Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

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With some unexpected ingredients, you too can make deliciously tangy, ultra-smooth and­­ Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.

With some unexpected ingredients, you too can make deliciously tangy, ultra-smooth and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.

With some unexpected ingredients, you too can make deliciously tangy, ultra-smooth and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.A recipe for Creamy Macaroni and Cheese has been a long time coming. Over the years, I have made many many batches, but none as good as this batch right here! All the recipes I’ve tried in the past resulted in a dry and curdly looking batch, no matter what trick I tried. Shred your own cheese. Check. Still curdled. Cook over low heat. Check. Still curdled. Nothing worked! With each batch, I was sent on a hiatus from homemade macaroni and cheese before I tried again. And so began a reoccurring cycle of making, dissatisfied eating, and frustration.

With some unexpected ingredients, you too can make deliciously tangy, ultra-smooth and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.Until now! I stumbled upon an article in the latest Martha Stewart Living magazine that made it all click! The article outlined a basic recipe for the cheese sauce, one of the ingredients being American cheese because it melts smoothly and evenly. Aha! Those words – smoothly and evenly – caught my attention. Perhaps it was the answer to all of my macaroni and cheese problems. In all of my trials, I have never tried American cheese.

Off to work I went and I was beyond thrilled that I was able to make a non-curdled, non-dried cheese sauce! AND be able to replicate it! Since that recent recipe, I have modified the basic recipe some, tweaking here and there and including techniques that I’ve heard along the way. The result is this ultra-smooth and­­ Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.

With some unexpected ingredients, you too can make deliciously tangy, ultra-smooth and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.In addition to the American cheese, which is largely contributes to the smooth melt, are two other cheeses – extra sharp cheddar cheese and Parmesan. In my opinion, extra sharp cheddar cheese is required. It gives the sauce a tangy zing like Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese, which I’m addicted to. And the Parmesan gives it a nutty undertone.

With some unexpected ingredients, you too can make deliciously tangy, ultra-smooth and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.Other things that help make this macaroni and cheese smooth and creamy are using milk AND evaporated milk to make the roux. And, warming both before adding it to the butter and flour mixture helps with temperature control to prevent the flour from clumping.  

If you’ve had trouble with producing Creamy Macaroni and Cheese in the past, I STRONGLY encourage you to give this recipe a try. It’s foolproof!

With some unexpected ingredients, you too can make deliciously tangy, ultra-smooth and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.

5 from 3 votes
With some unexpected ingredients, you too can make deliciously tangy, ultra-smooth and­­ Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.
Print
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Yields 4 servings
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Serving Size: 1 serving
Calories per Serving: 905 kcal
Author: Patty K-P
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces large elbow macaroni*
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed**
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk, warmed**
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) American cheese, chopped
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) extra sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) fresh Parmesan, grated
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot to boiling and cook the macaroni for the time instructed on the packaging minus 1 minute (ie. if the instructions say cook for 9 minutes, cook for 8 minutes). Reserve 2 cups of pasta water and drain.
  2. To the now empty pot, heat the butter over medium heat until melted and foaming. Add the flour and whisk until no clumps remain. Whisk in the mustard powder until combined.
  3. Stir in the two milks until combined. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low to simmer. Simmer until thickened.
  4. With the heat on low, add the American cheese, ½ cup at a time, and stir using an 8 figure motion until mostly melted before adding the next ½ cup. Repeat with the remaining cheeses.

  5. Pour the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce and stir until fully coated. If the cheese sauce is too dry, add in the reserved pasta water ¼ cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

*I liked using the large elbows because there's that much more sauce in each bite, but feel free to use regular elbows!

**About 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave. 

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8 comments

  1. Albert Trotter says:

    i have tried this recipe yesterday and it as so yummy and ,i made it too cheesy because my daughter loves cheese which cause t a bit heavy but over all it was delicious that makes my daughter happy …thanks for sharing

  2. Hannah says:

    Is American cheese sold in blocks? I’ve seen recipes with velveeta so I want to make sure inbuy the right kind. Ha

    • Patty K-P says:

      I’ve never seen American cheese sold in blocks. The American cheese used in the recipe comes sliced and sold in the refrigerated section, like this one. I haven’t tested the recipe using Velveeta, but it would be interesting to see the difference!

  3. Lou-Ann Geange says:

    Patty I made your Mac & Cheese for supper tonight & I was a huge hit. My middle son has cilliac so I made it with gluten free pasta & gluten free flour for the thicking, it turned out perfect & it’s so easy to make, this will definitely be my new go to recipe for Mac & cheese. Thank you for sharing!

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