Give up the box mix because making Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese from scratch is easier than you think. Shredding a block of cheese adds a little more prep time but the smooth and creamy results are worth it. For more tasty mac and cheese recipes, see our complete Macaroni and Cheese recipe collection.)
- 1 (8-oz.) package elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 (8-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Keep warm.
- 2. Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, black and red pepper, 1 cup shredded cheese, and cooked pasta.
- 3. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
- 4. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Sharp Cheddar Cheese. To lighten, 2% reduced-fat milk and reduced-fat cheese may be substituted.
- One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese: Prepare recipe as directed, stirring all grated Cheddar cheese into thickened milk mixture until melted. Add cooked pasta, and serve immediately. Prep: 10 min., Cook: 7 min.