How Do You Bake Mac And Cheese

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Easiest Baked Macaroni And Cheese

How to Make Easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Rachel GurkPosted:

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Easiest ever baked macaroni and cheese this is a go-to recipe of many of my readers and it will become the same for your family!

No, really.

This is the easiest ever macaroni and cheese! And so delicious!

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.

How To Reheat Mac And Cheese Casserole

When it comes to comfort food, casserole is at the top of the list! And just about anything can be made into a casserole, including the almighty mac and cheese.

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Combine your creamy mac with breadcrumbs, extra cheese, and even a little bacon for a cheesy casserole that no one can resist.

So, whats the best way to reheat a casserole? The oven is almost always your best bet. So no need to learn a new method here. This one is tried and true.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place your mac and cheese in a glass casserole.
  • Once again, add add 1 tablespoon of milk for every cup of mac and cheese casserole. This is the secret to keeping your pasta rich and creamy. But, if your mac and cheese has a breadcrumb topping, you can skip this step. Or add the breadcrumbs seperately.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil cover and return the mac and cheese to the over for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is starting to brown.
  • Serve and enjoy!
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    Crock Pot Mac And Cheese

    The Chunky Chef09/05/2019

    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Highly requested from my readers, this mac and cheese is made entirely in the slow cooker! No boiling pasta, no making a cream sauce, and no standing over a hot stove. Perfectly creamy and packed with flavor, this dish is great to take to a potluck, have as a holiday side dish, or even a fun family dinner!

    Looking for other non-traditional crockpot recipes? Check out my No Boil Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, Crockpot Meatloaf, Crockpot Chicken Lo Mein, and Crockpot Spaghetti Casserole!


    Here it is the recipe youve been asking for! Youve LOVED, and continue to love, my Baked Mac and Cheese recipe some of you have even won awards in cooking competitions using that recipe. But we all love a great slow cooker recipe, and Ive been busy developing the PERFECT crock pot mac and cheese recipe. One that yields an ultra creamy sauce, doesnt get too thick, and one that tastes every bit as delicious as the OG baked mac and cheese.

    Tips For Creamy Mac And Cheese

    Baked Mac and Cheese
    • Cook elbows a perfect al dente to avoid mushy noodles
    • Shred your own cheese! Pre-shredded cheeses have additives that can keep them from clumping which also makes it so they dont melt smoothly.
    • Remove your sauce from the heat before adding cheese to keep it from separating or getting grainy.
    • Do not overbake . Once the macaroni is bubbling and heated and the topping is browned, you know it is ready. Everything is cooked, the baking is to meld the flavors and brown the topping.

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    Making Elbow Macaroni Simmered In Milk

  • 1Combine the milk and water. Measure 2 1/2 cups of milk and 1/4 cup of water into a large pot on the stove.XResearch source
  • To make a single serving, cut the amount of milk, water, and noodles in half.
  • You can use low-fat milk for this recipe, but whole milk will make creamier pasta.
  • 2Bring the liquids to a boil over medium heat. Keep the lid off of the pot and heat the liquids, so they begin to bubble vigorously.XResearch source
  • Avoid heating the liquids over high heat or the milk will scorch on the bottom of the pot.
  • 3Reduce the heat and stir in the elbow macaroni. Turn the burner down to low and stir in 2 cups of elbow macaroni noodles.XResearch source
  • 4Simmer the noodles for 20 minutes. Keep the lid off the pot and let the noodles bubble gently until they’re as soft as you like. Stir the noodles every few minutes to prevent them from clumping or burning.XResearch source
  • If the liquid evaporates, add 1/4 cup of milk whenever the liquid level looks low.
  • 5Drain the noodles. Decide if you want to use the hot milk in the recipe you’re making or if you want to drain it. If you want to save the milk, set a large bowl in the sink and place a strainer or colander over it. If you don’t want to save the milk, don’t place a bowl below the colander. Carefully pour the cooked noodles into the colander.XResearch source
  • What You Need To Make Baked Mac And Cheese:

    Really simple ingredients in this one, and lots of room to adapt the recipe to make it your own. For this macaroni and cheese recipe, youll need:

    • Elbow Macaroni other shapes will work, as will whole wheat pasta. We havent tested this with a grain-free pasta, but it would probably work. Of course, the texture would be slightly different.
    • 1 pound of shredded cheese we like extra sharp cheddar, but you can use many types of cheese. We always recommend shredding your own cheese fo the best texture , but pre-grated will work in a pinch.
    • Flour this helps the mac and cheese thicken up.
    • Ground mustard this is totally optional but it adds depth to the flavor. You can also use dijon mustard if you dont have ground mustard.
    • Milk whole, 2%, skimtheyll all work
    • Butter helps you get that golden brown top on the macaroni and cheese!
    • Salt and Pepper always! You wont need a lot of salt since cheese is salty.

