Thanksgiving Recipe: Best Mac & Cheese Ever

I’ve perfected my mac and cheese recipe over the years. Borrowing the original from my grandma and with a few tweaks, I came up with the best mac & cheese recipe ever.

Mac & Cheese Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup organic, unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 stick of organic butter
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 lb organic grated (or shredded) sharp cheddar*
  • 1 lb organic grated (or shredded) smoked gouda*
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere’s or seasoning salt
  • 1 – 2 bags of organic elbow pasta (the small noodles work best)

*Cheese grated freshly from the block melts easier, plus it’s free of icky chemicals

Mac & Cheese Instructions 

The amount of people you’re cooking for will determine your noodle and sauce amounts. I usually make use 2 bags of elbow pasta and make 2 – 3 batches of sauce. It’s hard to make a smooth roux in big batches, it’s best to make it in small ones.

Cook macaroni noodles according to the instructions on the package, drain and place in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium-sized sauce pot, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add flour a little at a time whisking vigorously. When mixture thins and starts to bubble, slowly add in hot water to thicken roux. Mix the roux thoroughly after each splash of water.

After roux is thickened, add in more water to make more sauce. Once that’s done, slowly add 1/2 grated sharp cheddar and 1/2 grated smoked gouda and mix until melted. Add seasoning a little bit at a time, to taste. Then, sample your sauce to see if it needs more cheese or seasoning.

If you’ve never made a roux before watch this video first. It’s a little complicated if you’re a first timer. I know he uses milk in the tutorial, but I find that using milk in the roux sucks when you reheat your mac and cheese which is the whole point of Thanksgiving –  left overs!

Add sauce to your bowl of macaroni noodles and stir together. You want there to be a good sauce to noodle ratio so when your mac is reheated, it doesn’t dry out. Add more sauce than you think is necessary. You might need to make another batch or two of sauce if you dont have enough.

If you’re serving right away, add to a serving dish, top with grated cheese (mix of sharp and gouda) and top with breadcrumbs. DO NOT bake your mac, it will dry it out. Trust me.

If you’re taking it to Thanksgiving dinner, place it in tupperware and store in the fridge until it’s time to transport to the dinner location.

Reheating instructions 

Reheat your mac in a crockpot for best results. Once your mac is heated all the way through, you can place it a serving dish and top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs or just keep in in your crockpot and top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. That way, your mac stays nice and warm.

Homemade Breadcrumb Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Breadcrumb Instructions 

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Tear bread into small pieces ingredients into a blender, cover and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Melt butter and place it into a bowl and sprinkle on seasoning. Spread breadcrumb mixture onto a baking sheet and bake until the breadcrumbs just begin to brown and are crisp, about 5 minutes. Cool the crumbs on the pan for 15 to 20 minutes.

Now you can enjoy all of the complements you’ll get on your amazing mac & cheese.

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