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How to Make the Perfect Mac and Cheese

 Sharing the Best Mac and Cheese recipe today! My Perfect Mac and Cheese is incredibly creamy, cheesy, and delicious comfort dish that you will fall in love with.

The BEST Mac and Cheese Recipe

Can’t wait for you guys to try my homemade mac and cheese!  How To Make The Perfect Mac and Cheese Recipe…..what makes the perfect mac and cheese in your opinion? Good ol’ Kraft right out of the box? Homemade thick and cheesy on the stovetop? Baked with a crispy topping and lots of ingredients inside? I think it’s a bit different for everyone, but let me tell you about my perfect mac and cheese. I like a thick and creamy perfectly flavorful cheese sauce like my picture above shows. If that sounds good to you, then you will LOVE this recipe too 🙂

See my Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe too! Be sure to follow Picky Palate on Instagram for daily recipe inspiration!

 

How to Make Mac and Cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. I recommend cooking the pasta a minute less than the directions.  Drain and set aside for a few minutes.
  2. To prepare roux, melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until color of roux gets slightly darker. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring continuously until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in cheese until melted.
  3. Transfer cooked pasta to large dutch oven or pot over low heat. Pour cheese sauce over top, stirring to combine. This is a thick and creamy sauce. To thin the sauce, add a few tablespoons of milk at a time until at desired consistency.

How To Make Homemade Roux

To make a simple and flavorful roux, start by melting a stick of butter in a medium saucepan.

Whisk in the salt and pepper. A very important step is to continue stirring for a good 2-3 minutes until roux turns a bit darker in color. It becomes richer and even more fabulous.

Slowly whisk in the milk until mixture is thick and creamy. This step will take a couple minutes over medium heat.

Stir in cheese until creamy and cheese is melted through. I prefer a finely shredded mild cheddar. It melts quickly and has a perfect “cheddar” flavor.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Add cooked pasta back to cheese sauce stirring to combine. If needed, add splashes of milk to thin sauce. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.

More Options

At this point of stovetop mac and cheese, you can choose to transfer to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, top with more cheese and other toppings of choice, bake for 20-25 minutes for a baked mac and cheese. This is another fantastic option. Adding buttered bread crumbs and bacon is another winning option before baking to add a nice crunch. Try adding cooked beef or chicken for more dinner options too.

How To Serve Mac and Cheese

Serve mac and cheese as a main dish with a side salad or as an appetizer with your favorite protein.

4.75 from 4 votes

How to Make the Perfect Mac and Cheese

This recipe makes The Perfect Mac and Cheese every time! It's an incredibly creamy, cheesy, and delicious comfort dish that you will fall in love with.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 451kcal
Author: Jenny
Print Pin Rate

Equipment

  • Stove or Dutch Oven
  • saucepan

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound dry small pasta I used elbow
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2-2 1/2 cups milk I use 2%
  • 2 cups finely shredded mild cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. I recommend cooking the pasta a minute less than the directions.  Drain and set aside for a few minutes.
  • To prepare roux, melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until color of roux gets slightly darker. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring continuously until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in cheese until melted.
  • Transfer cooked pasta to large dutch oven or pot over low heat. Pour cheese sauce over top, stirring to combine. This is a thick and creamy sauce. To thin the sauce, add a few tablespoons of milk at a time until at desired consistency.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 661mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Calcium: 375mg | Iron: 1.5mg
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