    Recommended Reading: Quick Baked Mac And Cheese Recipe

    Whats The Difference Between Manwich And Sloppy Joes

    Technically Manwich is a pre-made sauce thats used to make sloppy joes. Im not sure exactly whats in it, and have never tried it myself, so I cant say that my recipe tastes similar or not. Manwich is marketed as a easy way to make sloppy joes but in reality, homemade sloppy joes are JUST as easy to make!

    The Best Homemade Sloppy Joes

    How to Make Baked Mac and Cheese

    The Chunky Chef10/24/2018

    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Step away from the canned sauce and give these homemade sloppy joes a try! Theyre truly the best version of a childhood favorite!

    As we head into the upcoming holiday season, Ive been thinking about family-friendly meals. You know, those meals that your kids always want to eat. In our house, this Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese is number one on our list with these sloppy joes being number 2! With two little ones myself, I know ALL too well how frustrating it is to cook a meal and have them promptly turn up their noses and say its gross. *facepalm*

    Ive always been a fan of classic sloppy joes. Theres something so innately satisfying about the sweet and savory combination and messiness of it all! And I know you all love them too, since Ive been getting a lot of requests for sloppy joe recipes.

    Ive made a LOT of sloppy joe recipes lately, trying to come up with the perfect one. Some were too sweet, others too spicy. Well guys, I finally got it. The perfect balance. This sloppy joe recipe is sweet, tangy, zesty and savory, with the perfect texture and consistency.

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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.

    Instant Pot Mac And Cheese

    The Chunky Chef03/23/2020

    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is ultra creamy and rich with a velvety smooth sauce! Ready in about 20 minutes, its always a family favorite. Perfectly cooked, every time, and no need to babysit the pasta, or even drain it! Made with no canned milk and no Velveeta.

    This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the perfect comfort food! Recipes like my Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa and Instant Pot Sausage Tortellini Soup are great for when you want an ultra-comforting family meal thats ready incredibly fast. This is one of my Pressure Cooker recipes youll definitely want in your recipe box!


    Youve been asking for it, and Ive been working on it this is the Instant Pot Mac and Cheese that will make your mouth completely water, and have you reaching for seconds.

    The lusciously creamy cheese sauce, enveloping every noodle so full of flavor, yet so simply made.

    This mac and cheese is just as easy as making that macaroni in the blue box but is SO much better for you. No preservatives and other hard to pronounce ingredients. Just pure cheesy goodness!

    When I was developing this recipe, I used cheeses that I found melted really well, and gave a good classic mac and cheese flavor, however, Ill also be detailing different cheeses you can use if you prefer another mixture.

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    How To Make Homemade Mac And Cheese

    Making homemade macaroni and cheese is surprisingly easy and quick!

  • Cook Pasta Cook pasta al dente drain & rinse.
  • Make Sauce A homemade cheese sauce with lots of cheese takes about 10 minutes. .
  • Combine and bake Toss sauce with pasta and top with remainder of shredded cheese.
  • Bake until golden and bubbly.
  • Perfect Mac And Cheese In 5 Steps:

    Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe 2 Ways {VIDEO}
  • Preheat the oven. Preheat to 325 degrees and lightly grease a square baking dish.
  • Cook the macaroni. Slightly undercook your noodles . Drain and set aside.
  • Make the roux. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Blend in the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add milk and cheese. Stir in milk and half and half, slowly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup shredded cheese to the sauce and stir just until melted. Add the cooked macaroni noodles and toss to coat them in the sauce.
  • Pourinto baking dish. Pour half or the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle ½ cup cheese over the top. Pour remaining pasta over it and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
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    What Temperature Do You Reheat Macaroni And Cheese In The Oven

    Oven Place the macaroni & cheese into an oven-safe dish. Make sure to only take out what youre going to use. Add 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of mac and cheese and mix to incorprate as much as possible. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.

