Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (for topping, optional)
Step 1: Boil the Macaroni
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil.
- Add the elbow macaroni and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
- Drain the cooked macaroni and set it aside.
Step 2: Make the Cheese Sauce
- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Stir in the flour to create a roux. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1-2 minutes until it turns a light golden color.
- Gradually whisk in the milk to create a smooth sauce. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens, which will take about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the salt, black pepper, and paprika (if using) to the sauce.
- Reduce the heat to low and gradually stir in 3 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is creamy.
Step 3: Combine Macaroni and Cheese Sauce
- Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce, stirring to coat all the macaroni with the cheesy goodness.
Step 4: Prepare for Baking (Optional)
- If you want to bake your mac and cheese, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Step 5: Baking (Optional)
- Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a greased baking dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top. You can also add breadcrumbs for a crispy topping.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.
Step 6: Serve
- Once baked, or if you’re not baking, simply serve your mac and cheese hot.
Enjoy your delicious homemade mac and cheese! You can customize it by adding ingredients like bacon, breadcrumbs, or different types of cheese to suit your preferences.