ingredients for mac and cheese

Ingredients for Mac and Cheese

Ingredients for Mac and Cheese

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Ingredients for Mac and Cheese
Ingredients for Mac and Cheese


Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese—also called mac and cheese in the United States and macaroni cheese in the United Kingdom—is a dish of cooked macaroni pasta and a cheese sauce, most commonly cheddar. It can also incorporate other ingredients, such as breadcrumbs or meat.

Traditional macaroni and cheese is a casserole baked in the oven; however, it may be prepared in a sauce pan on top of the stove or using a packaged mix. The cheese is often first incorporated into a Béchamel sauce to create a Mornay sauce, which is then added to the pasta. In the United States, it is considered a comfort food.


Pasta and cheese casseroles were recorded in the 14th century in the Italian cookbook, Liber de Coquina, which featured a dish of Parmesan and pasta. A cheese and pasta casserole known as makerouns was recorded in the 14th-century medieval English cookbook, the Forme of Cury. It was made with fresh, hand-cut pasta which was sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese. The recipe given (in Middle English) was:

Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh. and kerve it on pieces, and cast hem on boiling water & seeþ it well. take cheese and grate it and butter cast bynethen and above as losyns. and serue forth.

This is the above recipe in modern English:

Make a thin foil [sheet] of dough and carve [cut] it in pieces. Cast [place] them in boiling water and seethe [boil] them well. take cheese and grate it and add it and cast [place] butter beneath and above as with losyns [a dish similar to lasagne], and serve forth [serve].

The first modern recipe for macaroni and cheese was included in Elizabeth Raffald’s 1769 book, The Experienced English Housekeeper. Raffald’s recipe is for a Béchamel sauce with cheddar cheese—a Mornay sauce in French cooking—which is mixed with macaroni, sprinkled with Parmesan, and baked until bubbly and golden.

To dress Macaroni with Permasent [Parmasan] Cheese. Boil four Ounces of Macaroni ’till it be quite tender, and lay it on a Sieve to drain, then put it in a Tolling Pan, with about a Gill of good Cream, a Lump of Butter rolled in Flour, boil it five Minutes, pour it on a Plate, lay all over it Permasent Cheese toasted; send it to the Table on a Water Plate, for it soon goes cold.

Another recipe from 1784 stated that the small tubes of macaroni must be boiled, then drained in a sifter before being moved to a frying pan. Heavy cream is then added to the macaroni along with a “knob of butter” rolled in flour, and it must be cooked for five minutes before being transferred to a dish and topped with toasted Parmesan and pepper.

 The famous British Victorian cookbook Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management included two instances of “Macaroni, as usually served with the Cheese Course”. One of them states:

The macaroni, (which should be “tender but perfectly firm, no part being allowed to melt, and the form entirely preserved” – lest one be tempted to cook it for so long it actually disintegrated) is then topped with more cheese, pepper, and breadcrumbs, before receiving a final dose of melted butter for good measure and being placed before a “bright fire” to brown the crumbs, or grilled with a salamander broiler.

In the United Kingdom, during the 2010s, it has seen a surge in popularity, becoming widespread as a meal and as a side order in both fast food and upmarket restaurants.

Simple Macaroni and Cheese

Quick, easy, and tasty macaroni and cheese dish. Fancy, designer mac and cheese often costs forty or fifty dollars to prepare when you have so many exotic and expensive cheeses, but they aren’t always the best tasting. This simple recipe is cheap and tasty.


Ingredients for Mac and Cheese
Ingredients for Mac and Cheese


3-ingredient Mac & Cheese


for 4 servings

  • 5 cups milk(1 ¼ L)
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni(455 g), dry
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese(200 g)

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese on the Stovetop

Step 1: Boil Macaroni

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Tip: For a thicker mac and cheese, double the amount of macaroni.

Step 2: Make a Roux

While the macaroni is cooking, go ahead and start on the roux. A roux is a thickening agent made of one part fat and one part flour that makes up the base of this creamy mac and cheese.

To make the roux, start by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir until smooth. Slowly pour in milk and stir until the mixture is smooth and bubbling. Be careful to not let the milk burn.

Step 3: Add Cheese and Macaroni

Finally, the most crucial step: Add cheese! Slowly stir in Cheddar cheese until smooth and melted. We recommend you grate your own cheese because pre-shredded cheese won’t incorporate into the mixture as well as block cheese.

Once the macaroni is finished cooking, drain and stir into cheese sauce until coated.

Can You Bake This Mac and Cheese?

This stovetop mac and cheese is all about convenience, but if you find yourself with some extra time and a desire for bubbly, baked mac and cheese, you can bake this recipe.

To do so, complete the first three steps above, then top with any desired toppings such as bread crumbs, Parmesan, crushed crackers, etc. Bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for about 15 minutes, or until golden-brown and bubbling.

How to Store Mac and Cheese

Refrigerate leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container for three to four days. To reheat, stir in a splash of milk or cream and reheat in the microwave or on the stove, stirring periodically.

You can freeze mac and cheese for up to six months. Allow the mac and cheese to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag, removing as much air as possible. Label with the date and freeze. When you’re ready to serve, simply transfer the dish to the fridge to thaw overnight. Reheat as normal.

How to AVOID grainy cheese sauce:

  • The type of cheddar makes a difference. High quality aged cheddar cheese will give you a stronger taste and smoother texture. More mild and inexpensive cheddar cheeses will have less flavor and almost a grittier taste.
  • Use fresh grated cheese. Pre-shredded store-bought cheese will not melt the same as freshly grated cheese, and grating the cheese helps it melt smoothly and evenly in the sauce.
  • Bring the cheese to room temperature. I like to grate the cheese very first, before moving forward with the recipe. That allows it to sit at room temperature while I prepare the white sauce.
  • Use low heat. In order for the cheese to melt properly and smoothly we want it to have gradual changes in temperature (like how we shredded it and allowed it to come to room temperature at the beginning of the recipe). When it’s time to add the cheese to the white sauce, remove the sauce from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. It only needs to be warm enough to melt the cheese.
  • Don’t over-stir the sauce once the cheese has melted. Add the noodles and quickly assemble in pan and put into the oven.


Ingredients for Mac and Cheese
Ingredients for Mac and Cheese


To bake or not to bake:

You don’t have to bake the mac and cheese in this recipe. Everything gets fully cooked and is essentially ready to eat after the cheese and noodles are added. However, I love the extra gooeyness that comes when the cheese is baked and I think baking it adds a level of sophistication you just don’t get without.

What Type of Cheese?

This classic mac and cheese recipe is made with cheddar cheese.  I particularly love medium or sharp cheddar cheese but any type will do.  If you want a more luxurious mac and cheese or you’re really trying to impress a crowd, you could use a combination of different cheeses.  Just be sure to select a type of cheese that is good for melting, like white cheddar, smoked gouda, gruyere, brie, goat cheese, mozzarella, or fontina.

Freezing and Storing:

This recipe freezes well.  Just like with my other freezer friendly meals, I love to prepare two and freeze one for another day.  You’ll want to freeze this dish prior to baking it in the oven!  Make sure to let the mac and cheese cool completely then pour it into a freezer friendly dish, cover it well and freeze if for up to 3 months.

To reheat:

  • From frozen: Bake from frozen at 350 degrees F for 70-80 minutes or until warm throughout.
  • From thawed: Cover the mac and cheese with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake it at 325ºF for 20 minutes.



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