Spicy Baked Mac And Cheese
Imagine nachos and mac and cheese meeting over perfectly cooked pasta. Just the right amount of heat and all the creaminess you can handlethis spicy baked mac and cheese is it.
I think one of these days people will probably end up knowing me as the macaroni and cheese lady. After allthats all you guys want! Two years and tons of recipes later and there might as well be a picket line outside my house because everyone yells for mac and cheese.
And I have good news! Ive been listening and this mac and cheese may be the best one yet. Ive used my basic baked recipe and pumped it up with the spiciest cheeses I could find, some jalapeños and an easy bread crumb topping for some crunch and texture. Heres a quick shot of the cheeses I chose: Boars Head 3 Pepper Colby Jack and Rio Briati Smoked MozzarellaI got both at my local Kroger.
Its that perfect kick and change youve been looking for. While I was making the sauce I took a whiff and it smelled just like queso dip. This is where your eyes can roll back in your head with happiness.
And as usual, it comes together in a snap. You can even put it together the night before and stick it in the fridge then bake it the next night. Remember to undercook that pasta just a bit. Mine called for 9-11 minutes and I did just about 9. Because it has to bake in the oven too, you dont want mush.
Is Mac And Cheese Unhealthy
Mac and cheese isnt necessarily unhealthy, but it depends on the recipe some recipes are worse than others. Macaroni and cheese does have a good amount of protein from all the milk and cheese. However, the calories can add up quickly, so its important to keep your portion size in check.
I also added spinach, which is another good source of fiber. Not to mention, spinach is packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals. The reduced fat cheese and skim milk help keep the calorie count down. A one-cup serving of this healthy mac and cheese comes in at just under 300 calories.
Cheesy Baked Macaroni Recipe
Cheesy Baked Macaroni is a good dish to prepare this holiday season. It is delicious, cheesy, and a sure crowd pleaser. This can be prepared during Christmas dinner, or you can bring this along for your potluck parties.
My entire family loves pasta the richer and cheesier, the better. Cheesy Baked Macaroni is one of our favorite pasta dishes. We love it with a toasted sliced of loaf bread with butter, or even garlic bread.
This has similarities with the previous baked macaroni recipe that I posted. The main difference is the type of cheese used and the amount of bell peppers, which I think helps gives this dish a unique overall taste. Both are great recipes that I am really proud of.
I hope that you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. Cheers!
Try this Cheesy Baked Macaroni Recipe. Enjoy!
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Why This Is Our Favorite Homemade Mac & Cheese Ever
Hello, my name is Holly and I am obsessed with Macaroni and Cheese. I love all kinds from crock pot mac & cheese to baked mac and cheese, or even out of a little blue box. Of all of the cheesy macaroni recipes, *this* recipe right here is the best mac and cheese recipe ever and always gets rave reviews!
- The sauce is from scratch and easy to make.
- This recipe is extra saucy.
- The pasta doesnt get dry, its still nice and creamy even after its baked in the oven.
- Its got great flavor, especially when using sharp cheddar cheese.
- And most importantly, its the best homemade mac and cheese youve ever had.
How To Make Our Baked Mac And Cheese :
Today, in brave solidarity with broken hearts everywhere, I bring you: Baked Mac and Cheese!
Yes, those are buttery homemade breadcrumbs on top and YOU ARE WELCOME.
This baked mac and cheese is heavy on the cheesy insides, crunchy outsides, and OMG vibes. It is light on redeeming health value. Dont worry about it. It is possibly the most emotionally healing thing that you could ever feed your heartsick self. Its BAKED MAC AND CHEESE, for crying out loud.
If this baked mac and cheese happens to be fed to you by a friend who invites you over when you are sad beyond sadness, then your life is not so bad after all, is it, now? And that is exactly how this came into my life: around a generous table, with a fancy salad and some really good garlic bread, and kind, gentle friends who asked us about Afton and laughed with us and cried a little and all-around just took good care of us.
