Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
This homemade Macaroni and Cheese Casserole is a show stopper! Not only is this creamy mac and cheese recipe easy to make it, has a special ingredient making it extra delicious! This dish has so much velvety cheese in a quick homemade sauce and once you try it, this is going to be the only macaroni & cheese you make!
How to Make Creamy Mac and Cheese
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Hello, my name is Holly and I am addicted to Macaroni and Cheese. It is literally my favorite thing to eat on the whole planet! I love crock pot mac & cheese, stove top mac and cheese or even out of a little blue box.
Of all of the mac and cheese recipes, *this* little gem right here is like striking mac and cheese gold. It is definitely the best macaroni and cheese casserole ever and always gets rave reviews! Take it from me, I definitely should know!
It’s pretty quick to make from scratch and extra cheesy and delicious! Now, this recipe has a special ingredient that makes it extra yummy… AND it is optional. The addition of the cheddar soup makes the sauce a little extra velvety and just adds a little something. If you don’t happen to have it on hand (or just don’t want to use it), this recipe is still ridiculously great without.
For the light cream, I use a cream that is about 10-12%MF or half and half.
Tips to Make Creamy Mac & Cheese
- Cook your pasta al dente (firm) as the noodles cook extra in the sauce and you don’t want them mushy.
- Don’t forget to salt your pasta water.
- While not everyone agrees with rinsing the pasta after cooking, in this particular recipe it stops the noodles from cooking and the sauce is created with a texture that pairs perfectly with the rinsed noodles.
- A sharper cheddar cheese will add a stronger cheese flavor.
- Pre-shredded cheeses contain additives to keep it from sticking together which affects the way it melts. The sauce is best if you shred your own cheeses.
- Allowing the baked macaroni and cheese to rest for a few minutes after baking will thicken the sauce.
- Most importantly of all… Do not over bake this recipe.
When cooking your macaroni noodles, cook them according to the package directions but you want them to be still firm. If your package says 6-8 minutes, just cook them 6… you get the idea.
I choose not to top this casserole with a bread crumb mixture but if you really like bread crumbs on your macaroni and cheese, by all means, add some! Just mix 3/4 cup bread crumbs (panko is best) and 3 tablespoons melted butter with the topping cheese. Sprinkle on top before baking.
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 found that 20 minutes was perfect in my oven… note that the recipe will thicken slightly while standing.
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
This Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole is a show stopper! Not only is this mac and cheese recipe easy to make it has a special ingredient making it extra delicious! This dish has so much velvety cheese in a quick homemade sauce and once you try it, this is going to be the only macaroni & cheese you make!
- 12 oz dry macaroni
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup light cream (about 10-12% MF)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 can condensed cream of cheddar soup (optional)
- 4 cups sharp cheddar , divided
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and let cook 2 minutes while stirring. Slowly whisk in cream, milk, mustard powder and onion powder. Cook over medium heat while stirring until thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese & 3 cups cheddar cheese until melted. Add soup if using.
- Toss cheese sauce & macaroni noodles together. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake 18-24 minutes or until bubbly. Do not over cook. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
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