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Family-Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

Family-Favorite Macaroni and Cheese
  • Prep 25 min
  • Total 50 min
  • Servings 6

Once you’ve tasted the depth of flavor in our homemade mac and cheese, you’ll see why it’s the perfect choice for the entire family. Don’t even try to compare it to the box variety – it’s in a league of its own! Creamy and cheesy, this homemade mac and cheese recipe is just the ticket for traditional comfort food, but with lots of mix-in possibilities you can easily put a twist on this classic recipe. ...MORE+ LESS-

Ingredients

2
cups uncooked elbow macaroni (7 ounces)
1/4
cup butter or margarine
1/4
cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2
teaspoon salt
1/4
teaspoon pepper
1/4
teaspoon ground mustard
1/4
teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2
cups milk
2
cups shredded or cubed Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    Heat oven to 350ºF.
  • 2
    Cook macaroni as directed on package.
  • 3
    While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constanly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.
  • 4
    Drain macaroni. Gently stir macaroni into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Expert Tips

  • Cook pasta before mixing with sauce. It will not get tender if added uncooked.
  • Cook flour mixture until smooth and bubbly.
  • Stir constantly while making sauce, so that the flour mixture thickens the milk evenly.
  • Serve immediately so pasta will be creamy and not continue to soak up the sauce.
  • Stove-top method: Make as directed up to stirring in cheese in Step 3. Serve immediately.
  • Skinny version: For 10 grams of fat and 390 calories per serving, decrease butter to 2 tablespoons. Use fat-free (skim) milk and 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat Cheddar cheese.
  • Bacon Mac and Cheese: Stir in 2/3 cup cooked, crumbled bacon with macaroni in Step 4.
  • Caramelized Onion Mac and Cheese: Stir in 1 cup caramelized onions with macaroni in Step 4.
  • Fire-Roasted Tomato Mac and Cheese: Stir in 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika with flour in Step 2. Add 1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained, with macaroni in Step 4.
  • Lobster Mac and Cheese: Add 1/8 teaspoon each ground red pepper (cayenne) and ground nutmeg with flour in Step 2. Substitute 3/4 cup each shredded fontina and Gruyere cheese for 1 1/2 cups of the Cheddar. Stir in 2 cups cooked lobster pieces or lump crabmeat with macaroni in Step 4.
  • Southwest Mac and Cheese: Omit ground mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Add 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper or chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder with flour in Step 2. Stir in 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles, 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, 1/4 cup diced bell pepper and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro with macaroni in Step 4. Top with coarsely crushed corn chips before serving.
  • For a little something extra, add one or more of the following as toppings: • Sprinkle on before baking: Mix 1/2 cup fresh or dried bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil; 1/2 cup crushed plain potato chips (flavored chips tend to get too brown if added before baking) 1/2 cup French-fried onions. Add just before removing from oven: 1/2 cup additional shredded cheese (bake 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted). Sprinkle on about 1/2 cup of any of the following after baking – or serve alongside: crushed plain or flavored croutons; crushed crackers, flavored potato chips or snack chips; chopped fresh parsley or other herbs; sliced or cubed avocado; thinly sliced or chopped tomatoes; salsa or sour cream; diced bell peppers; sliced olives.
  • Swap the cheese, use any of the following cheeses in place of all or part of the Cheddar in the recipe: • Asiago or Parmesan (up to 1 cup); blue or gorgonzola crumbled (up to 1 cup); brie crumbled (up to 1 cup); Cheddar (white or smoked); Colby; edam; fontina; gouda (regular or smoked); Gruyere; Havarti; Jarlsberg; manchego; Monterey jack or pepper jack; swiss.
  • Purchase the cheese already shredded in an 8-ounce package.
  • And this is just the beginning! While stirring the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, try adding sliced ripe or green olives or bite-size pieces of cooked vegetables, hot dogs or cooked sausage.
  • Add a 4-ounce can of chopped green chilies, drained, for a perked-up version of mac and cheese.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
400
Calories from Fat
200
% Daily Value
Total Fat
22 g
Saturated Fat
11 g
Cholesterol
45 mg
Sodium
560 mg
Potassium
200 mg
Total Carbohydrate
34 g
Dietary Fiber
1 g
Protein
17 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
18%
18%
Calcium
30%
30%
Iron
10%
10%
Exchanges:
1 1/2 Starch; 1 Milk; 1 High-Fat Meat; 2 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
More About This Recipe
  • Some days all you want is a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. And some days, the boxed version just won’t cut it. On those days, this popular recipe is the perfect one to reach for. With more than 600 ratings and 4 stars, you know there are plenty of home cooks who love it. The elbow macaroni cooks per the package instructions, and while you wait for it to cook, you can whip up the irresistible cheese sauce with ingredients you probably already have on hand. Once everything is stirred together, it goes into a casserole dish for a quick bake. It’s really that simple! Looking to try a new twist on this recipe? Check out the expert tips section for plenty of variations on this favorite. When you just can’t get enough, check out our article on how to make mac and cheese, so you can do it perfectly every time!

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