Is there anything more comforting than a tray of homemade macaroni & cheese? I can’t believe that up to a few years ago, I was still cracking open one of those blue boxes for my mac & cheese fix. But once I learned how easy it was to make at home, I haven’t looked back.
A quick sauce is made up of butter, flour, and milk. Then once it’s thickened, I’ll add close to a metric ton of shredded cheese. I like to shred my own – the stuff that’s pre-shredded from the store has anti-clumping agents, which doesn’t lead to the same melty, gooey consistency that the blocked cheese will give you.
I used yellow sharp cheddar (for a nice bite), Gruyere (for a mellow sweetness), and Parmesan (for a salty kick). They all blend together so beautifully in the sauce to create a symphony of cheesiness. But, feel free to experiment with whatever you like! This sauce is just a blank canvas for whatever cheesy goodness you can dream up. Enjoy!
Three Cheese Macaroni & Cheese
2 cups short tubular pasta (elbow macaroni, gemelli, penne)
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp kosher salt
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
6 oz Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Drain, place back in pot, and set aside.
Place shredded cheeses in a small bowl, tossing to combine well. Remove 1 cup of the cheese mixture and set aside for topping the casserole before baking.
In a medium size saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk to make a roux, cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, continually whisking until thickened. Once thickened add the salt and mustard powder, as well as the cheeses. Stir to combine until cheese is melted.
Pour into a 13×9, or another baking dish that’s around 2 quarts. Sprinkle with reserved shredded cheese.
Cover dish with foil and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese on top is melted and starting to brown.
Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.