Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese on a Chinet Classic plate

Macaroni and cheese needs no introduction. It’s a dish that pleases the pickiest of eaters, requires minimal ingredients, and can be enjoyed as a side dish or a complete meal.   

Thank you Kasim Hardaway —culinary photographer, recipe developer, and food blogger — for this recipe. 

Instax of a man and a woman
Ingredients

Steps

  • 1

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with baking spray and set aside.

  • 2

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil noodles until al dente. Drain the noodles and set aside.

  • 3

    Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Cook for one minute.

  • 4

    Slowly whisk in whole milk until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the half and half, whisking constantly, until smooth and creamy. Continue cooking the sauce over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened. The sauce should easily coat the back of a spoon.

  • 5

    Stir in mustard powder, garlic powder, and the optional dash of hot sauce until combined.

  • 6

    Set aside one cup of each shredded cheese to sprinkle over the mac and cheese before baking.

    *Using a block of shredded cheese instead of pre-shredded cheese can help avoid a grainy texture.

  • 7

    Sprinkle remaining cheese into the sauce, one cup at a time. Once all the cheese is stirred into the sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 8

    Add the noodles back to the pot they were boiled in and pour the cheese sauce directly on top of the noodles. Stir to combine the noodles with cheese sauce.

    Pro tip: You can stop here if you prefer a stovetop version of macaroni and cheese.

  • 9

    Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

  • 10

    Serve hot. This recipe makes approximately 8-10 servings.