Baked Mac n Cheese was not a dish on our traditional Thanksgiving table but as I studied regional cuisines, found that it graces the Holiday tables throughout much of the Southern United States.
Creamy Baked Macaroni n Cheese
- 3 cups macaroni, uncooked
- 6 tbsp butter
- 6 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dry ground mustard
- 2 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Cook macaroni according to the package instructions or until just al dente. Be careful not to overcook since the pasta will absorb some sauce during baking and become softer.
- Drain pasta and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan, melt butter and add flour. Stir to combine and make a roux. Next add milk and whisk completely until the sauce starts to thicken. Next add the cheese and stir to combine until melted whisking out any lumps.
- Taste the cheese mixture and add the salt & pepper, paprika and ground mustard until it has a good taste. When you are content with the taste, add in the pasta and stir well until combined.
- Butter or spray a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Pour the macaroni and cheese into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle with fresh buttered bread crumbs or panko (optional) and bake for 35-45 minutes or until it is hot and bubbly. It will firm up as it cools. Let stand for about 10-15 minutes or until fully set before serving.