Simple to prepare, and simply delicious, this family-pleasing macaroni and cheese is made with 4 ingredients plus salt and pepper. There's no sauce to make, so it takes very little time to put together and bake. I used a blend of Cheddar, American, and Colby cheeses in this super easy casserole.
Serve macaroni and cheese as a side dish with fried chicken, burgers or hot dogs, barbecue, or a holiday dinner.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked, about 2 cups
- salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper)
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese blend or cheddar jack
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 1/4 cups light cream or half-and-half
Heat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni to the boiling water and cook following the package directions. Drain the macaroni thoroughly in a colander.
Scoop about 2 cups of the drained macaroni into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the layer of macaroni with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, then top with about half of the shredded cheese. Layer the remaining macaroni on the cheese layer and sprinkle with another 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Top with the remaining cheese and dot with the butter. Pour the cream over all and bake for about 25 minutes.
Serves 4 to 6.
Tips and Variations
- Cook 4 to 5 strips of bacon; drain well, crumble, and sprinkle over the first layer of macaroni along with half of the cheese.
- Use shredded pepper jack cheese or taco seasoned cheese instead of cheddar cheese or cheddar jack.
- Instead of elbow macaroni, use mini penne or ditalini pasta.
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