There may be no dish more classically loved in America than the deliciously simple macaroni and cheese. This easy baked mac and cheese recipe has only 6 ingredients and can be made from scratch in under two hours.
It's All About the Cheese
When it comes to the star attraction, the cheese, choosing the type you want to use will make all the difference. If you are looking for a more mild flavor, we recommend making a Colby Jack mac and cheese. For a more vivid stronger tasting baked macaroni and cheese, use a sharp cheddar. If you are indecisive or non discriminatory with your cheese, use a combination of the two or a different variety altogether!
The beauty of this simple mac and cheese recipe is the flexibility it gives when it comes to the pasta. You can use almost any type you would prefer from standard macaroni, to ziti or rotini. Our favorite is shells and cheese. The little pasta cups end up full of delicious hot cheese with every bite.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
No. 8 Lancaster skillet or 9x9 pan
One box pasta
3 cups milk
5 cups shredded cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Bread crumbs sprinkled on top
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
2. In a large pot, bring about 5-6 quarts of well salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta of your choice until it is al dente or "firm to the bite". Cook time will vary depending on the pasta used, but typically this will take about 5 minutes. It is better to undercook the pasta as it will continue to cook in the oven as it bakes. Remove and drain the pasta and pour into a No. 8 Lancaster skillet or baking pan of your choice.
3. Heat the milk in a separate pot over medium low heat. Immediately add in the salt and pepper followed by the the shredded cheese of your choice. Do NOT allow the milk to come to a boil at any point. Occasionally stir until the cheese has mostly melted. Remove the pot from the stove and pour over the pasta, mixing the two together.
4. Sprinkle a healthy layer of bread crumbs over the top of your cast iron mac and cheese for a nice finish. Cover the dish with foil and place into the pre-heated oven.
5. Bake for 40 minutes before removing the foil for an additional 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs on top have turned a golden brown. Serve alone or with a side of stewed tomatoes.
Check out another family favorite recipe: Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie