Friday, September 29, 2023

Mac And Cheese In The Oven

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Best Cheese For Baked Mac And Cheese

The Ultimate Five-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese | Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Dont be scared when using cheese for this recipe. I used three types of cheeses to grace every noodle of this dish. For the best flavor, I highly recommend adding a sharp cheddar to your baked mac and cheese. Just a warning though, dont use the pre-shredded bagged cheese as it has preservatives that make it drier compared to fresh-grated cheese.

Sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella, jack cheese, are my top fave. Or you can also use pepper jack cheese, gouda, fontina, and Gruyere.

Tips For Creamy Mac And Cheese

While we feel like we cracked the code on creamy oven-baked mac and cheese, there are definitely a few tips that will ensure that your finished product is as creamy as ours was!

  • Use Freshly Shredded Cheese we are all about convenience over here, and typically, we are game for buying a bag of pre-shredded cheese, but when it comes to homemade mac and cheese, buying a block and shredding it yourself is the way to go. Pre shredded cheese contains anti-caking agents, making it less creamy and rich than the freshly shredded stuff.
  • Add More Whole Milk if your mac and cheese isnt as creamy as youd like, feel free to add another splash of milk! Also, whole milk makes for a much creamier mac and cheese than skim or 2% milk, so when it comes to mac and cheese, we say that splurging on the good stuff is totally worth it!
  • Dont Skip the Cream Cheese the cream cheese in this recipe is essential for making a super creamy sauce!

Just for You

Homemade Mac N Cheese

There are thousands of macaroni and cheese recipes, from quick and easy mac and cheese, fancy mac and cheese, adult mac and cheese to glow-in-the-dark boxed mac and cheese. I think it is safe to say we all love the pure comfort food quality of cooked pasta and cheese sauce.

Mac n cheese can be served as a side dish or as a main course , and its a must have side dish for family gatherings, game day, special celebrations and holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

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How To Keep Mac And Cheese Creamy

Im sharing a handful of tips to help keep your baked mac and cheese creamy, smooth and saucy.

  • First, no eggs. Unlike the Southern-style mac and cheese, this creamy version does not include eggs. The eggs help to set the casserole, giving it a firm, dry texture. Since thats not what were going for here, youll need to leave out the eggs.
  • Next, lots of sauce. Were not skimping on cheese, milk or cream in this dish. Well make plenty of cheese sauce to coat the noodles. It looks like a lot of sauce, but you need that amount in order to keep the dish creamy in the oven.
  • Velveeta cheese. Thats right, I said it. Blasphemy?! Maybe! But trust me here: Velveeta melts smoothly into the sauce giving the mac and cheese a rich, creamy texture that you just cant quite replicate with other types of cheese.
  • Baking Time. This casserole goes in the oven at a low temperature for just 15 minutes. This short baking time is important because its just long enough to melt the cheese on top and get the noodles hot inside, but its not so long that it dries out the pasta and sauce. If you like a crispier crust on top, you can pop it under the broiler for a few minutes at the end.

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What Can I Add To Macaroni And Cheese To Make It Taste Better

Oven Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

1. Spice Up Your Plain Mac. Throwing in spices to your macaroni and cheese might be the easiest and most affordable way to add in additional flavor. Basic spices that you may already have in your pantry that would work well include red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, chili, onion, and garlic powder.

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If Grey Skies Or Snow Flurries Have You Craving

A chicken casserole is easy to prepare. Tips and tricks to make the perfect chicken casserole recipe every time we earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. If grey skies or snow flurries have you craving. Chicken casserole is a perennial favourite for good housekeeping readers, with everyone. See these useful tips for cooking a chicken casserole and get 10 great chicken casserole recipes. Prepare stuffing according to package directions. Theres mac and cheese, then theres the best way to make mac and cheese.

You should have a total of about 2 cups of chicken meat. Theres mac and cheese, then theres the best way to make mac and cheese. If grey skies or snow flurries have you craving. Whats the best cheese to use so that your mac and cheese turns out smooth and creamy versus clumpy and oily? See these useful tips for cooking a chicken casserole and get 10 great chicken casserole recipes. Tips and tricks to make the perfect chicken casserole recipe every time we earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. Discard the skin and bones. The spruce if youre ready to graduate from boxed macaroni and cheese to somethin.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Bread Crumbs | Mighty Mrs from

Cooking Tips For Crock Pot Mac And Cheese

Ive tested this recipe more times than Id like to admit, and through all those trials and errors, Ive come up with a few helpful tips.

