Baked Mac and Cheese is comfort food at it’s finest. The combination of three different cheeses gives it lots of flavor and creaminess.
I recently read a magazine article about the top comfort food in each of the 50 states. Oregon’s was Mac and Cheese. I think this is because we are the home to Tillamook Cheese (the best cheese ever!)
Homemade Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese is definitely comfort food at our house. I have to admit that when my children were growing up the only macaroni and cheese they ever ate came out of the blue box. But now that the children are all grown up and not living at home anymore, homemade mac and cheese is the only kind I’ll make.
How to Make Homemade Mac and Cheese
The most important step is your cheese and seasoning selection.
- Cheese. I used one of my favorite cheese combos, sharp white cheddar cheese, gruyere cheese and Monterey jack cheese. (Sometimes I use pepper jack cheese instead of the Monterey jack) The combination not only has great taste but it is nice and creamy.
- Seasonings. The addition of some oregano and a few red pepper flakes adds another dimension of flavor.
To dress it up the mac and cheese, I added some panko breadcrumbs on top to give it a little crunch and then a sprinkling of green onions to give it some color and even more flavor.
I shared some of this goodness with our neighbors. It was good timing too because the four littles at their house weren’t loving what their mother had made for dinner (who is an amazing cook) so the \ and cheese came in handy. When Betty asked one of her girls how her dinner was, she replied, “Better now that there’s something good to eat.” This totally made my night!
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Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- 6 Tbsp butter divided
- 2 cups small macaroni dry
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese grated
- 1 cup gruyere cheese grated
- 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese grated
- green onions chopped for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spray a shallow 2 qt. dish with cooking spray.
- Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta until al dente.
- Drain, reserving the pasta water for later.
- Melt 4 Tbsp butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add in flour and whisk to combine and cook until it turns light brown.
- Add in milk, whisking as you pour. Stir until smooth.
- Add in seasoning and cook until sauce thickens.
- Add in cheeses, one at a time and stir until each cheese is melted before adding next cheese.
- Add in pasta. Use remaining pasta water to thin sauce if it has thickened too much.
- Place mixture into greased dish.
- Melt remaining 2 Tbsp butter and add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine
- Sprinkle over top of pasta and bake until browned and bubbly. About 15-20 minutes.
- Garnish with sliced green onions.