How to Make Baked Macaroni And Cheese

Written by kat black
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How to Make Baked  Macaroni And Cheese
Use mozzarella instead of cheddar to make white macaroni and cheese. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Unlike the watery, neon-orange coloured macaroni and cheese from a box, baked macaroni and cheese is rich and creamy, with a delicious smell that wafts from your oven as it cooks. Although macaroni and cheese traditionally features elbow macaroni, you can use any type of small, bite-sized pasta such as shells, bow-tie, corkscrew or penne. This recipe makes four meal-sized servings, or six side-dish sized portions.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 9 x 13-inch baking dish
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large pot
  • 2 small pots
  • 0.454kg. pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • Whisk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

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  1. 1

    Preheat your oven to 400F. Use 1 tbsp of butter to grease your baking dish.

  2. 2

    Boil water in your large pot. Once the water reaches a boil, add a dash of salt and the pasta. Boil the pasta for about 5 minutes. Don't fully cook the pasta because it will cook more in the oven later.

  3. 3

    Place the milk and bay leaves in the small pot. Heat on medium-low for 5 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and let the milk stand while you brown the flour.

  4. 4

    Melt 3 tbsp of the butter in a small pot. Add the flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The flour mixture will brown slightly as it cooks.

  5. 5

    Remove the bay leaves and pour 1/4 cup of the milk into the flour mixture. Whisk the mixture until it becomes smooth. Then, add the rest of the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly.

  6. 6

    Add the grated cheddar cheese. Sharp cheddar works best because it has a more intense flavour than milk. Stir the mixture constantly as the cheese melts.

  7. 7

    Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir the mixture until all the pasta is coated. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. 8

    Transfer the cheesy pasta to your baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

  9. 9

    Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tips and warnings

  • For a healthier version of this recipe, use whole-wheat pasta, cut the amount of cheese in half and add chopped carrots and broccoli. Boil the vegetables along with the pasta.
  • Experiment with different types of cheeses and cheese combinations. Try 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 cup Gruyere and 1/2 cup Emmental.

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