The Great Mac & Cheese debate has worked my dang nerves! “I like it dry!” “Creamy!” “American cheese has to be in it!” “No processed cheese!!” If y’all don’t sit down somewhere! Goodness! It’s MACARONI AND CHEESE! I understand that everyone has their individual tastes. But, you’ll never know what you like if you only try it one way. I make this stuff all kinds of different ways, using all kinds of different cheeses! However, I tried my BEST to come up with a Baked Mac and Cheese recipe that would meet in the middle. And, I really believe this recipe will please even the pickiest of eaters. I PRAY!
As stated above, everyone has their own preference of cheeses to use. And you are free to use whatever floats your cheesy boat. That line was cheesy, Coop. Whatever. My only pet peeve with cheese is using that pre-packaged cheese! No shade, but SHADE! Go to the deli, buy a small block of cheese, and shred that bad boy yourself. I know it’s time consuming. But, it makes a huge difference in the flavor and quality of your mac and cheese!
Now, let’s talk baking time. If you prefer a drier, browner mac and cheese, then jack the heat up to 400 degrees F. Or you can just leave it in the oven for a longer time than I did. My recipe will yield a pan of mac and cheese that’s stiff and slightly browned on the top with a creamy, bubbly center. So, just adjust it to your preference, babe!
That’s enough chit chat. The reason you’re really here is below.
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 3 T butter
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 T flour
- 2 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 cup evaporated milk (not condensed milk, baby! EVAPORATED!)
- 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1 cup Muenster cheese (shredded)
- 1 cup Sharp Cheddar (shredded)
- 1 cup Mozzarella (shredded)
- 1 T Accent seasoning (This is optional, cause I don't wanna hear nothing about MSG's!)
- salt and white pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Add salt and 1 tsp of onion powder into the water.
- Stir in the macaroni and cook until al dente. Refer to package instructions for cook time.
- Drain (Do NOT rinse with water! I'm not playing!)
- Stir in 1 T of butter
- In a sauce pan, melt the remaining butter.
- Whisk the flour into the butter for 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in the half and half while whisking.
- Add in cream cheese and stir until it dissolves
- Season to taste with salt, white pepper, 1 T Accent seasoning, and 1 tsp of onion powder.
- Add in 1/2 cup of each of the shredded cheeses.
- Once cheese begins to melt, turn off the heat.
- Pour in the macaroni and stir to combine.
- Now, pour in the evaporated milk (if you use sweetened condensed milk, I swear we gone fight!)
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Pour the mixture into a buttered casserole dish.
- Top with the remaining shredded cheeses evenly.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25 mins or until as brown as desired.
- Allow it to rest of 10 mins (or you'll burn the entire hell out of the roof of your mouth!)