroni and Cheese is a family favorite you’ll want to make again and again!
What do you think of when you think of 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.
CLASSIC MACARONI & CHEESE!
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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 recipes date 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.
Panko Crumb Topping
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan
- 2 Tbsp butter melted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish.
- Toss Panko with 1/4 cup Parmesan and 2 tbsp melted butter and set aside.
- Fill a large pasta pot with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the macaroni and cook until al dente. You really want it underdone as it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk.
- Melt 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 it's all incorporated. Let the mixture thicken and bubble while whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat and add the dry mustard, salt, nutmeg, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Whisk well.
- Add shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan, and whisk until the cheese is melted. Set cheese sauce aside if pasta is not ready yet. Stir the cheese sauce occasionally so a skin doesn't form on top.
- Stir macaroni into the cheese sauce. Pour mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle on the panko crumbs.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until browned on the top and bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Another favorite at our house is this Stovetop Lobster Macaroni and Cheese. Succulent cooked lobster is added to creamy macaroni and cheese to make an enviable dish!!