This Macaroni and Cheese is simply crazy good! It's rich and creamy with the perfect blend of cheesiness.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Keyword Casserole, Main Course, Make Ahead, Pasta
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 45minutes
Total Time 55minutes
large sauce pan
5 ½cups milk (whole milk or 2% recommended)
2 ½tspsalt (divided)
1/2tspfreshly ground pepper
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
12 oz(3 cups)cheddar cheese, grated I prefer Coastal Cheddar or Extra Sharp (see notes)
4 oz(1 cup)gruyere cheese, gratedif you don't have gruyere, substitute more cheddar
Using a large pot, start 4 quarts of water boiling for the pasta. Spray a large casserole dish (i.e. 13"x9" or 10"x10" deep dish square) with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large sauce pan (at least 3 quarts), melt butter until bubbly. Add flour, stirring with a whisk for 2-3 minutes, until it has a thick pasty consistency. Slowly add milk, 1 cup at a time, stirring well in between cups. Next, add nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook on low heat until the sauce has thickened (about 5-10 minutes).
Once the water is boiling, add pasta and 1 tsp. of salt to water. Cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than listed on the box/package to avoid mushy pasta. It will continue to cook during baking.
Stir in 2 cups of the cheddar and the gruyere cheese to the sauce, allowing cheeses to melt. Continue stirring until they are completely melted and the sauce is thickened.
When the pasta is ready, drain the pasta. Shake the colander well to remove any leftover water, as it will thin the cheese sauce. Add drained pasta to back to the pot it was cooked in. Pour the cheese sauce over it and stir, then add to the casserole dish. Sprinkle the last cup of grated cheese on top (I usually add a little more cheese).
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly on top.