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Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Hands-on time 22 mins
Total time 47 mins
Yield

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (10-oz.) block extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package elbow macaroni, cooked

How to Make It

  1. WHISK FLOUR INTO BUTTER

  2. Preheat oven to 400°. Microwave milk at HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes. Melt butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute.

  3. WHISK IN WARM MILK

  4. Gradually whisk in warm milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened.

  5. WHISK IN CHEESE

  6. Whisk in salt, black pepper, 1 cup shredded cheese, and, if desired, red pepper until smooth; stir in pasta. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish; top with remaining cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.