Classic Macaroni and Cheese

From Family Favorites

Classic Macaroni and Cheese
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Why This Recipe Works

For a macaroni and cheese recipe that would appeal to adults and kids alike, we kept things simple, staying away from pungent cheeses and overly rich eggs and cream. Instead, we tossed al dente pasta with a béchamel-based cheese sauce, usin...

Why This Recipe Works

For a macaroni and cheese recipe that would appeal to adults and kids alike, we kept things simple, staying away from pungent cheeses and overly rich eggs and cream. Instead, we tossed al dente pasta with a béchamel-based cheese sauce, using a combination of sharp cheddar for flavor and Monterey Jack for creaminess. To give our macaroni and cheese recipe a crunchy topping, we tossed homemade bread crumbs with melted butter, sprinkled them over the casserole, and browned the dish quickly under the broiler.

Ingredients

Instructions

Serves 6 to 8, or 10 to 12 as a side

NOTE FROM THE TEST KITCHEN The test kitchen’s favorite elbow macaroni is Barilla Elbows. Serve with hot sauce and/or celery salt.
  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Pulse bread and chilled butter in food processor until coarsely ground, 7 to 10 pulses; set aside.

    2. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until tender. Drain macaroni and set aside in colander.

    3. Melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in now-empty pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses until fully melted. Add macaroni and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.

    4. Pour mixture into 13 by 9-inch broiler-safe baking dish. Top with bread-crumb mixture and broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating dish if necessary for even browning. Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve.

Watch the Full Episode

Season 5, Ep. 508
Family FavoritesSeason 5, Ep. 508

In this episode, we offer delicious, relatively straightforward fare that appeals to young and old. What kid—or adult—doesn't look forward to macaroni and cheese or barbecued chicken?