Sometimes all you need is a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese to make your day. Boxed mac n’ cheese is convenient, but it doesn’t compete with home baked macaroni.
The great thing about making it yourself is that you can experiment with different ingredients to suit your personal taste.
I have adjusted my family’s recipe over the past few years and have ended up with what I would consider the most amazing macaroni and cheese recipe. If you’re looking for something to warm you up while the weather starts cooling down, look no further.
Straight out of the oven, it warms your whole body on a cold day, but really… it’s great year-round.
Prepare yourself for this cheesy bowl of awesomeness.
Pre-heat your oven to 425°
Boil water in a large pot
Melt about 2 heaping table spoons of butter in a medium/large pan on medium-high heat.
While you’re waiting for everything to warm up, grab your cutting board and chop up a block of extra sharp cheddar.
When your water comes to a rolling boil, pour in 1 box of pasta.
Is it technically mac and cheese if you’re not using elbow macaroni? Who cares. I like to switch up the type of pasta every now and then. This time I used “Protein Plus” Rotini and it turned out really well.
Stir occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot.
Once the butter in your pan is melted, sprinkle in about 2 heaping tablespoons of flour and stir it in until it’s well combined. I like to use whole wheat flour in mine. If you use whole wheat, your cheese sauce will look a little on the brown side, but don’t worry, it still tastes great.
Pour milk into your pan until you have about 1/4” of milk covering the bottom of your pan. Mash the flour mixture into the milk and lightly whisk it until the lumps are gone.
I like to use rice milk in my cheese sauce. Rice milk makes a thinner cheese sauce, while cow milk makes a thicker sauce. It’s all up to personal preference. I like it either way, but I tend to use rice milk whenever I can.
Toss your sliced up cheese into the pan and stir occasionally. After the block cheese has melted, I usually grab some other cheese and melt it in as well. I like to use shredded colby jack for this.
If your cheese is bubbling too much, you can turn the temperature down at this point.
Once your pasta is cooked, drain the water and pour the pasta into a large oiled/greased casserole dish. I use extra virgin olive oil to oil my casserole dish.
Pour in most of the cheese sauce and mix evenly. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the pasta.
Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan over the top and stick the casserole dish in the oven.
I bake my macaroni until it starts to brown, which is usually about 20-30 minutes at 425°.
Top with your seasoning of choice and enjoy!
Prep: ~30 minutes
Bake: ~30 minutes
Total time: ~1 hour
1 box of pasta
1 block of extra sharp cheddar
1 bag shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
2 heaping tablespoons of flour
2 heaping tablespoons of butter
In our next recipe post, learn how to make whole wheat banana bread with a crumb topping.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.