Baked Mac & Cheese is a favorite side here in the south. Gooey and cheesy in the middle with a golden crunchy baked top – who wouldn’t like it? I bake the leftovers in a muffin tin with a little extra cheese on top to put in my daughter’s school lunches.
My recipe is adapted from the Mac & Cheese Cookbook by the Homeroom restaurant in San Francisco. I figure they know a little bit about making macaroni and cheese.
Using a high quality sharp cheddar and kosher salt are crucial to bring out the flavors in this mac & cheese. I use Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar since it is available at my local grocery store.
My family loves the crunchy baked topping.
Classic Baked Mac & Cheese
Credit: adapted from The Mac & Cheese Cookbook from the Homeroom
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 ts kosher salt
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 Tb butter
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a casserole dish.
2. Cook elbow macaroni in boiling water with 1 ts kosher salt according to manufacturer’s directions for al dente pasta. Drain and rinse in cold water (to stop the cooking process).
3. While the pasta is cooking, melt ¼ cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add ¼ cup flour and stir or whisk constantly until golden and bubbly. Slowly add milk ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, until smooth, but thickened. Turn heat to low and add 1 ts kosher salt and 2 ½ cups shredded cheese. Continue stirring until smooth.
4. Pour macaroni and cheese sauce into greased casserole dish. Stir so pasta is covered in cheese sauce. Melt 1 Tb butter and mix with ½ cup panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle all over the top of macaroni followed by ½ cup shredded cheddar. Bake in the oven for 15 mins.