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Mac and cheese recipe

Mac and cheese recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta bakes
  • Cheese pasta bakes

This mac and cheese is a nice comforting family dinner everyone will love. This recipe uses penne pasta instead of macaroni.

London, England, UK

30 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 500g penne pasta
  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 700ml milk
  • 400g white Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 150g Red Leicester cheese or red Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 50g golden breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Cook the penne pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until pasta is cooked (cook according to the instructions on the pack), then drain water and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the 100g butter over a medium heat then mix in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes to form a roux (thick paste of flour and butter). Add the cayenne, black pepper and salt.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  4. Gradually pour the milk into the roux, and stir (or whisk) continuously for about 5 to 10 minutes until sauce is thickened. Remove the saucepan from the stove and add half of the cheese (both red Leicester and white Cheddar) and stir until it is combined with your sauce. Add the teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
  5. Mix the penne pasta with your cheese sauce and transfer all into an oven proof dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Mix breadcrumbs with the 1 tablespoon of melted butter and sprinkle on top of the pasta.
  6. Bake in the oven until breadcrumbs are browned slightly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(3)

Reviews in English (3)

I thought this recipe could be improved a lot when I made it the the sauce was really watery and it never cooked even though I had it on the right temperature. the next time I will be using BBC Food.......-15 Apr 2017

The problem with this recipe was the amount of pepper and cayenne pepper. I halved it and it as still very fiery. I was the only person who managed to finish it.-02 Nov 2016

I really enjoyed making this (with a slight twist), living alone means making dishes to freeze or else split measures and this recipe is perfect for both. having followed the instructions I have created two individual dishes that as I type, are bubbling nicely in the oven. As a twist, (and not having any Red Leicester to hand), I crumbled up 50g of Stilton into the main mix (step 4 above), and this has given it a very nice little kick.-26 Jan 2016

Chick-fil-A Mac & Cheese

The new Mac & Cheese at Chick-fil-A is baked fresh every day, and the recipe is more complex than you might expect from a fast food chicken chain. According to the official list of ingredients, the formula includes several different kinds of cheese including Parmesan, Romano, and award-winning hard cheese from Wisconsin called BellaVitano. The BellaVitano cheese adds a subtle nuttiness to the mix and all three hard cheeses contribute big umami flavor that nicely complements the blend of white and yellow cheddars.

Those five kinds of cheese combine to make a great flavor, but the blend would melt into a greasy mess if it weren’t for the assistance of one more ubiquitous cheese: American. The benefit of American cheese—which makes up for its lack of flavor—is found in the sodium citrate it contains. This natural sodium salt is an emulsifier that keeps the fat in the cheese from separating (and it also happens to be useful in preventing kidney stones!). By first melting several slices of American cheese in the milk we don’t need to make a roux to create a perfectly smooth cheese sauce.

As for cooking the macaroni, here’s another secret: don’t follow the directions on the box for al dente pasta, because you don’t want the pasta to be al dente, or slightly tough. You want to cook the elbow macaroni for 20 minutes so that it absorbs as much water as possible. This will ensure that the pasta won’t suck up liquid in the cheese sauce when they are combined, and the sauce will maintain a perfectly creamy consistency.

If you like this copycat Chick-fil-A mac and cheese recipe, click here for more Chick-fil-A clone recipes.

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  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 1/2 ounces (5 slices) American cheese (not Kraft Singles), roughly chopped or torn
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces (scant 1 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) shredded BellaVitano Gold cheese
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon grated Romano
  • 3 ounces (3/4 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 ounces (3/4 cup) shredded white cheddar cheese

1. Cook the macaroni in 2 quarts of boiling water for 20 minutes. When the macaroni is completely soft, strain out the water.
2. While the pasta cooks, make the cheese sauce by combining the milk, American cheese, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Slowly heat up the milk to melt the butter and cheese. Stir often with a whisk until the American cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

3. Add the remaining cheeses and stir until the sauce is smooth, then remove it from the heat. Allow the sauce to sit for 10 minutes to cool and thicken, then combine the sauce and pasta in a large bowl and allow it to cool enough that the cheese doesn’t fall to the bottom of the bowl. Gently stir it occasionally as it sits.

4. Preheat your broiler to high.

5. Pour the macaroni and cheese into an 8x8-inch baking pan or dish.

6. Combine the yellow and white cheddar cheese for the topping, then sprinkle the mixture over the top of the mac and cheese.

