Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Southern Living
Make this "better than the box" macaroni and cheese your go-to recipe.The homemade white sauce with both milk and cream and the three blocks of sharp Cheddar cheese make it a top-rated mac and cheese recipe.
Makes 6 to 8 servings


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1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups milk
2 (10-ounce) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 (10-ounce) block extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (16-ounce) package elbow macaroni, cooked


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in salt and next 3 ingredients. Gradually whisk in half-and-half and milk; cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in half of sharp Cheddar cheese. Stir in extra-sharp Cheddar cheese until smooth. Remove from heat.

Combine pasta and cheese mixture, and pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining sharp Cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes (bake 15 minutes longer for a crusty top). Prep: 35 min., Bake: 35 min.

NOTE: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Cracker Barrel cheeses.

Created date

March 2002