Title: Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese


For the Pasta:

  • 16 ounces (450g) elbow macaroni or your favorite pasta shape
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for boiling pasta)

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (optional)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


Cook the Pasta:

  1. Boil Pasta:
    • Cook the elbow macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Prepare the Cheese Sauce:

  1. Make Roux:
    • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously to create a roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes, ensuring it doesn’t brown.
  2. Add Milk:
    • Gradually add the warm milk to the roux, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture thickens.
  3. Add Cheese and Seasonings:
    • Reduce heat to low. Add shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese, Dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir until the cheeses are fully melted and the sauce is smooth.

Assemble and Bake:

  1. Combine Pasta and Sauce:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta and the cheese sauce. Mix until the pasta is evenly coated.
  2. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a greased baking dish, spreading it evenly.
  3. Optional Topping:
    • If desired, combine breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle this mixture over the top for a crunchy topping.
  4. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the mac and cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  5. Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh parsley if desired, and let it cool slightly before serving.

Time and Intensity:

  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: Approximately 40-45 minutes
  • Intensity: Moderate

Note: Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese is a classic comfort food that everyone loves. This homemade version features a rich and cheesy sauce baked to perfection. Customize it by adding your favorite toppings or mix-ins. Serve it as a side dish or make it the star of your meal for a satisfying and indulgent experience.

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