If you can count to two, then you can remember this super-easy mac and cheese recipe and it will stay with you for life! Forget the boxed stuff, this delicious dish traces its roots back to France with a béchamel sauce base that mothers traditionally pass down to their children simply by showing how it is done, no recipe required.
There are a number of variations in terms of measurements and types of cheese used, but I’ve learned that there really is no need to complicate this. Easy to remember, the uniform measurements here always result in a rich, delicious mac and cheese that is sure to impress your friends and loved ones!
2 T salted butter
2 T all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
2 8 oz packages elbow macaroni (or 1 16 oz bag)
Breadcrumbs and cheese for topping (optional)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a large roasting pan by coating it with non-stick cooking spray or melted butter.
Next, heat a large, covered pot of water to boiling with enough salt to make the water taste like the ocean. The pot should be large enough to boil a pound of pasta.
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 T butter and then add the flour, using a whisk to mix the two together into a paste.
Add 2 cups of milk and the bouillon cubes and continue to mix until all form into a thick sauce. This usually takes less than five minutes. To test that the sauce is thick enough, insert a metal spoon and if it coats the back, it is perfect. Turn the heat down to low.
Immediately, add the two cups of shredded cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Cover the pot with a lid and allow to simmer on low heat.
When the pasta water has reached a rapid boil, cook the elbow macaroni per package directions and drain in a colander. Toss immediately in the large pot with the cheese mixture. Taste and add salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.
Pour the mac and cheese into the prepared pan, cover with breadcrumbs and extra cheese if you are using, and bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until bubbly. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Voila! Easy, peasy and delicious!