- 1 pound (16 oz) elbow macaroni (or any pasta of your choice)
- 1 quart (32 oz) heavy cream
- $5 worth of your favorite cheeses (a mix of sharp cheddar, Gruyère, and/or Monterey Jack works well)
- $1 worth of cream cheese
- Cajun seasoning, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Garlic salt, to taste
- Cook the Pasta:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
- Drain the pasta and set it aside.
- Prepare the Cheese:
- Grate your favorite cheeses. A combination of different cheeses adds depth to the flavor.
- Cut the cream cheese into small cubes for easier melting.
- Make the Roux:
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt $1 worth of butter.
- Gradually whisk in an equal amount of all-purpose flour to create a smooth roux.
- Cook the roux, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste.
- Add Heavy Cream:
- Slowly pour in the entire quart of heavy cream, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
- Allow the mixture to thicken, stirring frequently. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
- Cheese Mixture:
- Add your shredded cheeses and cream cheese to the thickened cream mixture.
- Stir until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Season the cheese sauce with Cajun seasoning, pepper, and garlic salt to taste. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your preference.
- Combine with Pasta:
- Add the cooked and drained pasta to the cheese sauce.
- Gently fold the pasta into the cheese sauce until it’s well coated.
- Scoop the mac n cheese into individual servings.
- Optionally, you can top it with additional shredded cheese or breadcrumbs for a crunchy texture.
- Dive into your homemade mac n cheese, savoring the creamy, cheesy goodness!
This recipe makes 10+ servings, making it perfect for sharing or saving leftovers. Feel free to customize it with your favorite cheeses and seasonings for a unique twist. Enjoy your bomb mac n cheese! 🧀💣🎅❤️
Q1: Can I use a different type of pasta for this mac n cheese recipe?
A1: Absolutely! While elbow macaroni is traditional, feel free to experiment with other pasta shapes like shells, penne, or rotini. The key is to choose a pasta that can hold the creamy cheese sauce well.
Q2: Can I use low-fat or alternative cream options instead of heavy cream?
A2: Yes, you can substitute with alternatives like whole milk or half-and-half for a lighter version. However, keep in mind that using heavy cream contributes to the rich and creamy texture that makes this mac n cheese so indulgent.
Q3: What’s the best combination of cheeses for this recipe?
A3: The beauty of homemade mac n cheese is in its versatility. You can use a mix of your favorite cheeses. Sharp cheddar, Gruyère, and Monterey Jack create a flavorful blend, but feel free to get creative with cheeses like mozzarella, Parmesan, or even blue cheese.
Q4: How can I make this recipe spicier?
A4: To add some heat, increase the amount of Cajun seasoning or consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the cheese sauce. Adjust the spice level according to your taste preferences.
Q5: Can I prepare this mac n cheese ahead of time?
A5: Yes, you can prepare the mac n cheese in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of milk to maintain its creamy consistency.
Q6: Can I freeze this mac n cheese?
A6: While it’s possible to freeze mac n cheese, keep in mind that the texture of the sauce may change slightly upon thawing. If you decide to freeze it, do so before baking, and thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.
Q7: What sides pair well with homemade mac n cheese?
A7: Mac n cheese pairs well with a variety of sides. Consider serving it with a crisp green salad, roasted vegetables, or even a side of garlic bread for a complete and satisfying meal.
Q8: How can I make this mac n cheese dish gluten-free?
A8: To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute gluten-free pasta and use a gluten-free all-purpose flour in the roux. Ensure that all other ingredients, including spices and cream cheese, are also gluten-free.