  • Spray the crockpot. I know it might sound weird, but it really helps keep the pasta from sticking too much to the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Use the right liquids. For most of my attempts, I was using regular, whole milk, and every time it would thicken way too much and sort of seize up on me. Ive found that a mixture of chicken broth, evaporated milk, with a little heavy cream for richness, yields the best creamy sauce.
  • Grate your own cheeses. I know I know. Its SO tempting to open a bag of pre-shredded cheese from the store and Ive done it on occasion. But most commercial pre-shredded cheeses are coated in cellulose, which essentially keeps the cheese from all clumping together in the bag. Ever noticed how bags of pre-shredded cheese that are coming up on their expiration date usually have clumps of cheese stuck together inside? Its because the cellulose is just about gone from the cheese. That coating prevents the cheese from truly melting down into a gloriously gooey cheese sauce, and can leave your sauce a bit on the gritty side.

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How To Make Mac And Cheese

If youve never made homemade mac and cheese before, it can seem a bit daunting. But dont worry, well break it down and take it step by step!

  • Boil the pasta, drain.
  • Make the cheese sauce by combining a fat , and starch , then whisking in the milk products.
  • Cook the sauce until its nice and thick.
  • Add in shredded cheeses, stir well.
  • Combine cheese sauce with cooked pasta.
  • Transfer half of the mac and cheese to a baking dish, sprinkle with more shredded cheese.
  • Top with the rest of the mac and cheese, top with more shredded cheese.
  • Bake and prepare to thoroughly enjoy!

How To Know When Bchamel Sauce Is Done

How To Make The Best Baked Mac And Cheese

You know that béchamel sauce is done when it has the right consistency or has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon . To test for doneness, simply coat a spoon with sauce and rub your finger through the spoon as if drawing a path . If it leaves a mark, the béchamel sauce is done! You can add the cheese and finish the sauce. Adding the cheese too early can break the sauce turning it into an oily mess.

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Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1 You can follow and make this Southern mac and cheese recipe ahead of time and put it in your fridge. However, you might want to add a little more milk before baking.
  • tip 2 When pre-cooking the pasta, use the lowest amount of cooking time recommended on the package. This will help keep the macaroni from becoming too mushy after baking.
  • tip 3 Extra-sharp cheddar has a bolder flavor than mild or medium cheddar, which makes it perfect for a simple dish like this Southern mac and cheese, where you want the cheese to be the star of the show.

Creamy Baked Mac And Cheese

The Chunky Chef09/30/2019

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This baked mac and cheese is a family favorite recipe, loved by both children and adults. It uses a combination of cheeses, layered in the dish as well as melted into a rich and creamy cheese sauce, for the ultimate in cheesy deliciousness! Perfect for a comforting dinner or as a holiday side dish!

Looking for other comfort food dishes? Check out my Homemade Sloppy Joes, Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Crockpot Meatloaf, and Homestyle No-Boil Mashed Potatoes!


Baked mac and cheese. Its nearly the universal comfort food, and there are SO many variations! In fact, I almost didnt 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, theres no right way or wrong way, so Im here sharing the way I like to make my mac and cheese .

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The Best Cheese For Mac And Cheese

Sharp Cheddar is my first choice for flavor however you can certainly use your favorite cheeses. Mix it up and use a bit of gruyere, or even pepper jack for a little kick. If you have bits of cheese leftover, you can combine them all together in this easy homemade cheese sauce.

This recipe has a special ingredient that is a little bit unconventional but makes it extra yummy AND it is optional. The addition of cheddar cheese soup makes the sauce a little bit extra velvety and just adds a little something. I think its much better than Mac and cheese with Velveeta! Give it a try! .

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Baked Mac and Cheese
  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Spread 2/3 cups of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Top with lasagna noodles.
  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off the fat.
  • Pour in the remaining marinara sauce. Add the water to the jar, replace the lid and shake to loosen up the remaining sauce. Pour into the skillet and stir in.
  • Simmer the meat sauce for 5 minutes.
  • Scatter about one-third of the ricotta cheese on top of the lasagna noodles. Sprinkle on 3 oz of the mozzarella cheese. Top with about one-third of the meat sauce.
  • Add another layer of lasagna noodles and press down slightly.
  • Repeat with ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and meat sauce two more times.
  • Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes until the noodles are fork-tender.
  • Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 7-8 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly.
  • Let the lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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What Is The Best Temperature To Bake Mac And Cheese

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best temperature to bake Mac and Cheese will vary depending on your preference.

