Ultimate Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole




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Introduction

Indulge in the comforting and satisfying flavors of Ultimate Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole. This classic dish is a crowd-pleaser and a perfect choice for a cozy family dinner or a potluck gathering.

Why Make This Recipe

This recipe is a go-to option for anyone craving a creamy and cheesy dish that is both easy to prepare and delicious to eat. The combination of different cheeses and flavorful seasonings creates a rich and satisfying macaroni and cheese experience that everyone will love.

How to Make Ultimate Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Ingredients

For the Pasta:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for boiling water)

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook the Pasta:
    • Preheat oven to 375°F.
    • Boil water, add macaroni, and cook until al dente.
  2. Prepare the Cheese Sauce:
    • Melt butter, whisk in flour, add milk and spices, then stir in cheeses until smooth.
  3. Assemble the Casserole:
    • Combine pasta and cheese sauce, then transfer to a baking dish and top with cheeses.
  4. Bake the Casserole:
    • Bake until golden brown and bubbly.
  5. Serve:
    • Let it cool slightly before serving.

How to Serve Ultimate Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Serve this irresistible casserole hot, straight from the oven. It pairs perfectly with a side salad or some steamed vegetables for a well-rounded meal.

How to Store Ultimate Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Tips to Make Ultimate Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

  • Use a variety of cheeses for a more complex flavor profile.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta, as it will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Feel free to add in cooked bacon, diced ham, or sliced sausages for extra flavor.

Variation

For a twist on the classic recipe, try adding diced tomatoes, chopped spinach, or caramelized onions to the macaroni and cheese mixture before baking.

FAQs

  1. Can I use low-fat milk instead of whole milk in the cheese sauce?
    • Yes, but using whole milk will result in a creamier and richer sauce.
  2. Can I prepare this casserole ahead of time and bake it later?
    • Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  3. Can I freeze leftovers of this macaroni and cheese casserole?
    • Yes, you can freeze portions of the casserole in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven until heated through.

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