The Cheesiest

I know you've been waiting since yesterday for this macaroni and cheese recipe. You've been sitting at work, wondering "when will Mara be posting that recipe?" Yeah. Right.

I did promise that you'd get it though, and I'm not one to go back on a promise!

Once our guest list for our 4th of July party was confirmed, there was one thing that absolutely HAD to be on the menu, and that one thing was macaroni and cheese. We were having two small kids over, and one of them was Skylar who has been nicknamed the "Queen of Mac and Cheese". I asked her what she wanted to eat when she came over, and she said "mac and cheese." So, I had to make it.

I could've just gone with a boxed mix and they would've been ok with it, but I figured, if I'm going to do it, I might as well do it right. This included purchasing things I haven't bought in months: full-fat cheese, white pasta, bread crumbs, half and half. I perused a few recipes, and decided to just wing it.

To say it was good is an understatement. It came out more like a casserole and very stiff, which is great for us (you know, the grown-ups). A bit of warming up and some extra cheese sauce made it perfect for the kids. It's by far not your "health food item" but could easily be halved and made with much more health-conscious ingredients.

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Better Than The Blue Box Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

* 2 lbs. macaroni, cooked al dente and kept hot

* 5 Tbsp. butter

* 1/2 c. flour

* 1-1/2 c. half and half

* 1/2 c. milk

* 2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

* 2 c. monterrey jack/colby cheese, shredded

* 1/2 c. parmesan cheese

* 2 eggs, lightly beaten

* 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

* 1 c. sour cream

* salt and pepper to taste

* 1/4 c. bread crumbs

* 1 Tbsp. butter, melted

Directions

Heat oven to 375*

Melt the 5 Tbsp. butter over low heat in a fairly large saucepan. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and cook this mixture over low heat until light tan in color. Meanwhile, heat the half and half and milk either in the microwave or in another pot. Do not boil it! Once the milk is heated, whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until smooth and thick. Add the garlic powder. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the hot milk/flour mixture into the lightly beaten eggs and stir well. Add this mixture to the pot and stir well. Begin adding the cheese one handful at a time, stirring well between each addition to ensure even melting. Add salt and pepper to taste, then pour the sauce over the cooked pasta. Stir well. Add the sour cream and stir again. Pour the pasta into a lightly greased 10x10 baking dish. Mix the bread crumbs with the melted Tbsp. of butter, then sprinkle this mixture atop the pasta. Bake until the edges are crispy, about 25 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

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The addition of some broccoli or other vegetables, as well as some chicken, could make this a delicious dinner, but for us, it was a fantastic side dish. According to the Queen of Mac and Cheese herself, it got two thumbs and two thumb-toes up! I should've taken a picture of her trying to put her thumb-toes up... oh well. So yeah. Make this. Trust me, it's worth it!

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17 Responses to The Cheesiest

  1. I could do without the addition of broccoli or other veggies. 🙂 It looks perfect to me!
    Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog post ..Peach Pie Muffins

  2. Lauren says:

    Everyone needs a good mac and cheese recipe in their collection. I am only convinced yours beats the blue box and all other boxes for that matter. Looks great girl! 🙂
    Lauren´s last blog post ..Sweet You Rock and Sweet You Roll

  3. Just yesterday, I scrawled out a quick list of ingredients to make a quinoa mac n cheeze. I must say, those pictures have got my mouth watering!! You must have mentioned mac n cheese on here before, bc I’ve been CRAVING some 😀 Looks great Mara!

    Oh, and yes… I was actually sitting at work thinking that ;P
    Mary @ What’s Cookin’ with Mary´s last blog post ..Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches

  4. julie says:

    Oh yeah, I’d take this over the blue box any day!
    julie´s last blog post ..Chiles Rellenos

  5. Wei-Wei says:

    LOVE. I love the crispy bit on top of the mac and cheese and then there’s yummy creamy pasta and sauce and cheese underneath. Mmm. Have you tried the Pioneer Woman’s recipe? It looks pretty good to me! 🙂

    Wei-Wei
    Wei-Wei´s last blog post ..purple sweet potato pie- improvised

  6. brandi says:

    I love a good homemade mac’n’cheese. Especially one with a crispy, cheesy crust on top.

  7. sippitysup says:

    I believe you! It looks like the best. GREG

  8. Biz says:

    I worked with a woman who brought in the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had – when I asked for the recipe, I was shocked when she said a dozen eggs! I’ll have to add a couple eggs like you did the next time I make it. 😀

  9. Melissa says:

    I AM DROOLING!! OMG!
    Melissa´s last blog post ..Nurse Melissa- At Your Service

  10. This recipe looks oh so similar to the one I make! Or try not to make…b/c I want to eat the whole pan:)
    Ally@Sweet & Savory´s last blog post ..Peanut Butter Chip Granola Bars

  11. I. Want. That. Now.
    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat)´s last blog post ..1366

  12. Amy B. says:

    foodista.comfoodista.comLooks perfect to me! If there’s one think I can’t resist even when I swore myself to be on a diet is CHEESE!!! And mac and cheese is not an exception, it’s the dish that makes me sinful, haha..i just love it. what I love about your recipe is the combination of different kinds of cheese! I def will be trying this out some time soon 🙂 Thank you for sharing

    IF you don’t mind I also would like to share this to other Foodista readers. Just add the foodista widget for monterey jack cheese to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks! Kudos to you and your blog 🙂

  13. Drooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllll. Oh I am SO going to make this! No wonder it’s the 4th most gawked!! (ha ha I liked the Turtle Burger that was #2!)
    Foodie McBody´s last blog post ..It’s An “Energy Imbalance”

  14. Kelly Olexa says:

    Holy Cow. I just tried to eat my computer screen. OMG. How divine, I am so making this next week!!
    Kelly Olexa´s last blog post ..So Sweet-

  15. Marianne says:

    One of my old coworkers makes an insane mac & cheese. I think it involves something like $30 worth of good cheese. And he would always bring it to our work potlucks – he must have really liked us 😀 I bet this would be up there with his epic recipe.

    And perhaps if there was no egg in it, it would be creamier? I imagine that helps bind it up into a solid quite well.

    PS – I will not buy reduced-fat cheeses. Totally not worth it! Some things just shouldn’t be messed with.
    Marianne´s last blog post ..Bacon &amp Bakin’

  16. Jessica says:

    Hi! Just wondering if you can use heavy cream instead of half and half. Thanks!

    Jessica

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