If Macaroni & Cheese were a food group, my son Elijah would be more than content. I'm convinced he would eat it every day if he could. Baked Macaroni & Cheese will always be one of those classic comfort dishes and one that my family is always excited to devour. It makes for a great meatless meal or (if you are in the carnivorous group like my family) is the perfect side dish for burgers and dogs. We ate ours this week with slices of fried ham. This baked macaroni & cheese recipe gives you the creamy noodles and cheese and is topped with a buttery crust. Yum! I'm about to help myself to a bowl of leftovers!
(Serves 6 -8)
- 16 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
- 8oz sharp cheese shredded
- 8oz Colby jack cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 6 TBLS Butter (Plus 2 more TBLS for topping)
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 4 TBLS flour
- 3/4 cup crushed Ritz crackers (about 12 -13)
- Cook elbow macaroni noodles "Al dente" according to package. Drain and set aside.
- In sauce pan over medium heat, melt 6 TBLS butter. Add flour, salt, pepper, and paprika stirring to make a roux. It will have a nice golden color.
3. Slowly whisk in the milk to the roux and continue to stir for several minutes (about 5 min.) over medium heat until the sauce thickens just slightly. You don't want the sauce to boil or scald so keep stirring!
4. Time to add the cheese! While stirring with the whisk, add both the Sharp and Colby Jack cheeses to the milk mixture and stir till all of the cheese melts into smoothy goodness! You might think at first that the sauce mixture is too runny - don't worry - it will turn out perfectly!
5. Pour cheese mixture over the cooked elbow macaroni and stir well to make sure all of the macaroni is mixed in and pour into a large baking dish.
6. In a separate dish, using a fork, mix together the Ritz crackers, Parmesan cheese, and 2 TBLS of melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the Macaroni and Cheese before baking.
7. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take it out and enjoy that cheese comforting goodness!
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