Easy Baked Mac-And-Cheese
The fall weather has finally sunk in and it is getting cold and rainy here in Ohio! I just got back from a quick trip to Philadelphia with my dad and for some reason all I want to do is cozy up with a cup of coffee and enjoy the rain. Honestly, this is my favorite type of weather because it means comfort foods are always on the menu. I think comfort foods are always the same for people because they are rich and decadent and always remind us of something
As I have gotten older, I realized that comfort foods are always the ones I ate constantly as a kid, and always have a special memory attached. One of my hands down favorite meals has always been mac-and-cheese, because it is good for kids and grown ups (whoa weird to think that I am actually a grown up already?). Having just graduated from college, I am still all about those easy to make meals that bridge the gap between being a kid and being an adult; because really, who wants to be an adult?
Here is the recipe for my super simple, gooey mac-and-cheese which is the perfect staple for any house!
What you’ll need:
1 box elbow pasta (or any smaller pasta)
1/3 cup yellow onion
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 c. milk
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs (I like panko because they get nice and crispy, but any bread crumbs will work!)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp unsalted butter
dash ofsalt and pepper to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 350.
Begin cooking pasta according to directions on box. (I sometimes cut the cooking time short by about a minute or two because the pasta will continue to cook in the sauce).
In a large pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onions to soften then add flour, salt and pepper, stirring until combined and flour has dissolved into butter; the roux will thicken quickly.
Remove from heat, add milk stirring constantly (making sure the milk doesn’t burn), this will thin the butter and flour mixture. Add cream cheese brick and stir. Put back on heat and continue to stir cream cheese until melted. Remove from heat and add cheddar cheese 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the cheese to melt into the sauce before adding the next 1/2 cup.
Add cooked pasta and stir until fully coated with cheese sauce. Add the mac and cheese into a buttered baking dish.
Optional: Mix together parmesan, bread crumbs, and a dash of salt and pepper. Melt tablespoon of butter over low heat in a skillet and add bread crumb topping, stir constantly until coated in butter and the crumbs have a light golden brown color. Add to the top of the mac-and-cheese.
Place in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 min. Serve hot and enjoy!