Mac and Cheese Recipe | Quick, Tasty & Easy
Mac and Cheese Recipe
Mac and cheese is a classic comfort food that is loved by people of all ages. It’s a versatile dish that can be customized to your liking, whether you prefer it creamy, cheesy, or with a crispy breadcrumb topping. In this article, we will explore the recipe for mac and cheese and how to make it at home.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cook the pasta
Cook the elbow macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Make the cheese sauce
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream until the mixture is smooth. Cook for 5-7 minutes, whisking frequently, until the sauce thickens. Add the grated cheddar cheese, nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Combine the pasta and cheese sauce
Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and stir until the pasta is coated evenly.
- Prepare the breadcrumb topping
In a small bowl, mix together the panko breadcrumbs and olive oil until the breadcrumbs are coated evenly.
- Assemble the dish
Pour the mac and cheese into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the mac and cheese.
Bake the mac and cheese for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
Let the mac and cheese cool for a few minutes before serving.
Mac and cheese can be customized in many ways to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few ideas:
- Add vegetables: You can add vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, or peas to the mac and cheese for extra nutrition and flavor.
- Use different cheeses: You can experiment with different types of cheese, such as Gouda, Parmesan, or blue cheese.
- Add meat: You can add cooked bacon, ham, or chicken to the mac and cheese for a protein boost.
- Make it spicy: You can add hot sauce or jalapeños to the cheese sauce for a spicy kick.
- Make it gluten-free: To make the mac and cheese gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta and substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
While mac and cheese is not exactly a health food, there are ways to make it more nutritious. Here are some tips for making a healthier version:
- Use whole wheat pasta: Whole wheat pasta contains more fiber and nutrients than regular pasta.
- Use low-fat dairy: You can use low-fat milk and cheese to reduce the fat content of the dish.
- Add vegetables: Adding vegetables to the mac and cheese can increase the fiber and nutrient content of the dish.
- Portion control: Enjoying mac and cheese in moderation and controlling portion sizes can help to keep it from being too indulgent.