Life was still bad, but it was a little less bad in that moment. And for people who are hurting, a little less bad can be a really big deal.
I mean. Guys.
Just gaze upon the cheesy beauty that is.
It was comforting on every level and we felt loved.
Your turn! Who needs a pan of baked mac and cheese in their life? I have full faith in you to deliver.
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Southern Baked Mac & Cheese
There are three major takeaways from Millie Peartree’s famous baked mac & cheese.
Salt and pepper, to taste
If you dont like sharp cheese please feel free to use mild or any other cheese you like
Homemade Mac And Cheese For Kids Tips:
This recipe is very easy and its hard to mess up. Ive received emails from hundreds of moms who have successfully made this simple macaroni and cheese recipe for their families. Just follow the directions and make sure you cook and stir until the mixture is boiling and thickened.
Cheese types I often use shredded cheddar cheese with a couple of slices of American cheese tossed in. But we have also tried and enjoyed Cheddar Jack, Mozzarella, and other types of cheese.
Sometimes if I have a specialty cheese on hand, I will cube a little and throw that in for more flavor variety. The kids like it plain though so I try not to overdo it.
Its really up to you and your kids.
I wont make any promises that your kids will love this baked mac and cheese with breadcrumbs they are kids after all. But I will tell you that this is one of the most popular posts here on Living Well Mom and Ive received hundreds of emails from moms telling me just how popular this easy meal is with their children.
Try this kid-friendly mac and cheese out and let me known what you and your kids think! I hope you love it just like my family does!
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Best Cheese For Baked Mac And Cheese
Dont be scared when using cheese for this recipe. I used three types of cheeses to grace every noodle of this dish. For the best flavor, I highly recommend adding a sharp cheddar to your baked mac and cheese. Just a warning though, dont use the pre-shredded bagged cheese as it has preservatives that make it drier compared to fresh-grated cheese.
Sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella, jack cheese, are my top fave. Or you can also use pepper jack cheese, gouda, fontina, and Gruyere.
Tip And Alternative Options
- TIP: If it is your first time making macaroni and cheese though, keep in mind that you can always add more seasoning to foods but you cannot take it away.
I want to mention a couple of alternative options with ingredients that can be commonly found in a macaroni and cheese recipe, depending on whos making it, of course.
A lot of folks like to add some sour cream. I never have but it can add richness and creaminess to the dish, same as adding a bit of cream cheese.
Some older recipes call for dry mustard powder. Personally, I dont care for the dry mustard in this recipe, but if that is what youre used to then by all means add some in.
Other seasonings may also be used if you prefer to add the flavors that you enjoy in a macaroni recipe, such as onion powder or garlic powder.
Bread crumbs are also a popular option for mac and cheese that deliver a crunchy topping.
Easy Baked Macaroni And Cheese
Nothing beats a delicious family favorite baked macaroni and cheese recipe as a side dish. Its a dish that both kids and adults love. We have this baked macaroni and cheese at almost every family gathering. Its perfect for picky eaters and just screams comfort food.
We start off by making this recipe on the stovetop but we love to add an extra crispy topping of bread crumbs to the top of the macaroni and cheese and bake it till its a perfect crisp. My husband prefers it straight from the stovetop, so feel free to make it however you and your family like it best. We also like to add a touch of seasoned salt to our macaroni and cheese. It adds an extra pop of flavor and really brings out the cheesy-ness of this dish.
How To Make Instant Pot Mac And Cheese
Also Check: Bush’s Baked Beans Visitor Center
Can I Make This Macaroni And Cheese Ahead And Bake It When Im Ready
Yes you sure can. Just let it cool down, put some plastic wrap right against the surface of the mac and cheese and stick it in the fridge. If you have a few minutes to bring it out and let it warm slightly before you bake it, do that. But if you cant, just bake it till the center is hot and the edges are bubbling.
