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Macaroni and Cheese

Photo: Frances Janisch
Prep time 40 mins
Other time 20 mins
Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 3 1/2 cups (about 14 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar

Nutrition Information

  • calcium 687.14 mg
  • calories 809.64
  • carbohydrate 72.96 g
  • cholesterol 101.74 mg
  • fat 43.31 g
  • fiber 3.01 g
  • iron 3.89 mg
  • protein 31.42 mg
  • satfat 22.34 g
  • sodium 1030.58 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Butter a casserole or 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

    Cook the macaroni until almost tender but still firm, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley (if using), oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper; set aside.

    In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stirring constantly, add the flour and cook for 3 minutes; the mixture will clump together. Still stirring constantly, add the milk slowly. Cook for 7 minutes. Add the Cheddar and the remaining salt and cook, stirring, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the macaroni and combine. Transfer to the baking dish and top with the bread crumb mixture. Bake until golden and bubbling slightly around the edges, about 25 minutes.

    Tip: You can vary the flavor of the bread crumbs by using a different herb, such as thyme or oregano. Or minimalists can choose to omit it.

    To Freeze: Make the bread-crumb mixture and place it in a resealable freezer bag. Assemble (but do not bake) the casserole. Cover tightly with two layers of aluminum foil. Store both for up to 3 months.

    To Reheat: Thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over it. Cover and heat in a 350° F oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and heat until bubbling, about 20 minutes more.