How To Make Baked Mac & Cheese

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Garlic Shrimp Mac And Cheese

How To Make The Best Baked Mac And Cheese

Garlic Shrimp Mac and Cheese is all your food dreams bundled together in one bubbling dish! A silky, cheesy macaroni sauce with plump, juicy garlic shrimp AND a crunchy, golden parmesan topping.

And if that wasnt enough, this just happens to be made in ONE POT and is on the table in just over 20 minutes. Its outrageous!

Is Baked Mac And Cheese Better Than Stovetop

Although stovetop mac and cheese cooks faster, baked mac and cheese has an unrivaled and addictive cheesy and crispy topping.

Proving that faster isnt always better!

Baked macaroni and cheese is a Southern family favorite because its hearty, easy to make, and kids love it! Its delicious as soon as it comes out of the oven.

This recipe for oven-baked mac and cheese will have you coming back for seconds and thirds!

Its the perfect recipe to try at home when youre feeling bored with your usual pasta dinner routine or youre ready for a soul food take on an old classic!

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.

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The Modern: Sodium Citrate Mac And Cheese

This version calls for sodium citrate, an ingredient that’s been in the modernist pantry for many years now, but has yet to break into the mainstream home cook’s arsenal. There’s nothing new about this particular saltyou can find it in many foods and drinks you already eat. Not only is it a common ingredient in club soda, but, more importantly for us, it’s how processed American cheese, with its superior melting abilities, is made.

We’ve long avoided using sodium citrate in our recipes here at Serious Eats, because it’s not readily available at most food stores. But now, thanks to the ease of ordering online, a supply of food-grade sodium citrate is only a mouse click away. I really don’t see any reason not to recommend it now.

The great thing about sodium citrate is that you can turn any cheese into a gooey, Velveeta-like melter. Gouda, Gruyère, Fontina, extra-sharp cheddar, you name it: Grate those cheeses and whisk them into a solution of sodium citrate and water , and they transform into a perfectly pourable, totally smooth cheese sauce. It couldn’t be easier.

Start by heating water in a saucepan, then whisk in sodium citrate until it’s fully dissolved.

Next, blend in the grated cheeseI used sharp cheddar again herewith a whisk or immersion blender, allowing it to melt into the solution as you go. If you have any trouble with it breaking, an immersion blender is your best bet for pulling it back together.

Black Folks Baked Mac And Cheese Cooking Tips

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

Its time for some cooking tips!

Southern baked mac and cheese is a classic dish that everyone loves. However, it can sometimes be challenging to know how to make the perfect version of this timeless favorite, so Im here with some cooking tips for baked mac and cheese, so you never have to worry about making a bad batch again!

  • Start with a good quality macaroni. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the water to keep noodles from sticking.
  • Make sure youre using a baking dish thats not too deep. An 8-inch baking pan or 8-inch cast iron skillet are perfect for this oven recipe!

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Upgrading Kraft Macaroni And Cheese

  • 1Replace some of the margarine with American cheese to make the dish creamier. Once you have cooked the macaroni and are adding the ingredients into the saucepan to make the cheese sauce, replace half of the margarine with 3 slices of American cheese. This means that you will add 1/8 cup of margarine, 3 slices of American cheese, 14 cup of milk, and the cheese sauce mix into the saucepan with the macaroni.
  • The American cheese will melt as you stir it in.
  • Alternatively, you can add all of the required margarine and 3 slices of American cheese if you want the dish to be extra cheesy However, the dish will become more greasy.
  • 2Mix in bacon and chipotle for a spicy and smoky dish.Fry 4 slices of bacon while the macaroni is cooking. Slice the bacon into small pieces once it is cooked. Stir in the bacon pieces and 1/2 tsp of chipotle in adobo once the macaroni and cheese is ready.XResearch source
  • 3Add sriracha, ginger, green onions, and panko for a more decadent dish. Add a zing of flavor to amp up a regular boxed macaroni and cheese dish. When the dish is complete, stir in 1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger and 1 tablespoon of sriracha hot sauce. Then sprinkle 1/4 cup of green onions and 1/4 cup of panko over the top of the dish.XResearch source
  • Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs.
  • Adjust the amount of ginger and sriracha hot sauce to taste.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sour cream just before serving if you prefer.
  • Rachel GurkPosted:

    No, really.

    Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:

    To Make Ahead:You can make this creamy baked mac and cheese recipe 1-2 days ahead of time. Prepare the sauce, cook the noodles, and store both separately in the fridge until ready to bake.

    To Freeze: Make the entire dish, but freeze before baking. Allow it to cool completely in the 8×8 pan, cover it well with plastic wrap and tinfoil and store it in the freezer for 2-3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake until warmed through and the cheese is bubbly on top.

