Layer cooked macaroni with butter, milk, two kinds of cheese, and a little cayenne for a spicy kick. Assemble this casserole ahead of time and bake when ready to serve. User Alex suggests cooking it a little longer than suggested if you like the edges to get crispy and browned.
1 pound elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups whole or low-fat milk
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Cheddar
2 cups (8 ounces) grated Gruyère
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
How to Make It
Heat oven to 350° F.
Cook the macaroni according to the package directions.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the top. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Still stirring, slowly add the milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 7 minutes. Add the Cheddar, Gruyère, salt, and cayenne (if using) and heat until the cheeses melt.
Drain and rinse the macaroni. Add it to the sauce and toss. Transfer to a buttered casserole. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
In Advance: Assemble the macaroni and cheese but do not bake it. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed, adding 15 to 20 minutes to the cooking time.
We love Real Simple recipes, but this was a big disappointment. Very saucy, but missing some flavor. Not super easy or fast to prepare, although it would be nice as a make-ahead.
My 6 year old son wanted to mention "it's kind of yucky".
Really excellent recipe. I substituted Monterrey Jack for the Gruyere. I ended up with way too much sauce to fit everything into my normal casserole dish, so I saved quite a bit of that for later use. It still came out wonderful, and I think with a larger dish and all the sauce it will be even creamier and better next time. All the basics are here in this recipe though, and it's quite versatile.