Creamy Mac & Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Cuisine: American
Recipe Info

½ lb. macaroni, uncooked
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese grated
1 cup Gruyere cheese, freshly shredded
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded

In a pot of salted, boiling water, cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour, and stir to combine, creating a paste. Cook for 1 minute. Add milk, paprika, salt, pepper, and mustard, and whisk constantly to incorporate. Cook until sauce thickens to your liking. This usually takes about 1 to 2 minutes, but it can take longer. If sauce looks thin, continue cooking until it thickens. Remove your pot from the heat. Add shredded cheeses, and stir until cheese is melted, and fully incorporated. Add drained macaroni and stir to combine. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

About the Ingredients:
Macaroni – Can be substituted with any medium sized pasta. Shells or penne are great options.
Butter – Can be salted or unsalted.
All-purpose flour – Necessary to make a roux along with the butter, which thickens your cheese sauce.
Seasoning – Salt, pepper, paprika, and mustard add savory flavor to the cheese sauce. A dash of hot sauce also makes a great addition.
Milk – Use whole milk for a richer, thicker cheese sauce. A higher fat milk also helps prevent the sauce from getting grainy or curdling. I do not recommend using 1% or skim milk in this recipe. Whole milk can be substituted with half & half for an even richer, thicker sauce.
Shredded cheese – This recipe can be made with all sharp cheddar, or all gruyere, but I enjoy the flavor from using both together. Any melty cheese works well in this recipe, like Monterey Jack or Gouda. I highly recommend buying a block of cheese and grating it yourself. Most pre-shredded cheeses are coated in a powder to prevent clumping. When melted, it adds a grainy texture to the sauce.

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