Holiday Baked Mac and Cheese

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and while this year I decided to sit out as hostess, my best friend who is hosting for the first time in her new home did not hesitate to put in her request for my best mac and cheese recipe.

This recipe is a staple holiday dish in my household but you absolutely do not have to wait for the holidays to whip up this wonderfully creamy and flavorful recipe.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce uncooked Macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 12oz canned evaporated milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1½ tablespoon onion powder
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cup grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cup grated Swiss style Gruyere cheese
  • 1½ cup grated Monterey jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain.
  2. Add butter to skillet, as soon as butter melts whisk in flour. Continue whisking until flour is fully mixed with butter. Then cook for about a minute to get rid of the flour taste.
  3. Slowly add evaporated milk a little at the time, followed by the half and half ; you do not want the mixture to form any lumps. Simmer for about 4-6 minutes until mixture thickens slightly.
  4. Add seasonings, onion and garlic powder, creole seasoning and cayenne pepper.
  5. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer gently for about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cheeses (reserve some as toppings later), and continue stirring until everything’s melted and evenly combined and, smooth. Salt & pepper, to taste.
  7. Then add the cooked  pasta to the pot, stir to evenly incorporate.
  8. Transfer the pasta mixture into a lightly greased 3-4Qt baking dish; top with remaining cheese and a pinch of paprika.
  9. Bake at 375 Degrees F° for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Servings:  – 12 servings

Calories: 692 kcal per serving

Hope this dish brings your Holiday party as much color and taste as it does to mine.

Feedback and comments are greatly appreciated! 🙂