Baked cheddar macaroni and cheese. Christmas is just around the corner, which means many families will be getting together for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinners. Once I started to get into cooking, one of the first things I wanted to make was macaroni and cheese. I made it a goal to have what I thought was the perfect easy baked cheddar macaroni and cheese recipe. And after experimenting, I believe I found it. The key? Lots of cheese!
When writing this recipe, I was curious where my favorite dish originated from. According to legend, it was Thomas Jefferson who encountered macaroni in Paris and brought back the recipe to the states. Of course it was Kraft that made it famous in the mid 1930s.
Now I’ve made plenty of macaroni and cheese recipes over the years with different types of cheese, but my go-to for dinner parties or family gatherings is this cheddar mac and cheese. There really isn’t anyone out there that doesn’t like this, where as one that has prosciutto or something a little more unique might turn some people off. Or even a smoked gouda bacon mac and cheese!
Now this will taste different, depending on the type of cheddar you buy. You can obviously just buy shredded cheddar cheese, but I go for the sharp or extra sharp blocks and shred myself. It adds five minutes but you can taste the difference! So if you haven’t decided on what to make for the coming holiday parties, give this baked cheddar macaroni and cheese a try. Enjoy!
Baked Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 lb macaroni
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups milk
- 8 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F. Cook macaroni according to package and set aside.
- In medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, dry mustard and black pepper. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until well combined. Gradually add milk and cook until the mixture is smooth and bubbly, about 10 minutes. You'll want to stir constantly.
- Remove sauce from heat and gradually add 6 cups sharp cheddar cheese. Stir in until cheese is melted. Add pasta and mix until everything is coated. Pour into a 9x13 greased baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups of cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!