The Best Homemade Baked Mac & Cheese Recipe

Mac & Cheese Recipe

Mac in cheese falls into that subset of comfort foods that we loved as children – PB&J, grilled cheese, popsicles… but there are ways to reinvent this all-time favorite with a little more panache. As a general rule, the homemade Mac & cheese Recipe will automatically take you a cut above the old Kraft boxed version. Here’s a recipe with enough personality to make you feel like an accomplished cook. But also enough of that comforting familiar cheesiness to take you right back to age 7.    

Mac & Cheese Recipe: You will need:

  • 1 lb. rotini pasta, cooked and drained, rinsed with cold water and drained again.
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Half tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • ¾ cup grated white cheddar & 3/4 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) finely cubed ham
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder

Mac & Cheese Recipe: And here’s what you do with it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter.
  3. Add the flour, stirring and cooking until the flour is fully incorporated. #Add the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring often.
  4. $Add the bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, and spices and stir well.
  5. @Add the cheeses and continue cooking and stirring until the cheese is all melted and blended
  6. into the sauce. Stir in the ham.
  7. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat well. Pour the mixture into a large (13×9) buttered casserole and spread out evenly.
  8. Sprinkle with the chili powder. Bake 35 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Mac & Cheese Recipe: And here’s what you do with it:

To make this recipe I buy a thick slice of ham at the deli and chop it up as you would for pea soup, and it works great. If you are a sauce-loving person, as I am, I recommend adding a little extra cheese to the mix – maybe closer to a whole cup of each kind. You can really take some creative liberties with this recipe and make it your own. If you love spicy foods, follow to the letter and use the chili powder with abandon. Here you know about Shalimargame.

If you like the nuance of the spices without the kick, you might omit or just use a tiny pinch of the cayenne pepper. You can use just about any combo of cheeses. I like the blend in the recipe best. But it’s also great with yellow cheddar, fontina. You name it. If you want to try to be on the healthy side, use less cheese, lean ham, and whole wheat or enriched pasta.

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