Best Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

I’ve recently had some encouragement to include more posts on non-sweets recipes. Since then, I’ve been looking at everything that I usually make, all my go-to recipes, to see if there were any exceptional ones to pass along to you.

So, today for you, I have the best homemade macaroni and cheese recipe.

Best Homemade Macaroni and CheeseThis is a regular for us – I bring it to potlucks all the time and change up the recipe a little with new meat or cheese in it. This recipe is not fussy or even fancy, but it is amazingly good! Comfort food is a great way to describe it, whether you want to curl up on a cold wintery night with a plate of it or serve it as a side with pulled pork – the pan is always scraped clean – never any leftovers!

Best Macaroni and Cheese 2I like it best with bacon, but I’ve also made it with ham or chicken. I suppose you could even throw in some broccoli if you like too.

As an added bonus, this recipe is even better the longer it sits, in case you do have leftovers, you’ll be eager to get to lunch the next day!

Best Macaroni and Cheese 3

Best Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

   1¾ cups macaroni or other medium tubular pasta (like penne or fusili)

   3 tablespoons butter

   ¼ cup flour

   ½ teaspoon salt

   ½ teaspoon dry mustard

   ¼ teaspoon black pepper

   ⅛ teaspoon paprika

   1½ cups 1% milk

   1 cup heavy cream

   4 cups grated cheese (your choice of type)

   ¼ cup breadcrumbs (I use PC Panko Crumbs)

   Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

   Bacon, Ham or Chicken – optional

Instructions

Boil the pasta until al dente, set it aside in the same pot (you will use it later). (You may want to stir in a little butter to keep the noodles from sticking).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium sized sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the butter.

In a small bowl, mix together the the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, and paprika. Once mixed, pour into pan with melted butter.

Stir constantly over medium heat for about three minutes. It will form a paste.

Now, stir in the milk and cream, keeping on medium heat and whisking constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Remove from heat, and stir in 2 cups of the cheese, stirring until melted.

Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles gently until all noodles are covered.

Stir in bacon or desired meat.

Add half the noodles mixture to a 9×9 glass pan or casserole dish.

Sprinkle on about a cup of grated cheese and add the rest of the noodles.

Cover the top with the rest of the cheese and dust with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese (optional).

Bake (uncovered) for about 40 minutes, until it starts getting a slightly dry and browned on top.

Let it sit about 10 minutes before eating.

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