So, what makes this one unique?
It comes together quickly and requires only a half-dozen ingredients. Even better, there is no neon-orange "cheese" powder!
Instead, for the finest flavor and texture, use actual cheese.
This classic macaroni and cheese dish is quick and easy to make on hectic weeknights. It's also kid-friendly!
Ingredients for Traditional Mac and Cheese
As previously said, this recipe is quite easy. What you'll need is as follows:
Elbow Macaroni – after all, this is macaroni and cheese! However, feel free to substitute any pasta of your choice.
Cheese – any melty cheese will do, but cheddar is the traditional choice for mac and cheese. And don't forget to grate it yourself!
Milk – the liquid element that acts as the sauce's foundation. Choose full fat for the most taste!
Butter – For extra richness,
Eggs – they thicken and give richness to the sauce.
Salt and Pepper – to taste.
How to Make Traditional Mac and Cheese
1. Prepare the pasta.
Because it will continue to cook in the oven, I cook elbow macaroni for only 4-5 minutes.
If you wait until the pasta is ready to eat, it will likely go mushy in the oven.
2. Grease the baking dish.
This is a critical step! If you don't, the spaghetti will stick to the bottom of the dish.
3. Combine the cooked macaroni, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.
For simple cleanup, add the ingredients directly to the dish — just make sure you have a tall-sided dish so nothing falls out.
4. Combine the milk and eggs in a mixing bowl.
This combination forms the foundation of the sauce. They become a thick and creamy substance when cooked with grated cheese, similar to savory custard.
The mixture should be poured over the macaroni.
5. Bake the casserole.
At 350 degrees Fahrenheit, it will take 40 to 50 minutes.
6. Top with extra cheese!
This step is optional, but I like to top the dish with more cheese and broil it for approximately 3-5 minutes.
7. Plate and enjoy!
Allow for a few minutes of resting time before serving.
Tips for the Best Mac and Cheese
As with any simple recipe, there are several steps you can take to make it foolproof.
Check out these ideas for the finest old-fashioned macaroni and cheese ever:
- Grate your own cheese, whatever it is. Using pre-shredded cheese is great for most recipes, but not for mac and cheese.
- As previously stated, pre-shredded cheese is covered with cellulose, an anti-caking substance that prevents the cheese from melting properly. So, while grating takes a little more effort, it results in a considerably nicer meal.
- The pasta should be undercooked. I like to cook elbow macaroni for only 4-5 minutes for this recipe because it will continue to cook in the oven. The pasta will be wonderfully al dente this way.
- If you mistakenly overcook the pasta, coat it with butter before baking. This will prevent it from cooking anymore.
- Add more grated cheese to the recipe for extra cheesy mac and cheese. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for the last few minutes of baking and bake for 2-3 minutes. The cheese will remain melty on the inside, but the top will get crispy on the outside.
- Keep leftovers in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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Thank you and Bonne Appetit!