A deliciously cheesy and easy macaroni and cheese recipe AND clean dishes after a run through the dishwasher? Sign me up.
The weather is starting to (finally) match the calendar and cooler temperatures are upon us. Which means it’s the perfect time for comfort food.
But, truth be told, I can find a reason for comfort food twelve months out of the year.
I mean. Really.
And very few dishes scream COMFORT FOOD quite like mac and cheese.
Besides the delicious cheese factor.
And the fact that it’s kid-approved.
And, well, ok, Mom-approved.
Is the notion that it is perfect for a crazy weeknight of cheer or scout meetings.
Or a crazy weeknight of life in general.
Who are we kidding?
Whether you make it ahead to just heat and eat, or throw it together while supervising homework duties, it’s simple and flavorful, and just downright pure awesome in a dish.
I made a double batch and invited some friends over.
For a few reasons.
I’m a big fan of cooking and sharing. Saves me the math of trying to halve recipes for my family, and I don’t have to worry about leftovers languishing in the fridge. And who doesn’t love a random text like “Hey, plenty of food, come on over for dinner and take the night off tonight?” I mean, those are kind of my favorite to both send and receive. And I had more Cascade Platinum packs to share, and inviting friends over is the perfect opportunity to give them away.
Because if those Cascade packs are going to show off, it’s totally going to be all over the starchiness that gets stuck on dishes after mac and cheese has been stuck on it and sitting for awhile.
This recipe for mac and cheese is one of our go-tos. Simple, using on-hand ingredients, and a pinch-hitter for when you haven’t planned ahead or want to host impromptu friends.
Which pretty much describes most days.
And just like the last time I mentioned the Cascade Platinum pacs, they are giving away another prize pack to a lucky reader. One winner will be chosen from the comments below. You have from now until midnight EST on Friday, October 25. You may receive additional entries by following me on Instagram, following me on Twitter, and tweeting this giveaway. Good luck!
Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman
4 cups dried macaroni
¼ cups (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons) butter
¼ cups all-purpose flour
2-½ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons (heaping) dry mustard, more if desired
1 whole egg, beaten
1 pound cheese, grated
½ teaspoons salt, more to taste
½ teaspoons seasoned salt, more to taste
½ teaspoons ground black pepper
Optional Spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme
Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
*I was compensated for my participation in this project, and my guests received Cascade Platinum Pacs. All opinions, as always, are my own. Thank you for supporting my collaborations.