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Good Ole Fashion Mac and Cheese

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese: A Comforting Family Favorite

Introduction:
Baked macaroni and cheese is a timeless comfort food that brings warmth and satisfaction to any table. With its creamy texture and cheesy goodness, it’s a dish that never fails to please. In this recipe, we’ll show you how to create a delicious homemade version that will become a staple in your family’s meal rotation. From boiling the pasta to layering the cheese, every step is designed to bring out the rich flavors and comforting aromas that make baked macaroni and cheese a beloved classic.

Ingredients:

For the Macaroni and Cheese:

  • 3 cups dry elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 (370 mL/12 oz) cans evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions:

Step 1: Cooking the Macaroni
Boiling the Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the water, then add the macaroni. Cook the macaroni until it is al dente, according to the package instructions.

Step 2: Preparing the Macaroni and Cheese Mixture
Mixing the Ingredients

  1. Drain the cooked macaroni and return it to the pot. Add the salted butter to the pot and stir until the butter is melted. Set aside.

Combining the Cheese and Milk Mixture

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, milk of choice, eggs, and garlic salt until fully combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the shredded cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Step 3: Assembling and Baking the Macaroni and Cheese
Layering the Ingredients

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Layer 1/3 of the cooked macaroni in the bottom of the prepared baking pan, then top with 1/3 of the cheese mixture.
  3. Repeat the layers with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture.
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Adding the Milk Mixture and Baking

  1. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese layers. Sprinkle the paprika evenly over the top.
  2. Bake the assembled macaroni and cheese in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Tips:

  1. For extra flavor, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or mustard powder to the cheese mixture.
  2. For a crunchy topping, sprinkle breadcrumbs or crushed crackers over the top before baking.
  3. Allow the baked macaroni and cheese to cool for a few minutes before serving to allow it to set slightly and become easier to slice.
  4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

FAQs:

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
A: Yes, you can substitute other pasta shapes such as penne or rotini for the elbow macaroni if desired. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Q: Can I use all cheddar cheese instead of a combination of cheddar and mozzarella?
A: Absolutely! Feel free to customize the cheese blend to your preference. You can use any combination of cheeses that melt well and have a good flavor.

Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time and bake it later?
A: Yes, you can assemble the macaroni and cheese ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just be sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. Allow it to come to room temperature before baking as directed.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers of this macaroni and cheese?
A: Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven or microwave.