Mac & cheese casserole is an absolutely delicious and soul touching comfort food that has many names in different countries. The recipe is super easy and it calls for just a handful of ingredients. The elbow macaroni are cooked in a white cheesy sauce, which adds that punch of flavors to the dish. And the juicy cheesy sauce that oozes out on biting the macaroni is simply awesome. Just prepare it once and I am sure you will love it.
Difficulty level: Easy
Servings per recipe: 6-8
Estimated time required for preparation: 10 minutes
Estimated time required for cooking: 45-55 minutes
1 lb. of elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 cup of Ritz crackers
1 teaspoon of onion powder
5 cups of skim or whole-fat milk
4 ounces of butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of butter, at room temperature
Salt, to taste
½ teaspoon of paprika
4 cups of shredded Velveeta or cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1 casserole dish
1 stirring spoon
Method of Cooking
1. Set a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit on your oven and let it get heated up while you prepare the other things. Next, fill a pot with water and place it on medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water and let it come to boil. In the meantime, place a skillet on the adjacent stove. Light the flame and add 4 ounces of butter to it. Stir the butter with a stirring spoon until it completely melts. Once the butter melts, add the flour to it and stir it immediately to prepare the roux.
2. Don’t worry if you get some lumps in the roux, because that will be cooked out later. Then add the milk and stir it with the roux. Cook the mixture on medium heat until the roux gets completely dissolved in the milk and you get a nicely smooth texture. Next, add-in the cheese. Stir the cheese continuously until it gets incorporated into the milk and the milk gets a little bit reduced.
3. Keep an eye on the water and add the macaroni to it as soon as the water in the pot starts boiling vigorously. Be very careful while preparing the sauce as the cheese will burn and stick to the base of the saucepan if you don’t stir it constantly. Once the sauce gets thickened up a bit, add in the onions powder, paprika and the garlic powder to the sauce. Stir the sauce until the added ingredients get combined with the sauce. Next, season the sauce with salt and pepper and cook until the sauce turns bubbly and smooth.
4. If you are ready with the macaroni, turn off the stove and bring the pot to the sink. Tip the macaroni into a colander and shake the colander to get the entire water out of the macaroni. If you transfer the macaroni to the sauce with water then the sauce will turn a bit runny, which is not desirable. Once done, add the drained pasta to the sauce in the skillet and stir it all together to mix up the macaroni with the cheesy sauce.
5. Next, fetch a casserole dish and grease it by spraying cooking spray on it. Then transfer the mac and cheese mixture to the casserole dish. Now take another skillet and place it over medium low heat. Add the remaining butter to the skillet and let it melt completely. Once the butter melts completely, add the Ritz crackers to the melted butter and stir to combine thoroughly.
6. Then spread the buttery Ritz crackers all over the mac and cheese mixture. Then insert the casserole dish into preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cheese turns bubbly and the top of the casserole turns golden brown. Once done, take out the casserole from the oven and let it stand for 4-5 minutes before serving.