Baked Mac & Cheese

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Who doesn’t love a big pan of creamy, cheesy, baked mac and cheese? It’s got to be one of my all time favorites, I love baking my mac and cheese because it adds some well needed crunch, in my opinion.  There’s a million recipes out there for mac and cheese, and I’m pretty sure I’ve tried just about all of them, but this one has to be one of my favorites.

I add in an ingredient some might think is odd, but a little bit of spicy brown mustard, gives it such a unique flavor but isn’t overpowering. It just adds a nice tang and a little bit of spice. That along with mounds of shredded cheese and a mixture of milk and half and half, creates perfectly creamy mac and cheese.

I adore my Le Creuset Mini Cocottes  ,they are perfect for serving individual servings of pasta, soup, or my favorite scalloped potatoes! How adorable are they for a dinner party! The mini dishes get me ever time, I can’t be the only one though, right?

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Start by bringing a stock pot or dutch oven full of salted water to a boil, add in your noodles, I used rotini but you can use any noodle you have on hand. Cook according to package directions until al dente, drain but do not rinse and set aside. Grease a large casserole dish and set aside as well.

Return the dutch oven back to the stove top and melt the butter, once melted whisk in the flour to create a roux, cook the roux for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Whisk in the milk and the half and half. Remove from the heat and mix in the shredded cheese, stir until melted.

Add in your seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper, than add the cooked noodles back into the pot and stir to evenly coat all the noodles. Transfer the noodles mixture to the prepared casserole dish, spread out evenly and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Top with freshly chopped parsley and serve!

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Baked Mac & Cheese

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Rotini Noodles
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream, or half and half
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a large casserole dish and set aside. Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add Rotini noodles and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain, but do not rinse.
  • In the same pot used to cook the noodles, melt the butter until foamy, than whisk in the flour, and cook about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in the milk and the half and half, turn off the heat and add in the shredded cheeses, stir until melted. Mix in the pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Add the cooked noddles in and stir to coat evenly with the cheese sauce.
  • Transfer the noodles to the prepared casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs. Back 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Top with chopped parsley and serve.

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