Whisk warm milk into the flour mixture to ensure a lump-free sauce. We also recommend shredding your own cheese for a creamier texture. We tested with Cracker Barrel Extra-Sharp Cheddar.
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
WHISK FLOUR INTO BUTTER
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.
WHISK IN WARM MILK
Gradually whisk in warm milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened.
WHISK IN CHEESE
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.
Hello Kristy, Thank you for telling the truth in a group of LIARS!! Everyone else is rating it five stars, and you were the only one who spoke the truth. We stand with you, and support your reviews. #NOMOREDRYMAC . Stay strong, Kristy, and continue the quest for creamy mac. Until the next creamy macaroni, macaroniluvr
Not described here is instructions on how to make a good roux sauce. Essentially, this is what the butter and flour is, and the reason people are getting grainy results. You really don't need to perfect a roux or be a sous chef. For easy and truly smooth and creamy mac n cheese, zero grainy, try starting with 3 tbl spns butter melted. Then in 1/2 cup milk, add 3 tbl spns corn starch. Stir the corn starch into the 1/2 cup milk until thoroughly dissolved. Then slowly add this milk corn starch mixture to the heated melted butter on medium heat stirring continuously. Then, slowly add the remaining 1-1/2 cups milk. Forget the flour. Stir continuously until it thickens, then add your desired spices and 1/2 the cheese. Also to give a gourmet flare, I use cellentani pasta instead of elbow noodles. ( corkscrew noodles ) And, I agree with others here, this recipe needs a lot more cheese. However I like to mix it up. Like one part swiss to 3 parts sharp cheddar. Or one part gruyere or smoked gouda, to 3 parts sharp cheddar. I even throw in a 3rd like some garlic spiced goat cheese, in moderation. Browning the top on broil is a good idea too, however don't walk away, this only takes a minute and should be watched closely. My family loves mac n cheese. My kids used to only eat Kraft. But now they beg for Dad's classic baked. I'll admit, never comes out the same way twice.
Hello Ian, I regret to inform you that this was the driest macaroni and cheese I have EVER eaten!!! We followed the recipe exactly as is, and it came out dry and oily, not creamy at all. However, if you have any tips on how to make it actually creamy, I would love to know them. Until the next creamy macaroni, macaroniluvr