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Two Delicious Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipes
One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is macaroni and cheese. And I'm not talking about the kind that comes out of the blue box. Homemade baked macaroni and cheese doesn't take much more effort to make than the stuff you find on the grocery store shelves, but it's so much more satisfying!
The first recipe is delicious straight out of the pot, so you can certainly skip the breadcrumbs and skip the baking if you are craving something extra cheesy and extra creamy. But the sauce is really thick and creamy and the dish does not dry in the oven, which I find happens with a lot of baked mac & cheese recipes. When I make this I use Panko for the breadcrumbs because I really like the crunch they give, but Italian seasoned breadcrumbs would be a little more flavorful.
Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
4 oz. processed American cheese (Velveeta)
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups (8 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk and stir until all lumps have dissolved. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Reduce heat; stir in the sour cream, processed cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until cheeses have melted. Gradually add cheddar cheese, and stir until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth.
Drain macaroni and add to sauce and mix well. Transfer to a greased 3-quart baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle breadcrumbs over top. Return to oven for another 10 minutes until browned.
The second recipe is similar, but I find it has a more refined taste. For years this has been my not-so-secret recipe - one that has been requested by many people and happily shared!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 C. breadcrumbs
1 1/4 C. whole milk
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. (4 C.) grated white cheddar
8 oz. elbow macaroni
1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Butter a 13 x 9 dish. In a small bowl, toss melted butter with breadcrumbs and 1/4 c. cheddar.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni according to package; drain.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring milk to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low; add cream cheese, cut into cubes, stir until melted (abt. 2 min). Gradually stir in remaining cheddar until melted (abt. 5 min.) Add cooked pasta, salt and pepper; toss to combine.
Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake until bubbling, 10 min. Remove from oven; sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until golden, 10 min. more.
Just add a tossed salad and you have a hearty meal that just might throw you back to your childhood!