Few things top a traditional baked mac and cheese dish, like this classic recipe from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services. Try it out and enjoy!
1 lb. dried elbow pasta
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 ½ cups half and half
4 cups shredded medium to sharp cheddar cheese, divided (after shredding)
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese, divided (after shredding)
½ Tbsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. paprika
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease a 3 qt. baking dish (9” x 13”). Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook al dente (1 minute less than the package directions). Drain and drizzle with oil to keep the pasta from sticking together.
- While pasta is cooking, shred cheeses and mix them together. Separate into three piles: 3 cups for the sauce, 1 ½ cups for the inner layer of mac and cheese, and 1 ½ cups for topping.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking frequently. Slowly add 2 cups of milk/half and half, constantly whisking until smooth. Gradually add the remaining milk/half and half and again, whisk until smooth.
- Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking frequently, until sauce is about the texture of slightly thinned condensed soup.
- Remove from heat and add spices and 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese. Stir to melt and combine. Repeat with the remaining 1 ½ cups of cheese.
- In a large bowl, combine drained pasta and cheese sauce. Stir well.
- Pour half the pasta mixture into a prepared baking dish, topping with 1 ½ cups of cheese. Spread the remaining pasta mixture on top.
- Sprinkle the last of the shredded cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes until it’s heated through, and the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.