Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food loved by people of all ages. It consists of cooked macaroni pasta smothered in a creamy cheese sauce. Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese:
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) elbow macaroni or any pasta shape you prefer
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (you can use a mix of cheddar and other cheeses like Gruyere or Monterey Jack)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper for a bit of spice
- Optional: Breadcrumbs or crushed crackers for a crunchy topping
- Cook the macaroni pasta according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan or pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the flour to the melted butter, and whisk continuously to form a roux. Cook the roux for about 1-2 minutes until it becomes slightly golden in color.
- Gradually pour the milk into the roux while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth.
- Add the salt, black pepper, and optional paprika or cayenne pepper, and mix well.
- Reduce the heat to low, and slowly stir in the shredded cheese. Keep stirring until all the cheese has melted, and you have a smooth and creamy cheese sauce.
- Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce, and stir until the pasta is coated evenly.
- If you want a crunchy topping, transfer the macaroni and cheese to a baking dish, and sprinkle breadcrumbs or crushed crackers over the top.
- If you prefer a creamier texture, you can serve the macaroni and cheese directly from the stovetop without baking.
- Serve the macaroni and cheese hot, and enjoy its creamy, cheesy goodness!
Macaroni and cheese is a versatile dish, and you can customize it by adding other ingredients like cooked bacon, diced ham, or vegetables such as broccoli or peas. It’s a classic and comforting dish that’s perfect as a main course or a side dish for any meal.