Some people prefer their Mac and Cheese to be baked at a higher temperature to get a crispy top, while others prefer a lower temperature to fully melt the cheese. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what temperature you prefer to bake your Mac and Cheese.

Whats The Best Type Of Cheese To Use For Mac And Cheese

When it comes to homemade macaroni and cheese, we recommend using two types of cheese if you can one for creaminess and one for flavor. We used gouda for creaminess and sharp cheddar for flavor in this recipe, but feel free to use a different kind of cheese if you wish. Any combination of cheeses listed below will work beautifully:

  • ANY Cheddar Cheese
  • Gouda

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Mini Mac And Cheese Bites Recipe

*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.


  • Crumbled bacon
  • Diced green onions

As with any recipe that you make in the oven, it is best to use freshly grated Cheddar cheese so that it completely melts and doesnt become stringy like store-bought, pre-packaged shredded cheese.

*It is best to use freshly shredded Cheddar cheese instead of packaged shredded cheese. This is because the shredded cheese that you find hanging in a plastic bag at the grocery store has an anti-caking agent on the surface of the cheese.

Although this expands the shelf life of the cheese and prevents it from clumping together, it also makes it difficult to melt properly when heated.

Therefore, you will get better results with this recipe when you purchase a block of sharp cheddar cheese and shred it yourself. I use my Hamilton Beach Food Processor that has a grating blade and it only takes a minute to shred.


The first step in making this mac and cheese bites recipe is to preheat the oven and spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set the pan aside while you prepare the noodles.

Once they are cooked, pour the noodles in a colander and let them drain. Set the noodles aside while you prepare the homemade cheese sauce.

Homemade Cheese Sauce

Serve warm for best flavor.


How To Make A Baked Mac And Cheese Recipe Easy

1 Dollar Fancy Mac and Cheese | But Cheaper

This homemade mac and cheese is an ideal side dish that you can prep ahead for special holidays like Thanksgiving or for large family suppers. Assemble it in advance and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days! You can also serve the mac and cheese as a main course for dinner. Throw in some shredded chicken or diced ham, add veggies like steamed broccoli or frozen peas, and you’ve got a delicious and satisfying meal in one pan. The simple, old-fashioned combination of pasta and cheese is always crowd-pleasing!

  • Boil Macaroni. Cook the noodles in salted boiling water just until barely al dente. Drain and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Make Cheese Sauce. While the pasta boils, make the roux in a Dutch oven or large saucepan with butter, flour, milk, and half-and-half. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, cheeses, and seasoning.
  • Add Noodles to Sauce. Stir in the cooked pasta until all of the noodles are coated in the creamy sauce.
  • Bake. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Bake in a 325°F oven for about 15 minutes. The dish is ready when the cheese is melted on top and the inside is hot and bubbly.
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    Some Variations Of This Recipe:

    • Add in a can of drained and rinsed diced tomatoes for a cheesy tomato mac and cheese.
    • Stir in some cooked crumbled bacon or sausage for a meaty twist on this classic dish.
    • Swap out the cheddar cheese for another type of cheese, like Gruyere, Swiss, or pepper Jack.
    • Add a layer of bread crumbs on top of the mac and cheese before baking for a crispy topping.
    • For a creamier mac and cheese, use half and half in place of the milk.
    • Stir in a couple of handfuls of spinach leaves or chopped kale for a healthy dose of greens.
    • For a spicier mac and cheese, add some diced jalapenos or red pepper flakes.
    • Try using different noodles, like shells, rotini, or penne.
    • Swap out the all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour if you need this dish to be gluten-free.

    As you can see, there are endless possibilities for mac and cheese! Get creative and experiment with different ingredients to find your favorite combination.

    Tips For The Best Easy Baked Mac And Cheese Recipe

    • Boil the noodles in very well-salted water. The salt in the water seasons the noodles, adding flavor to the dish.
    • Cook the pasta just until its al dente almost tender, but still firm to the bite. You dont want to completely cook the noodles until theyre tender, because they will continue baking in the oven.
    • Allow the cheese, milk, and half-and-half to come to room temperature before adding them to the recipe. They will blend together smoothly if theyre not cold.
    • Start with blocks of cheddar cheese that you grate yourself at home, rather than using bags of pre-shredded cheese from the store. The pre-shredded cheese includes stabilizers and other ingredients to prevent the cheese from clumping, which inhibits its ability to melt smoothly into the dish.
    • If you prefer a crispier, darker brown top on your mac and cheese, place the dish under the broiler during the final few minutes of baking. Just be sure to keep a close eye on it so that the top doesnt burn.
    • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square casserole dish.

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