Easy Homemade Mac-N-Cheese

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I’m not ashamed to admit that I like boxed mac-n-cheese, especially with some chipotle Tabasco sauce.  I’ve made homemade mac-n-cheese before, and most of the time the result is disappointing.

The most important thing I’ve learned is the type of cheese you use is extremely important.  Regular mild cheddar doesn’t melt well and doesn’t have any flavor, so your mac-n-cheese will have an odd consistency and be bland.  Even if you don’t like sharp cheese for regular eating use it for you mac-n-cheese…I promise you will love it and you won’t taste the sharpness.  I used Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar, I totally recommend it.

This recipe is adapted from the October 2009 issue of Southern Living.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 10 oz. block of Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (optional)
  • 10 oz. package elbow macaroni, cooked

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. Microwave milk on high for 1 1/2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt butter over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth.  Cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
  5. Gradually whisk in warm milk and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Whisk in salt, black pepper, 1 c. shredded cheese, and red pepper until smooth; stir in cooked pasta.  Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2 qt. baking disk; top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Homemade Mac-N-Cheese:

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