Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese. The ultimate comfort food.

For me, the best way to have macaroni, and really the only way, is with homemade cheese sauce. It’s tough to get it just right though, even I’ll admit that. (Though my dad is the master of making homemade cheese sauce! He’s the one I watched make it growing up.) And even if you do get it right, it does take a significant amount of time to make it. So, I found a delicious solution: baked macaroni and cheese.

And doesn’t that look delicious?

There are a few different variations that I have come up with for this recipe. First, I’ll share the base recipe and then the variations that I have devised. Ready to begin preparing your tasty dinner tonight?

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 1-16 ounce package of elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-8 ounce container of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (or more if you’re me)
  • 1 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese

How to put it together:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water.
  • In a bowl, mix milk, eggs, sour cream, salt and pepper.
  • In a 9×13 pan, mix macaroni, cheese (reserving 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese) and milk mixture and flatten out across the pan to make even.
  • Top the pan with the remaining cheddar cheese.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until milk mixture is done.

While this recipe alone is absolutely wonderful, I like to play around with my recipes and come up with new ways to make them even better. All of these are cooked just like the standard recipe. Let’s get started:

For a meaty option: brown a pound of ground beef. Drain off the grease before mixing into the noodles, cheese and milk mixture. Here’s what you might expect this one to come out looking like:

To add some seasoning: add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder (or to taste) and 2 teaspoons of onion flakes (or to taste) to the milk mixture before adding to the cheese and noodles.

For a breaded option: after mixing the noodles, cheese (mix all of the cheese, no need to reserve any of the cheese here) and milk mixture together, sprinkle with bread crumbs (as seen in the top picture). I chose to use Italian bread crumbs.

Take a stab at it and get to experimenting with your meals. You never know what you’ll come up with!