7. Pop the pan under your hot broiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until the top has lightly browned.

Tidbits: If you can't find BellaVitano cheese, you can substitute with 1 additional tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. If you don't have American cheese, you can use Velveeta or any cheese that contains sodium citrate.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (12 ounce) package macaroni
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring (Optional)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ⅓ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente drain.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook for 3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, and continue cooking until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 2 minutes more. Slowly stir in the flour, and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Stir in the half-and-half and milk, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in mustard powder and liquid smoke simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, along with the cream cheese, Swiss, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar cheeses stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the drained macaroni noodles. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs over the macaroni

Bake in preheated oven until bubbly and brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Patti LaBelle’s macaroni and cheese recipe will take you over the rainbow

One afternoon in the late 1990s, I was watching “Oprah” when Patti LaBelle waltzed onto the kitchen stage for a segment I’ll never forget. To promote her new book, “LaBelle Cuisine,” she was making a recipe she called Over-the-Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese. Oprah introduced the segment by reading a story from the book about the time in the 1960s, in London, when British band Bluesology played back up to Patti LaBelle & The Blue Belles. The piano player, Reggie Dwight — now better known as Elton John — caught LaBelle’s attention: “He played like no other white boy I’ve ever heard,” LaBelle wrote.

“What happened is he was forced into eating my food, because he didn’t have any money to buy food, because we played cards and I won all of his money. … So I said, ‘Boo, since I took your money, I might as well feed you. Come to my place and I’ll fix dinner for you and the band,’” LaBelle explained. One of the dishes she made was this macaroni and cheese, which contains five types of cheese, including Velveeta. Like a lot of Oprah’s in-studio audience that day, I was mesmerized by LaBelle’s style and verve in the kitchen, and I couldn’t wait to make the recipe. As promised, it sent me over the rainbow.

For various reasons, including one year when I hosted a friend who had an egg allergy, I’ve adapted it slightly from LaBelle’s original recipe. I swapped a few sharper cheeses for LaBelle’s blend feel free to use your favorite types, but don’t skimp on the Velveeta. In this adaptation, a light roux forms a cream sauce with the half-and-half, giving the cheese something to melt into as it bakes in the oven. This also makes it easier to prepare the macaroni and cheese in advance. If you’re making it a day or two before, refrigerate it unbaked, until you’re ready to serve it, and then bake it in a 350-degree oven for at least 20 minutes, or until it’s hot and bubbling.

One-Pot Mac and Cheese

We have a love-hate relationship with macaroni and cheese. On the one hand, nothing can beat homemade. On the other, most recipes are too laborious (boil and drain the pasta, make a cheese sauce, bake the dish, wait for-ev-er). So what if we told you there&rsquos a way to cut the time and the hassle in half? Enter one-pot mac and cheese, which comes together entirely on your stove top. The trick is to boil the pasta in milk (the natural starches in the pasta help thicken the sauce), then stir in butter and cheese. Everything is done right in one dish&mdashin 30 minutes to boot.

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup cream cheese, softened

3 cups cheddar cheese, grated

1. In a large pot, bring the orecchiette, milk, salt and pepper to a boil over medium-high heat.

2. Boil, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and thickened to a sauce-like consistency and the pasta is tender, 14 to 16 minutes. (Note: The pasta takes longer to cook than the package recommends because you&rsquore starting with cold milk rather than boiling water.)

3. Stir in the butter, cream cheese and cheddar cheese, mixing until they are melted and incorporated. (As you stir, the sauce will become creamier.) Spoon into bowls and serve immediately.

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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  • ½ teaspoon salt
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  • 1 (10-oz.) block extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
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If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

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Longing for macaroni and cheese like Mom used to make? When your childhood comes calling, answer with a batch of from-scratch macaroni and cheese. This oh-so-Southern delicacy has a place on every dinner table, whether you're preparing sides for your big Thanksgiving dinner or looking for a perfect pairing to fried chicken for the church potluck. These rich, creamy recipes may be the best macaroni and cheese recipes you've ever tried. From our Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese that brings back nostalgic memories from Grandmama's table to our Cajun Mac and Cheese which will transport you straight to the French Quarter, we promise that each and every one of these homemade macaronis are much more satisfying than the boxed stuff. As you're preparing, feel free to get flexible with your noodles. Pick a pasta&ndashlike cavatappi or elbow macaroni&ndashthat has plenty of nooks for capturing pockets of cheese sauce. You can thank us later.