Creamy & Cheesy Macaroni
Amazingly this is the first casserole dish I’ve posted on Oh My Potluck! I’ve got plenty more to come so don’t fret and this classic dish certainly deserves to be on the table first. It’s extra creamy and stays that way after refrigeration. It also makes a ton so it’s great for a huge party.
Something about working with cheese, grating a huge bowl full of it, and melting it into a rich, stringy sauce makes me want to listen to cheesy music. Admittedly, pretty much anytime is a good time for cheesy music. Put on my neon leg warmers, some bangles and maybe a bright scrunchie and I’m set to bake (also, good for jazzercize but you don’t need to know any more about that). So it’s only natural that I picked out a selection of cheesy music.
I enlisted my BFF’s help to make this one (he happens to love both cheesy music and macaroni). We took turns listing off cheesy songs that reminded us of the last. It turned out to be a good mix of old and new… some selections were vetoed for intolerability and I apologize if any still are.
Watch above or watch on youtube.
Creamy and Cheesy Macaroni
Makes 12 meal size servings or about 28 small portions.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 5 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (18 ounces)
- 2 cups grated Gruyère (8 ounces)
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 3-quart casserole dish.
- Place the bread crumbs in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set aside.
- Warm the milk in a medium to large saucepan (use a double broiler if you have it) over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Keep whisking the mixture over heat for 1 minute.
- While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère. Set aside.
- Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone (2 to 3 minutes). Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère, and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and cool completely before storing.