Thursday, May 8, 2014

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I love some good comfort food.  Homemade macaroni and cheese is a go-to for us in the winter months.  Especially if you have leftover ham from the holidays.  Yesterday we had family come to visit and my job was to make mac and cheese (and make my house presentable of course, although that's no fun!) to go with the ham my mom brought. 

This is a recipe I really just pulled out of my you-know-what.  I have had it for so long that I don't even know where it came from, but I think it was from experimenting with beschamel sauces at least 8+ years ago.  Now I pretty much know it by heart.  Also, this is comfort food.. So I wouldn't call it healthy!

Baked macaroni and cheese


8 oz elbow macaroni (or whatever shape you prefer)
1/4 cup butter (1 stick)
1/4 to 1/3 cup flour (it isn't an exact science to make a roux!)
3 cups milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2-3 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
Cooking spray
Breadcrumbs  (optional-I don't use them)

First you want to spray a 9x13 inch pain with cooking spray.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Start a pan of water boiling for your pasta.  Cook pasta according to package directions (you can do this while you make the sauce!)

For the cheese sauce go ahead and slap that stick of butter into a medium sized sauce pan (I used my 2 quart) and turn on to medium heat.  Melt it completely.

Homemade macaroni and cheese

Next you will want to add the flour, a few tablespoons at a time, to make a roux. Whisk it constantly. After you have added it, cook it over medium low heat for 1-2 minutes, still whisking constantly (it will burn if you stop!) I know, I know.. How the heck are you supposed to keep a close eye on something with a kid at your feet saying "pick me up mama, hold me!"  Lesson learned, make this during nap time or while a very interesting cartoon is on! 

It should look like this now:

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Now you will want to add your milk, slowly while whisking.  

Homemade mac and cheese

Just looks like plain old boring milk now, right? Reduce your heat to low and add all but 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. 

Homemade mac and cheese

Continue to stir constantly over low to medium heat until cheese has melted.  If you can't get it to melt all the way, that's okay.  Sharp cheddar sometimes is tough!  Just do your best and keep stirring. 
After it's melted, you'll want to turn up the heat a little bit until it thickens.  It should look like this by now:

Set it aside and let it cool a bit.  Meanwhile, pour your cooked & drained pasta into your greased 9x13 baking dish.  Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir to coat.  

Homemade mac and cheese

Next step is to spread the remaining cheese over the top (and/or your breadcrumbs if you would like) and dust it with paprika. 

Homemade macaroni and cheese

Now bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbly! Or you can cover and put in the fridge and bake later, too.  Enjoy! 

 I wish I had a picture of this finished but Dawson decided he had to have some before it even came out of the oven.  After that I completely forgot.  Oh well! Still a great recipe and we ate nearly all of it! Joe is polishing off the leftovers right now :)


  1. Hmm for a non-cook that doesn't look so easy but it sure does taste like heaven

  2. My family loves macaroni and cheese :) In the oven is so yummy too since you get the crunchy yummy top. Your recipe looks great! Saw your post on bloggy moms and following you by email now. Have a great day!

    1. Thanks for following! My family won't eat the crunchy topping! Boo :(

  3. This is totally the way I do mine, except I don't usually have breadcrumbs. It's delicious. I stopped by from Bloggy Moms btw <3