Baked mac and cheese. It’s nearly the universal comfort food, and there are SO many variations! In fact, I almost didn’t post this recipe, as there are SOOOO many mac and cheese recipes available, and most people already have their favorite way of making it.
Of course, there’s no “right” way or “wrong” way, so I’m here sharing the way I like to make my mac and cheese (the way my family loves it too).
COOKING TIPS FOR BAKED MAC AND CHEESE
- Boiling the pasta – cook the pasta less than you normally would. I like to boil my elbow pasta for between 4 and 5 minutes. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, and you don’t want it to get mushy.
- Use room temp liquids – if you can… cold liquids generally take longer to thicken than warmer ones. I usually set my milk and half and half out while the water for the pasta is coming up to a boil.
- The cheeses – use your favorites! Our personal favorites are the cheddar and gruyere used in this recipe, but you can be very creative with the cheese selection here. Mozzarella, gouda, smoked gouda, swiss, monterey jack, colby jack, colby. There are plenty of reader comments down below the recipe that talk about the cheeses they used!
- Shred your own – I know it’s a pain, and it’s SO tempting to use the pre-shredded cheese in the bags. But those bags of cheese contain a starchy substance that keeps the cheese from clumping… which also prohibits it from melting as well as it should.
3 cups dry elbow macaroni
4 Tbsp salted butter
2 (370 mL/12 oz) cans evaporated milk
1/3 cup milk of choice
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp garlic salt
4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tsp paprika
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and macaroni, and cook until al dente.
Drain and return to the pot.
Add in the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the evaporated milk, milk, eggs and garlic salt until fully combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cheeses.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking pan.
Layer 1/3 of the macaroni, then 1/3 of the cheese.
Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture.
Pour the milk mixture over top. Sprinkle the paprika evenly on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes