Everyone’s favorite classic mac and cheese! Super simple, super easy and super quick. You’ll never want the boxed stuff ever again!
Greetings from Chicago!
We did it. We finally moved to the Midwest after 20 years of living in California.
It almost feels a bit surreal as we cope with the 22 degree weather. I mean, it was 65 degrees when we left LA!
But honestly, it feels like home. Except home is filled with 17 unopened boxes filled with my kitchen stuff.
So I need to unpack as fast as possible so I can never leave my Chicago house and instead, nest inside with my new electric blanket and the coziest homemade mac and cheese ever.
This is your classic mac and cheese – there are no surprises here and there’s no fuss at all. It’s simple, it’s quick, and it’s completely made from scratch.
It’s perfectly cheesy without being too gummy, and the crunchy tops are just to die for before you get into that creamy heaven underneath.
You can of course choose to bake these in individual ramekins to avoid any kind of sharing or you can dump the entire mixture into a 2-qt baking dish.
Either works. It’s just that sharing can be a bit difficult on this one.
- 8 ounces elbow pasta
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk*
- 12 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, about 3 cups, divided
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, paprika and onion powder until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in evaporated milk until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese and Parmesan. Stir in pasta; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide pasta mixture into 5 (10-ounce) or 6 (8-ounce) ramekins or ovenproof bowls.* Place onto a baking sheet; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.
- Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
- Serve immediately, garnished with chives, if desired.
*If you do not have ramekins or ovenproof bowls, this can also be baked in a 2qt baking dish.