I have always made "pretty good" mac & cheese using net recipes I have found here & there, but this year, I came up with this version on my own. I have to say it is sooooo good! My entire family *(including my 3 onion hating kids) raved about it. They ate 2/3 of a 10" Wide X 11" Long X 5" Deep pan full of this stuff. You can't beat it, but you can surely customize it if you like with some options below.
Try it original first, then try different variations to suit your family :)
VARIATIONS. THE LIST COULD GO ON FOREVER! So, here is a handful:
Macaroni & Cheese is the easiest thing besides Chicken to cook a million different ways & every time it tastes like a totally different
1. Extra cup french fried onions added at the end just before topping mixed into the dish for taste & texture
2. Fresh Crunchy Bacon Crumbles (plain or peppered) mixed in at the end just before topping mixed into the dish for taste & texture (bacon tip: Bake at 325 in single layer for apx 20 minutes in foil lined baking sheet for easy clean up & multitasking)
3. chopped bell pepper added at time of onions
4. Change toppings: Crackers, Fresh Bacon Bits (plain or peppered), Salad Crouton Crumbs, Corn Flakes, Bread Crumbs, crushed chips (use all different flavors: BBQ, Sour Cream, Plain, Etc...)
5. Change your shredded cheeses: Mozzerella, Monterey Jack, Swiss, parmesan, etc....as long as your total is 24 ounces. I prefer the main as velveeta for texture purposes.
6. Add a meat: Ham chunks, Hamburger, Sausage. Pan Fried Chicken Chunks :)
7. Diced Tomatoes, Scallions, or Salsa
12-15 Hearty Servings
1 box elbow macaroni (16 oz)
1 cup real salted butter
½ cup flour
4 cups milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded 8oz)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 large onion
16 ozs velveeta cheese (cubed)
1 cup french fried onions (topping)
No nutrition information available
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 3 quart baking dish. (Baking tip: the shallower the pan, the shorter the baking time)
Add the macaroni to a LARGE pot of salted, boiling (rolling boil) water until just tender. I add a couple table spoons of Olive oil prior to adding macaroni as well. (like every other time I make pasta)
Drain it thoroughly while you prepare the cream sauce.
In a Very large saucepan, (medium to low heat) melt butter, then whisk in the flour until smooth and add the milk. Whisk until mixed thoroughly.
Whisk eggs in small bowl, remove about a half cup of mixture from pot & add to eggs. Mix well, then add back into pot. (DO NOT ADD INTO POT WITHOUT MIXING FIRST- eggs will start cook in such high heat)
Increase heat to medium. (careful not to go too high so you do not scorch the sauce)
Stir the mixture frequently, then consistently until it thickens, then add the cheddar cheese and stir it in until it melts, Season with salt and pepper.
Cut the Velveeta into ½ inch cubes and stir it into the white sauce, Stir until melted almost completely.
Place the drained macaroni in the pot with the prepared sauce and stir gently to mix.
Pour Mixture into fully greased 3qt dish
Sprinkle the french fried onions generously over the top. Do Not Cover.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 60 minutes, depending on pan thickness, until browned and bubbly.