Macaroni and cheese is one of my all time favorite foods. I have a great recipe for stove-top mac and cheese, but it took me a long time to find the perfect baked version. I am somewhat picky when it comes to baked mac and cheese, it needs to be creamy and cheesy, not dry and grainy. It also needs to be flavorful, not dull and bland. And, a crushed cracker topping is a must!
With just a few very small tweaks, this recipe met all of my requirements and has become a staple in our household. I hope you love it too! Make it soon though, spring is right around the corner!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- 4 cups dried macaroni
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 tablespoons butter, plus additional 1-2 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 pound cheese, freshly shredded (my favorite is Vermont Sharp Cheddar)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed
Butter a 9×13 or 2 quart baking dish. Cook macaroni in boiling water until firm. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add dry mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese, except for 1/2 cup or so, and stir to melt.
Add salt, seasoned salt, pepper and garlic powder. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Pour into buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, then top with the crushed crackers and a few pats of butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
Source: slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman.Pin It