This macaroni and cheese recipe is a combination of elbow macaroni and a flavorful homemade cheese sauce. Some American (Velveeta) cheese in the sauce makes it creamier than all cheddar, or use all cheddar cheese, smoked cheddar, or a cheddar and Gruyere blend. The sauce is made richer with some light cream or half-and-half, and a small amount of mustard adds flavor.
The buttery bread crumb topping browns perfectly for a delicious, crunchy topping. I sometimes add grated Parmesan cheese to the bread crumb mixture.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, about 2 cups uncooked
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk, whole or 2 percent
- 1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard, or use a prepared Dijon mustard
- 3 cups shredded cheese, about two-thirds Cheddar and one-third American, divided (or a similar blend)
- 1 cup soft breadcrumbs* tossed with 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Grease a 2-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4).
- Cook the macaroni following package directions; drain in a colander and rinse with hot water.
- In a medium saucepan melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until hot and foamy; stir in the flour until bubbly. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk and cream along with the salt, pepper, and mustard. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in 2 cups of the cheese blend until melted.
- Add the drained macaroni to the sauce and stir to blend. Pour the macaroni and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese and the buttery bread crumbs.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until bubbly and nicely browned.
*Make bread crumbs in the food processor using day-old bread or rolls.
Tips and Variations
- Use a combination of cheddar and Gruyere cheese or all cheddar cheese.
- Use shredded smoked cheddar cheese in the sauce.
- Add about 1/2 cup of cooked crumbled bacon to the sauce.
- Add 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese to the bread crumb and butter mixture.
You Might Also Like
- Basic Layered Macaroni and Cheese Bake - Just 5 ingredients go into this easy mac and cheese.
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese With Sausage - Browned sausage is added to this baked macaroni and cheese.
- Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon - Crumbled bacon and bread crumbs top this macaroni and cheese casserole.
- Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese With Variations - This macaroni and cheese is cooked in the crock pot.