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  • Writer's pictureIva Peric

Baked Mac and Cheese

The perfect Thanksgiving side to the turkey.

  • 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 paprika is our favorite!


Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 3 qt baking dish (9x13"). Set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking.

  • While water is coming up to a boil, shred the cheeses and toss them together to mix, then divide them into three piles. Approximately 3 cups for the sauce, 1 1/2 cups for the inner layer, and 1 1/2 cups for the topping.

  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over MEDIUM heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. The mixture will look like very wet sand. Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often. Slowly pour in about 2 cups or so of the half-and-half, while whisking constantly until smooth. Slowly pour in the remaining half and half and the whole milk while whisking constantly until combined and smooth.

  • Continue to heat over MED heat, whisking very often until thickened to a very thick consistency. It should almost be the consistency of a semi thinned out condensed soup.

  • Remove from the heat and stir in spices and 1 1/2 cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine. Stir in another 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir until completely melted and smooth.

  • Combine drained pasta with cheese sauce in a large mixing bowl, stirring to combine fully. Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture.

  • Sprinkle the top with the last 1 1/2 cups of cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until cheesy is bubbly and lightly golden brown.

Have a great break, everyone!!!


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