Mac and cheese, by default, is a crowd pleaser. It could be the mac that you zap in the microwave and it will still make someone happy. It also comes in handy as a vegetarian-friendly dish when certain people in your group do not eat meat. Granted, it’s not vegan-friendly (sorry, vegans, but cheese is delicious) but it’s still guaranteed to make a majority of the group happy. Oh, and kids love it! Find me one child who dislikes macaroni and cheese. Go on, I’ll wait…
- 1 pound elbow macaroni (Ronzoni makes great “large elbows” which work perfectluy with this recipe)
- 4 tablespoons butter (extra required if you want to use it to grease your pan. I chose Pam olive oil spray instead since that helps cooked pasta stay fresh longer)
- 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2-2.5 cups whole milk (depending on how “dry” you like your pasta)
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. I actually prepared this first since I was transporting it the next day and therefore prepared the night before and baked it when I reached my destination. But! If you’re eating it the same night, then do this first.
- Prepare elbow macaroni, as directed on box (prepare it al dente since it will cook further inside the oven). Drain and set aside.
- Grease entire surface of a 9×13 in. baking pan.
- Cover the bottom of the baking pan with half of the cooked macaroni.
- Cut 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces (like a pat of butter) and spread them evenly over the macaroni.
- Add a layer of half of the sharp cheddar cheese, then half of the mild cheddar cheese.
- Add the other half of the macaroni. Then 2 more tablespoons of butter (also cut into small pieces and spread out evenly).
- Add the other half of both cheeses.
- Add the milk.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs lightly in a thin layer over the top of the whole dish. You can either do this right before it goes into the oven or halfway through baking the dish.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
People kept talking about this all night. It came out delicious with just the right amount of cheese. The breadcrumbs provided a nice crunch to the dish to mix-up the creamy texture. I’m fond of the browned edges so if you’re like me, you’ll definitely enjoy this. This makes around 8-10 servings.