Creamy, Zeelicious Baked Mac & CheeZe!!

Creamy, Zeelicious Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for pasta water)
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups shredded)
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese (or Swiss, 1/2 cup shredded)
  • 4 ounces Gouda cheese (1/2 cup shredded)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (for sauce)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or white pepper)
  • 4 ounces round buttery crackers (like Ritz, 4 oz. is about 36 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (for topping)

Instructions:

  1. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tsp salt
  3. Using a cheese grater or food processor fitted with a grating attachment, grate the cheddar, gruyere or swiss, and gouda cheeses. Set aside.
  4. Cut the cream cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside.
  5. Add the elbow macaroni to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has softened- about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta in a large colander, and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 deg fahrenheit
  7. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
  8. Once melted, add the flour. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Continue whisking until the roux turns slightly golden and begins to smell toasty, 1-2 minutes.
  9. Slowly stream the milk into the pot while continuing to whisk. Cook, whisking steadily, until it begins to thicken and bubble, 4-5 minutes.
  10. Once bubbling, turn off the heat. Add the mustard powder, salt, and black pepper.
  11. Add the cheeses to the pot one handful at a time, whisking slowly after each addition.
  12. Once the sauce is smooth, add the drained pasta noodles to the pot. Stir to combine.
  13. Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish.
  14. Place the crackers in a plastic bag and crush them to the consistency of coarse sand using a rolling pin and pour the cracker crumbs in an even layer over the pasta
  15. Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until butter is melted, about 30 seconds. Pour the melted butter over the cracker crumbs until evenly moistened.
  16. Bake the Mac and Cheese on middle rack of oven until edges are bubbling and top is slightly browned, about 28-30 minutes
  17. Add time if needed. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving! Bon Appetit! Hashtag or tag @zeethecook #zeethecook on instagram or facebook for a shoutout!

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