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    Garlic Shrimp Mac And Cheese A Dream Combo

    The last time I wrote that I love Mac and Cheese so much it would be my Last Meal, I received alarmed messages from readers who thought I was on the way out.

    I quickly wrote back to assure them that I was only joking, that I was perfectly fine, and no I wasnt secretly an incarcerated food blogger in the unfortunate position of having to start thinking about my Last Meal.

    So Im making no such joke about this Shrimp Mac and Cheese. Just in case!

    This is a magical combination. Its basically a mash up of two firm favourites Garlic Shrimp and Mac and Cheese. Put these together into one bubbling pot, and youve something so incredibly tasty, you may never be able to go back to plain Mac and Cheese again.

    Thats a lie. You will all those times when you dont have shrimp!

    Stovetop Mac And Cheese

    Macaroni and Cheese Recipe | How to Make Mac and Cheese

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

    This truly is the BEST stovetop mac and cheese recipe! It only requires one pot , its ready to go in about 20 minutes from start to finish, and its perfectly creamy and cheesy and delicious.

    This weekend, Barclay and I went to a food festival here in Barcelona that was fabulously, deliciously,entirely devoted to CHEESE.

    And it was just about the best thing ever.

    Literally everywhere you turned, ooey gooey cheesy dishes were being served. And youd better believe we took full advantage of them. From freshly-scraped raclette toasts, to the most amazing Korean-inspired mushroom grilled cheese sandwiches, to Spanish onion and smoked cheese soup, to vegan Mexican cheesy quesadillas, to the best ricotta Ive ever sampled, to the most dreamy Italian gyoza-ish dumplings filled with potato and cheese and served in a pecorino-sage saucethe day was all of our cheesiest dreams come true. And we left feeling so happy. And soooo full, ha.

    That said, there was one dish notably missing at the festival. But, it just so happens that Ive been on a mission this month to nail down my all-time favorite recipe for it. So yesterday, we decided to round out our cheesy weekend by taste-testing a final version of this recipe. And ohhh guys, I think weve got it. Im humbly calling it

    The Best Stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe. Ever.

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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.

    How To Make Crock Pot Mac And Cheese

    • Add pasta and liquids to the slow cooker. Sprinkle in seasonings and stir.
    • Cover and cook 1 hour. Stir. Cover and cook another 10 minutes.
    • Stir in cream cheese and grated cheese. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Stir and serve.

    How easy is that?! No fancy cream sauce to make just hands-off cook time so you can go relax!

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    How To Make The Creamiest Macaroni And Cheese

    Youre only looking at six ingredients . Itcan even be made in under 30 minutes .

    I love that you can keep this as a quick stovetop mac and cheese or slide it into the oven to get bubbly and browned. I love it both ways.

    Were going to call this our basic mac and cheese not because it isnt incredibly delicious, but because its the perfect base for other variations. Take a look below for some suggestions.

    To make our go-to macaroni and cheese, you will need the following:

    Pasta: The shape and size are entirely up to you. Look for pasta that will hold onto the creamy sauce. Elbow macaroni and shells are great options.

    Butter and Flour: Its the combination of butter and flour that thicken the sauce. We like to use unsalted butter for this and then adjust salt to taste when making the sauce. That said, salted butter will work if that is all that you have.

    Cheddar cheese: Whenever we make macaroni and cheese, we reach for sharp white cheddar cheese. Its flavorful and melts beautifully. For more cheese suggestions see our notes below. Whatever cheese you use, its best to grate it yourself. I know its extra prep time, but hand-grated cheese melts so much easier into the sauce.

    Cream cheese: The mac and cheese would be excellent with just cheddar cheese added, but to make it ultra creamy, well stir in some cream cheese. It adds a lovely silky texture, and since it has a little zinginess, it brightens up the flavor a bit.

    What I Love About This Recipe:

    Easiest Ever Baked Macaroni and Cheese (with VIDEO)
    • Crumb Topping: The Panko bread crumb topping elevates the dish and adds great texture and taste, making it restaurant quality.
    • TheHomemade Sauce starts with a basic roux, and then a few spices to enhance the flavor and make the BEST, creamy, cheesy sauce for mac and cheese. If youre looking for a very traditional version, try my regular mac and cheese recipe.
    • Family Favorite: This is a huge crowd pleaser that I serve year round! You can bring it as a side to serve along with ribs, pulled pork or chicken, or serve it as a main dish with a side of green beans or roasted veggies.

