Easy Mac & Cheese
- 1 (16 ounce) box elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs for topping (optional)
- Bring large pot of light salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, stirring occasionally until cooked according to package direction. You will want firm not tender macaroni. Around 8 minutes is typical. Drain macaroni.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; once melted stir in flour, salt, pepper, and optional ingredients. Keep stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly which will be about 5 minutes.
- Add milk into butter-flour mixture very slowly, stirring constantly. You want a smooth and bubbly mixture which should take around 5 minutes.
- Add Cheddar cheese to the milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted, around 2-4 minutes.
- Fold macaroni into cheese sauce until coated.
- If you choose to use breadcrumbs I suggest preheating oven to 350 degrees, placing mixture into a large casserole dish, and sprinkle top lightly with a little bit more cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake 10-15 minutes.
Options: We used 2 cups grated Tillamook Smoked Cheddar cheese and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese because well we all love cheese here! You can experiment with different cheeses from the deli. It changes up the boring mac & cheese to something out of this world! We also made it even more flavorful by adding 1 tablespoon white truffle oil to really bring out the cheese flavor. I like to give you a starter recipe and let you adjust to your taste. Enjoy!
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