Yum… Mac and cheese. Could there be anything more perfect and bad for you at the same time than baked macaroni and cheese? Ok maybe there could be, but I would rather choose this over some crazy dessert any day. The creamy goodness of the macaroni and its crunchy crusty breadcrumb topping. It’s the perfect balance. I’ve been eating this exact baked macaroni and cheese for as long as I can remember. My mom made it for our family and now I make it for Marc and me. It’s always tasted exactly the same – creamy and cheesy and comforting.
When we were away in France, I tried to make it with different kinds of cheeses, but it just wasn’t the same without the sharp cheddar cheese and the pre-seasoned breadcrumbs. Normally, we serve ours with some heated stewed tomatoes – kind of like a condiment but way better than ketchup. You can definitely skip them if you’re not interested, but I urge you to at least give it a try once in your life – you never know what you may be missing.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 16-ounce box elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups non-fat milk (warm in microwave for 1 minute)
- 4 cups extra sharp or sharp shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions in salted water.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add flour and whisk to make a roux - cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly add warmed milk, continuously whisking until it boils.
- Once boil, cook and stir for 1 more minute.
- Stir in shredded cheese until melted and sauce is smooth.
- When macaroni is cooked, strain and place into the baking dish.
- Pour in the cheese sauce, stirring to evenly coat the macaroni.
- Sprinkle a layer of breadcrumbs on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until sides are browned and bubbly.