Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Classic Mac-n-Cheese

Creamy, cheesy, comforting - SO delicious! Our family loves mac-n-cheese. :)

I've posted a few recipes before, but this one was the cheesiest & yummiest (according to my family). It will be out go-to mac-n-cheese from now on.

This is not a low-cal recipe! But every once-in-awhile, it's nice to just load up on some cheesy-ness, right?

We really enjoyed the chicken & apple sausages I served with this mac-n-cheese!! Their low-cal, no trans fat, stats almost made up for the carb overload that is mac-n-cheese. LOL!

Go to the end of the post if you want to see what kind we had.


Classic Mac-n-Cheese
Makes 1 2-quart serving dish - should serve about 8 people

Prep: 10 mins Cook time: 25 mins

1 box (1 lb) elbow macaroni (or penne)
1 1/4 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 Tblsp butter
3 Tblsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (you can use evaporated or powdered, reconstituted to equal 2 cups)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika, if you don't like it spicy

Optional breadcrumb topping:
2 Tblsp butter
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350*F. Coat an oven-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray & set aside.

Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain & set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together cheddar and Parmesan. Set aside.

In a large pot (I used a dutch oven), melt butter over medium heat.

Whisk in flour, onion powder, salt & cayenne or paprika until smooth and bubbly.

In a thin, constant stream, whisk in milk until smooth.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often or constantly, if possible.

Reduce heat & simmer 3 minutes.

Remove from heat; whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture. (This will be hard to whisk at first, but dig in & whisk hard until it's smooth & all the cheese is melted in.)

Dump cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce; stir until well combined.

Spoon half of the cheesy macaroni into prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle with a generous cup of the cheddar/Parmesan cheeses.

Spoon remaining cheesy macaroni into the baking dish (over the top of the cheese).

Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.

The next step is optional:

In a medium skillet, melt 2 Tblsp of butter with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.

Cook & stir until butter is melted & breadcrumbs just begin to turn golden brown.

Sprinkle cooked breadcrumbs over the top of the mac-n-cheese is the baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350*F.

Remove from oven & serve hot! Enjoy!

If you didn't use the breadcrumbs & you'd like the top of your mac-n-cheese to be lightly browned, put the baking dish under the broiler for 2-3 minutes before serving.


We served this mac-n-cheese with chicken & apple sausage and a side of steamed broccoli.

The sausage we used was:

I bought it with a Buy-1-Get-1-Free coupon, but they're regularly about $3.75/pkg at my grocery store.

I've been wanting to try them because they're chicken (not pork, which I can't eat), they have no trans fats, and the apple sounded yummy.

The had a terrific snap as we cut through them and they were SO juicy! The apple could've been stronger, in my opinion, but my family had no complaints. Just "yum" noises all around the table. :)

I cooked them on a grill pan on my stovetop. You can microwave them or cook them in a skillet with a bit of water, but the grill sounded yummiest to me.

I'm getting no compensation from Johnsonville for this post - just wanted to share something we'd tried and loved.


Becky Wyatt said...

Hey Kathy. I need to make a 13x9 for our Trunk or Treat on Saturday. Would you double the recipe?

Kathryn said...

Becky, I'd do 1 1/2 recipes for a 9x13". (Double would probably fill a lasagna-size pan.) Hope it's a hit! :)


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