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The Best Homemade Mac and Cheese By Hannah Schmidt and Kevin Ludy

*background image by Kevin Ludy*

Peanut butter and jelly. Chips and guacamole. Cookies and milk. What do all of these have in common? They’re iconic combos that compliment each other and bring out the best in flavor and texture, so that anyone can enjoy it. Arguably, the most iconic combo is macaroni and cheese, and we’re here to show you the best homemade recipe there is.

To begin these are the ingredients you will need

An overview of what you will need, including the Italian macaroni, butter, cheeses and more. *photo by Hannah Schmidt*

Ingredients

1 (16 ounce) package macaroni

8 oz butter, plus 1 Tbsp more for breadcrumbs (optional)

1/2 cup flour

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream (milk and cream at room temperature)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Scant 2 cups mild orange cheddar cheese

Scant 2 cups extra sharp white cheddar cheese

1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan, plus more for topping

1/2 cup breadcrumbs, buttered (optional)

Now comes the fun part of making the recipe!

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions, and set aside. *photo by Kevin Ludy*

3. To make the béchamel, start by melting the butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven over low heat.

*photo by Hannah Schmidt*

Once fully melted, add the flour and whisk constantly for five minutes or until the mixture is a light nutty color. If it’s too light, it will taste like raw flour and if it’s too dark, it will taste burned.

*photo by Hannah Schmidt*

4. Slowly pour in the milk and cream and continue stirring. Bring to a boil. Once the milk starts bubbling, simmer, and stir until the bechamel is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

How the bechamel should look after stirring in the milk and cream. *photos by Kevin Ludy*
5. Stir in salt, pepper and cheeses, starting with hard cheeses, which need more time to melt. *photo by Hannah Schmidt*
The three cheeses blend together to create the perfect cheesy taste. *photos Hannah Schmidt*
6. Pour in cooked macaroni, and coat evenly. *photo by Kevin Ludy*

7. After, process bread and 1 Tablespoon butter in a food processor. Spread evenly overtop the macaroni.

8. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. If more browning on top is desired, broil on high for 3 to 5 minutes.

9. Cool for 5-10 minutes and serve immediately, or freeze for later use.

*photo by Hannah Schmidt*

This mac and cheese is a crowd-pleaser, whether you serve it at a party or even just for dinner. The perfect textures of the creamy macaroni and crunchy breadcrumbs makes it the best homemade recipe you can find.

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