By Eniolá Abdulroqeeb Arowolo
Baked macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food loved by people of all ages. It’s a creamy and cheesy pasta dish that’s perfect for family gatherings, potlucks, or whenever you’re craving some hearty, homemade goodness.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of making this delicious dish from scratch, ensuring that your macaroni and cheese comes out perfectly cheesy and baked to golden perfection. Let’s get started!
– Elbow macaroni
– Shredded cheddar cheese
– Black pepper
– Paprika (optional)
– Breadcrumbs (optional, for topping)
1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
2. Cook the Macaroni: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package instructions until it’s al dente (firm to the bite). Drain the macaroni and set it aside.
3. Make the Cheese Sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to create a roux. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes until the roux becomes a light golden color.
4. Add Milk: Gradually whisk in the milk to the roux, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens, usually about 5-7 minutes.
5. Season: Stir in the salt, black pepper, and paprika (if using). Adjust the seasonings to taste.
6. Combine Cheese: Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese until it’s completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
7. Combine Sauce and Macaroni: Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce, and mix until the macaroni is well coated.
8. Transfer to Baking Dish: Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into the greased baking dish, spreading it evenly.
9. Top with Cheese and Breadcrumbs: Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top. If you like a crunchy topping, you can also add a layer of breadcrumbs on top.
10. Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
11. Serve: Allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your homemade baked macaroni and cheese!