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    Storing Crock Pot Mac And Cheese

    The leftovers from this mac and cheese recipe need to be refrigerated. Let the leftovers cool completely, cover, then refrigerate for up to 3 days. For optimal texture, add enough milk to thin the sauce before packing up the leftovers, that way you can easily scoop out a portion to reheat, and the milk will meld into the cream sauce as it reheats.

    Homemade Macaroni And Cheese: What Kind Of Cheese Should I Use

    I honestly use different cheese combinations almost every time I make this mac and cheese recipe but the one I always come back to is sharp cheddar and Gruyere. If you cant find Gruyere, Jarlsberg Swiss cheese is the best substitute. Other cheese that work: mozzarella, jack cheese or pepper jack for a little zip, American and Velveeta as well for a creamier cheese sauce. This baked mac and cheese uses 6 cups of cheese so just

    To add even more flavor to my homemade mac and cheese, I add Parmesan to the Panko topping so good!

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    Variations Of Crock Pot Mac And Cheese

    • Pasta Shapes to mimic the classic recipe, I normally use elbow pasta. But any short-cut pasta works just as well! Medium shells, penne, rotini, etc. Just note that different pastas will have slightly different cook times, so use the recipe times as an approximate.
    • Cooking Liquids like I mentioned above, I prefer the taste and consistency of chicken broth, evaporated milk and heavy cream. However, feel free to test out different proportions of those liquids, or try out different liquids. Just note that I can only vouch for this recipe as written.
    • Cheeses As with most mac and cheese recipes, the types of cheese called for are not the only ones you can use. Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, Gruyere, sharp cheddar any and all!
    • Seasonings feel free to add in additional seasonings that you love in your mac and cheese.

    Can Mac And Cheese Be Cooked On The Stovetop

    How to make Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    Making macaroni and cheese on the stovetop is super easy and faster because it doesnt have the extra step of baking the macaroni dish.

    Here are four tips that will help you make the perfect stovetop macaroni and cheese:

  • Melt butter over medium heat before adding flour or other thickeners.
  • Add milk or heavy whipping cream slowly while stirring constantly.
  • Add salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings after removing them from heat.
  • Stir in shredded cheddar until melted before adding other desired toppings.
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    Get The Secrets You Need To Make The Creamiest Baked Mac And Cheese You’ll Ever Eat Loaded With Three Different Cheeses And Your Choice Of Crunchy Toppings This Foolproof Recipe Will Show You How To Make Homemade Macaroni And Cheese That Will Have Kids And Adults Calling First Dibs And Going Back For Seconds

    7 No-fail Mac and Cheese Secrets

    • Hand-grating the cheese is a must! Pre-grated cheeses are coated in stabilizers that keep them from melting well and can make the sauce grainy.
    • Forgo young cheeses in favor of aged ones for more flavor. Use a combination of cheeses for the best results: cheddar for flavor, Monterey Jack for sharpness and meltability, and Velveeta for its magically smooth texture.
    • Let the cheese come to room temperature while you make the sauce so it melts easily with less heat.
    • Use a higher-fat dairy product like whole milk or half-and-half for a creamier, more stable sauce.
    • Another secret to keeping the sauce ultra gooey and creamy: Remove the sauce from the heat source and add the cheese slowly, stirring in a handful of shredded cheese and letting it melt before adding more.
    • Adding a small amount of finely chopped onion and a few seasonings like Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard helps boost the flavor.
    • Cook your pasta to al dente to keep it from getting mushy in the sauce. Itll finish cooking when the mac and cheese goes in the oven.

    How to make baked mac and cheese

    Homemade baked macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. This Best Ever Mac and Cheese recipe, along with cooking secrets from Taste of Home Test Kitchens Lead Prep Cook, Beth Jacobson, will have folks lining up around the block to savor every gooey bite. Dont settle for bland, grainy mac and cheese when its so easy to make your own!

    Pick the right pasta

    Heat things up

    Mac And Cheese Baked Tips For Success

    • Remember that the pasta in baked mac and cheese has to cook twice. Make sure that you cook the noodles just until is about to become al dente . This will prevent the pasta from getting mushy and too soft while it cooks a second time in the oven.
    • Always cook your pasta in salted water. This gives the dish flavor from the very beginning.
    • To minimize dirty dishes, after draining the cooked pasta, return it to the large pot where you cooked the pasta in. Then, toss it with some oil or melted butter to prevent the noodles from sticking.
    • After adding the cheese to the white sauce, make sure the sauce doesnt boil to prevent it from breaking.
    • Dont over bake the mac and cheese. If you want a super crispy topping, place the baking dish under a broiler.
    • Add about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese to the Panko topping for extra cheesiness.
    • You can use two types of cheese only when making this recipe.

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    Also Check: Baked Kraft Mac And Cheese

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