There are certain foods that come to mind when you say ‘comfort food’.
Cheesy Baked Macaroni and Cheese probably comes to mind, doesn’t it?
There’s just something about a homemade, super cheesy, crispy topping macaroni and cheese. It screams nostalgia, it evokes love, it makes you feel all warm and cozy when you dig in. I had the pleasure of living in Charleston,SC for nearly six years…and let me tell you, I ate some really good mac n’ cheeses in those years. The South definitely has the knack for perfecting certain foods, and comfort foods like mac n’ cheese is one of those foods. I feel like this is one of those things that becomes a staple food that as a mom, I just have to know how to make. So naturally, I turned to my mom for the recipe she used when we were growing up.
She brought over a cookbook that was browned on the edges, The Good Housekeeping All-American Cookbook, the classic recipe I remember eating as a kid. Now, the food blogger in me of course made a few minor alterations, making it a bit cheesier If you want an easy, classic tasting baked macaroni and cheese this is for you. The next time it’s rainy, or cold and snowy, or you’re bit down in the dumps…dig out this recipe and make yourself some feel-good food.
I love this first scoop, breaking the crispy topping and pulling up the scoop of cheesy baked noodles.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
A classic comfort food perfect for adults and kids alike. Super cheesy, super warm, extra crunchy with baked Panko crumbs on top. Make this a family favorite!
-3 cups uncooked elbow noodle pasta
-4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
-5 tablespoons butter
-3/4 cup Panko crumbs
-1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
-1 and 1/2 cups milk
-Paprika for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook the elbow noodles according to package, and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a small pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter, then pour over the Panko crumbs and stir to coat.
3. In the same pot, over medium heat melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, then stir in the flour, salt, dry mustard, and a few dashes of pepper…stir until everything is blended. Slowly stir in the milk, and cook until smooth and slightly thickened. Remove from heat, then pour in 3 cups of the shredded cheese.
4. Place the cooked and drained elbow noodles in your baking dish. Then, pour the cheese sauce over top. Gently stir together to make sure all noodles are coated, even the noodles on the edges of the dish. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese, then the Panko, ad finally sprinkle generously with paprika. Bake for 20 minutes.