    Variations Of This Recipe

    • PROTEIN Feel free to add in some shredded chicken, pulled pork, or some crispy bacon for an extra protein punch.
    • VEGGIES Trying to get your veggies in? Stir in some steamed broccoli or cauliflower.
    • TOPPINGS If you love a topping on your mac and cheese, transfer the cooked cheesy mac to a baking dish and top with either some extra cheese, buttered panko breadcrumbs, or buttered crushed Ritz crackers. Broil a few minutes until crispy.
    • COOKING LIQUID If you prefer to use all chicken broth, or all water feel free to do that. Just make sure there are 4 total cups of liquid.
    • DIFFERENT CHEESES Gruyere, Gouda, Fontina, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Colby, or all Cheddar. These are all good melting cheeses and will give you a smooth sauce. However, feel free to play around with different combinations that you like!

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    Ingredients For Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni And Cheese With Bread Crumbs

    • Elbow macaroni
    • Salt, dry mustard, garlic powder and cayenne
    • Panko bread crumbs

    Step 1: Cook Elbow Macaroni

    Boil the pasta until al dente , drain, and return to the pot.

    Step 2: Add Butter and Cheese

    Stir in the grated cheeses and the butter to coat the noodles.

    Step 3: Combine Wet Ingredients

    In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, salt, dry mustard, garlic powder and cayenne.

    Step 4: Stir Together Ingredients

    Add the egg mixture to the pasta and stir to combine. Transfer to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

    Step 5: Add Bread Crumb Topping

    Sprinkle buttered breadcrumbs over top.

    Step 6: Bake

    Bake the mac and cheese, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven until it’s golden brown and set. This will take about 35-40 minutes.

    Making Instant Pot Mac And Cheese Ahead Of Time

    Macaroni and Cheese Recipe | How to Make Mac and Cheese

    Some recipes are great, and even better, when made ahead but mac and cheese just isnt one of them.

    As the pasta sits, it absorbs more and more of the sauce, making the mac and cheese dry, and the noodles mushy.

    In my opinion, this is a recipe that just tastes the best when made right before you eat it.

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    Do You Cover Your Mac And Cheese In The Oven

    You may also be wondering if it is necessary to cover your Macaroni and Cheese in the oven. I personally love the crispy bits of cheese that form on the top layer that result from NOT covering the mac and cheese. Since the noodles are pre-cooked, you are really just popping it in the oven to get all bubbly and thick throughout and brown and crispy on top, but ultimately, the choice is up to you.

    As youll see in this recipe, Ive added a few extra optional flavor boosters to keep things interesting. But I must say, the garlic powder is an absolute must! For years, people have asked me what I put in this mac and cheese that makes it so good. Well, guess what? The garlic powder is my secret! Recently, Ive begun adding a little nutmeg and mustard powder to the sauce as well. While these are most definitely optional, I dont think youll regret adding them in the slightest. I also love serving the finished product with some sriracha, for an added kick. My kids arent fans, but my husband and I sure love it.

    So, the next time youre looking for a fairly simple and extra delicious weeknight dinner for your family or guests, I highly recommend whipping up this easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Youll make a lot of tummies happy! If your time is limited you could always opt for this 4 Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese or this Slow Cooker Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese.

    What Can I Add To Macaroni And Cheese To Make It Taste Better

    1. Spice Up Your Plain Mac. Throwing in spices to your macaroni and cheese might be the easiest and most affordable way to add in additional flavor. Basic spices that you may already have in your pantry that would work well include red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, chili, onion, and garlic powder.

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    How To Reheat Mac And Cheese On The Stove

    Heres a method that is quicker than oven reheating. The only downside to reheating your mac and cheese on the stove is that you have to do it perfectly and follow these steps carefully so you dont end up with burnt mac and cheese! This works best for small portions.

  • Place your mac and cheese in a saucepan or skillet.
  • Add whole milk or the same kind of milk you added to your cheese sauce and gently mix it in with your mac and cheese. Use one tablespoon of milk per cup of pasta.
  • Over low to medium heat, reheat your mac and cheese while stirring frequently but gently. Slowly add more milk to keep it moist. This will take about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and serve.
  • When reheating your mac and cheese on the stove, dont preheat your pan as this can cause the dish to burn! Its also important to constantly but gently stir to distribute heat evenly.

    How To Make A Bread Crumb Topping

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

    Combine the following and sprinkle over your casserole before baking.

    • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
    • 3 tablespoons melted butter
    • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 tablespoon parsley

    This recipe makes an extra saucy creamy macaroni. Do not over-bake this recipe. You want it creamy and rich, over-baking will cause it to dry out. I find that 20 minutes is perfect in my oven, the cheese sauce will thicken slightly while standing.

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