How To Make Baked Mac And Cheese
Its a straightforward recipe, starting with a basic butter-flour roux that is used to thicken milk to make the cheese sauce. For first timers, I think the short video below will help give you the confidence that youve got this!
The simple trick to avoid lumps in the Mac and Cheese Sauce is to pour the milk in slowly while constantly stirring, then just switch to a whisk if needed to remove any stubborn lumps!
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Tips For Perfect Cheese Sauce
Have you ever made a mac and cheese that wasnt creamy or smooth? Instead if was grainy or gritty? The worst! Heres a few steps you should take for perfectly creamy cheese sauce.
Variations Of Mac And Cheese
- Bacon if you love bacon, feel free to add some crispy, crumbled bacon to the topping, or even inside the mac and cheese as well!
- Stovetop if youd prefer not to bake this mac and cheese, you dont have to! Make sure you boil your pasta until al dente , and youll only need about 3 3 1/2 cups of cheese total. No need to layer the pasta and cheese, just add all the cheese to the sauce, then combine with the pasta.
- Different Toppings Im a huge fan of the cheese layer on top, since it gets nice and crispy, but we also love tossing 1 cup of panko with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and using that as a topping. 1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers with 2 Tbsp of butter work amazingly well too!
- Different Baking Times the recipe calls for a lower baking temperature and time, but most of the time I find myself adjusting that based on my familys tastes. I like to bake this mac and cheese at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to get that glorious cheesy crust.
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Best Cheese For Mac And Cheese
A combination of Gruyere and mozzarella cheese. Gruyerefor the most superior flavour with the best melting qualities for creamy sauces such as this theres no contention in my view. And mozzarella for stretch nothing does the cheese pull like a good mozzarella!
But honestly, any cheese that melts well works is excellent with Mac and Cheese, such as cheddar, tasty, Colby, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Emmental.
Cooking Tips For Baked Mac And Cheese
- Boiling the pasta cook the pasta less than you normally would. I like to boil my elbow pasta for between 4 and 5 minutes. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, and you dont want it to get mushy.
- Use room temp liquids if you can cold liquids generally take longer to thicken than warmer ones. I usually set my milk and half and half out while the water for the pasta is coming up to a boil.
- The cheeses use your favorites! Our personal favorites are the cheddar and gruyere used in this recipe, but you can be very creative with the cheese selection here. Mozzarella, gouda, smoked gouda, swiss, monterey jack, colby jack, colby. There are plenty of reader comments down below the recipe that talk about the cheeses they used!
- Shred your own I know its a pain, and its SO tempting to use the pre-shredded cheese in the bags. But those bags of cheese contain a starchy substance that keeps the cheese from clumping which also prohibits it from melting as well as it should.
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To Bake Or Not To Bake:
You dont have to bake the mac and cheese in this recipe. Everything gets fully cooked and is essentially ready to eat after the cheese and noodles are added. However, I love the extra gooeyness that comes when the cheese is baked and I think baking it adds a level of sophistication you just dont get without.
Can I Freeze Macaroni And Cheese
I get asked that a lot and my answer is always no. As the pasta and cheese sauce sit, it will thicken and when you thaw it and bake it, the creamy consistency is just gone. Its thick and gloppy. Plus if you freeze it and its still a bit warm, water crystals will form and then thaw into your dish and could make it separate when you bake it. Besides, its so fast to make, theres not really a reason to freeze your macaroni and cheese.
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How To Make Delicious Baked Macaroni And Cheese
- Begin by boiling your elbow or favorite shaped pasta. We use 1 full pound for this recipe. Make sure to cook it just to al dente as it will continue to bake in the oven and you dont want mushy noodles.
- In a separate sauce pan being making a roux with butter and flour.
- Freshly grated cheddar cheese tastes bests and melts easier but we have used pre-shredded cheddar cheese thousands of times and it still turns out great!
- For a delicious cheesy twist swap some of the cheddar cheese for some freshly shredded cooper cheese! Most of our family members prefer it with the cooper cheese!