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Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
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.

Ingredients

  • 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

How to Make It

  1. 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.

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

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

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

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