This is an easy macaroni and cheese recipe with a flavor twist. Smoked cheddar gives this macaroni and cheese a unique smoky flavor, and a little process American cheese keeps it smooth and creamy. I topped the macaroni and cheese casserole with bread crumbs (pictured) but feel free to omit the topping or top it with extra shredded cheddar cheese.
The recipe is easily doubled for 6 to 8 people, depending on whether you serve it as a main dish or side dish.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 scant teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded smoked Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded or cubed American process cheese
- 1 cup soft fresh bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ground sweet paprika
Heat oven to 350 F.
Lightly butter a 2 to 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
Cook macaroni in boiling salted water following the package directions. Drain and rinse briefly; set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter; add flour and stir until blended. Stir in salt, pepper, and mustard. Gradually stir in the milk and continue cooking , stirring, until mixture is thickened. Stir in cheeses until melted and smooth. Add the macaroni and stir to blend.
Spoon the macaroni and cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Combine bread crumbs and melted butter, tossing to coat well; sprinkle over the macaroni mixture. Lightly sprinkle with paprika.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.
Serves 6 to 8.
Tips and Variations
- Add diced leftover ham or crumbled bacon to the cheese sauce for a hearty main dish casserole.
- Omit the bread crumb topping and top with an extra 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.
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