The BEST Macaroni and Cheese Recipe EVER

Hi everyone! Me again with another recipe to add to your favorite Tried and True series. 🙂 We’re really revving up the recipes for you, so you have plenty of options come Holiday time. Before I get crazy with all that is involved with the Fall season, the hubs and I are heading out of town (celebrating 10 years). Our long awaited, first time ever, vacation without the kids. I’m excited and scared all at once. However, my amazing parents are taking over parental duties with the kiddos, and I couldn’t be more grateful, knowing that they are in very good hands. I’m trying to prepare as much as possible to help alleviate the load on them. I would love to have a few meals ready for her to pull out of the freezer, for a quick, delicious dinner. Which brings me to your amazing recipe for the BEST mac and cheese recipe!

Macaroni is always a quick and easy go to when you cant think of anything to make for dinner. The kids never complain and its nice to not have to deal with whining at the dinner table. Well, have you ever made homemade Macaroni and Cheese? If not, today needs to be the day! We wanted to try a homemade version, and I’m so glad we did because this was the BEST macaroni and cheese recipe ever!! So cheesy and so easy – it’s great for dinner any night or for that great side dish at Thanksgiving!

Cheese Sauce Ingredients:
Flour & spices
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
¼ cup of flour
A generous pinch of ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups half and half
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
How to make it:
Mix together the flour, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, black pepper, and salt.
In a 3 ½ quart saucepan melt the ½ stick of butter over medium heat. Add in the flour mixture and stir until it is smooth.
Melt butter
Add flour mixture and stir
Stir until smooth
Add the half and half in small amounts, stirring well after each addition to keep the mixture smooth until all 2 cups is added.
Slowly add half and half, stirring well.
Keep stirring while bringing the mixture to a boil over medium heat. The mixture will thicken.
Keep stirring until mixture boils.
Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir for about another 5 minutes. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
Stir shredded cheese into the mixture.
Add your cooked, drained elbow macaroni to the cheese sauce, stir well, and taste for seasoning.
Add drained macaroni to the cheese sauce.
Pour into your prepared 9” x 9” glass pan.
Macaroni and cheese sauce in 9″ x 9″ glass pan.
1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup panko bread crumbs
Stir the panko bread crumbs into the melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture on top of your macaroni in the glass pan.
Evenly sprinkle the buttered panko crumbs on top the macaroni
Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes until it is bubbly and the top begins to brown.