Creamy, Zeelicious Baked Mac & CheeZe!!
Creamy, Zeelicious Mac and Cheese
- 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)
- Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tsp salt
- Using a cheese grater or food processor fitted with a grating attachment, grate the cheddar, gruyere or swiss, and gouda cheeses. Set aside.
- Cut the cream cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside.
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 375 deg fahrenheit
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
- 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.
- Slowly stream the milk into the pot while continuing to whisk. Cook, whisking steadily, until it begins to thicken and bubble, 4-5 minutes.
- Once bubbling, turn off the heat. Add the mustard powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Add the cheeses to the pot one handful at a time, whisking slowly after each addition.
- Once the sauce is smooth, add the drained pasta noodles to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish.
- 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
- 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.
- Bake the Mac and Cheese on middle rack of oven until edges are bubbling and top is slightly browned, about 28-30 minutes
- 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!