Gatherings Holiday Recipes Sides Thanksgiving Vegetarian

Macaroni and Cheese

I spent years perfecting this macaroni and cheese. Years! And it is just that – perfect.

My three key ingredients: nutmeg, cayenne and a smoked cheese. Nothing crazy, but an ideal combination.

Most baked macaroni and cheeses usually include an egg or two to make it more cohesive. I’ve found that I like my mac like I like my women – loose and cheesy — so no egg here. If you want yours a little tighter, mix in an egg right before baking.

I have also often wondered how this would be without baking. I think it’d be amazing. If you don’t bake it, DO NOT add an egg in. This is a good way to get salmonella and I refuse to be responsible for that.

Per usual, if you have questions, ask below. And don’t be put off by a lil roux/béchamel action. It’s not as scary as it seems. This recipe is for a 13×9 casserole dish.

  • 4-5 cups of cooked elbow noodles (cooked per box directions)
  • 6 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1.5 cup of heavy cream
  • 2.5 cups of whole milk
  • 4 oz extra sharp cheddar
  • 4 oz medium sharp cheddar
  • 4 oz smoked gouda or cheddar
  • 4 oz Velveeta cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3-4 tsp of seasoned salt (If you don’t already have seasoned salt in your house, buy some now)
  • pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt your butter over medium heat. As butter melts, sprinkle flour over it, whisking it continuously to make a roux. Continue to cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 4 minutes, or until the roux is light golden. 
  3. Maintaining medium heat, slowly pour milk and cream into the roux, continuously stirring. Continue whisking for about 2 minutes and then raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a low boil – continue to whisk for another 2 minutes. Then turn heat down to medium-low and allow to simmer, whisking occasionally, until the béchamel is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. 
  4. Still on medium-low heat, slowly incorporate the cheeses into the mixture until melted. You can increase the heat to medium if the cheese isn’t melting very quickly.
  5. Add in all of the seasonings and spices and stir. Then gradually mix in your cooked noodles. You should have a nice cheesy ratio. Transfer mixture to baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

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  • Reply
    December 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I made this recipe for Boxing Day dinner, it was easy to prepare and my family loved it. Thank You for sharing it Candace.

    • Reply
      January 6, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Yum! Isn’t it easy?? Glad you enjoyed.

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