Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

Both kids and adults enjoy this baked mac and cheese recipe, which has become a family favorite. For the utmost in cheesy goodness, a blend of cheeses is used, both melted into a thick and creamy cheese sauce and piled within the dish! Perfect as a side dish for the holidays or for a cozy dinner!

The ingredients are as follows:

  1. 1 pound of dried elbow pasta;
  2. 1/2 cup unsalted butter;
  3. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour;
  4. 1 1/2 cups whole milk;
  5. 2 1/2 cups half and half;
  6. 4 cups of shredded medium cheddar cheese divided (measured after shredding);
  7. 2 cups of shredded Gruyere cheese divided (measured after shredding);
  8. 1/2 tablespoon salt;
  9. 1/2 tsp black pepper;
  10. 1/4 tsp paprika (smoked paprika is our favorite!).

Guidelines

  • Grease a 3-quart (9×13″) baking dish and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Put aside.
  • Heat a big saucepan of salted water till it boils. Add dried pasta to boiling water and cook for 1 minute less than al dente according to package directions. After draining, lightly coat with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • As the water is heating up, shred the cheeses, combine them, and separate them into three heaps. There should be around 3 cups of sauce, 1 1/2 cups of inner layer, and 1 1/2 cups of topping.
  • In a big saucepan over MED heat, melt butter. Add the flour and mix with a whisk. The mixture will resemble really wet sand. Cook, whisking constantly, for about one minute. About 2 cups of half-and-half should be added gradually, whisking continuously until the mixture is smooth. Pour in the remaining half-and-half and whole milk gradually, whisking continuously until smooth and blended.
  • Keep heating over MED heat, whisking often, until the mixture thickens to an extremely thick consistency. It ought to resemble a condensed soup that has been somewhat thinned up.
  • Take off the heat and add the spices and 1 1/2 cups of cheese, mixing until they melt and blend together. Add an additional 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir until it melts fully and becomes smooth.
  • Drain the pasta and add the cheese sauce to a large mixing bowl, stirring to properly blend. Transfer half of the spaghetti mixture into the baking dish that has been ready. Place a layer of 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese on top, followed with the leftover spaghetti mixture.
  • After adding the final 1 1/2 cups of cheese on top, bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and has a light golden brown color.
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