The Best Baked Mac and Cheese Ever [Intro to Cooking]

I would never call myself the chef of the century, but once I learned how to cook this amazing dish, I feel as though I have at least one amazing meal to put in my cooking repertoire. This is also boyfriend approved, so if you want to show off your cooking skills for a new boy toy, I would truly suggest going with this dish. It’s super simple to make and you even get to make a fancy pre-sauce thing called a “roux,” which is just something cool to say while you’re whipping it up in the kitchen.

So thank you to A Beautiful Mess for this perfect comfort food dish and happy (and full) bellies all over the interweb.

What You’ll Need

8 ounces uncooked pasta
4 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup flour
pepper, red pepper, dry mustard and garlic salt to taste
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
small handful of chopped chives
1 cup panko bread crumbs

How To Make It

In a pot heat enough water to cover the pasta plus a few teaspoons salt over high heat until boiling. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Be sure to under cook the pasta just a little, because it will absorb more moisture when it bakes. Strain and set aside.

In the meantime, in a large pot melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, so it bubbles as it cooks. Stir every so often and allow to cook for a few minutes. This is called a roux.

Season with your favorite spices, mine are listed above. Now pour in the stock and milk, stir to combine. Stir in 1 cup pepper jack cheese and 1 cup cheddar or colby jack cheese and stir until melted. Add the pasta and pour into your baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, chives and then bread crumbs.

Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.

Serves 4-5

[Lead Image via A Beautiful Mess]

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