Mac & cheese is a staple American and British dish, it is one of my favorite comfort food, and it is a must-have for Thanksgiving table. Historically, the ingredients are pretty much the same: macaroni, cheddar cheese, bread crumbs – for Old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese.
But did you know that first macaroni and cheese was mentioned in 14th century? I guess, Italians always had great taste!
As for nutrition facts, it all depends on the ingredients you use, but mac & cheese is definitely high in fat and sodium. Once cooked, baked macaroni and cheese can stay fresh in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese Ingredients
For the breadcrumbs:
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta:
- 1 lb. pasta shapes
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3½ cups milk
- 1 lb. colby jack cheese, shredded
- 8 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Freshly ground black pepper
You’ll also need:
- skillet pan
- baking sheet
- 9 x 13″ baking dish
- large pot
To make breadcrumbs topping:
- In a medium skillet melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add in the panko bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until the crumbs become light golden brown.
- Remove from the heat and add in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste and let it cool.
To bake mac & cheese:
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ F (200C).
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Cook the pasta in the salted water just until it begins to soften, 4-5 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and leave in the colander.
- Return the pot to heat and add in the butter and melt over medium-high heat. Add garlic and dry mustard, whisk and cook for 30-60 seconds (just until fragrant)
- Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.
- Add chicken broth and milk and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until the mixture slightly thickens.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add both kinds of cheese, whisking until they are completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the drained pasta into the cheese sauce.
- Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish. Add the bread crumbs as a topping. If you don’t want to serve it straight away, wrap it into the foil and place it in the fridge. It can last for 2 days.
- Set filled casserole dish on top of the prepared baking sheet. Bake the mac&cheese for 30-35 minutes: the sauce should start bubbling and the bread crumbs will be golden brown.
*If you serve refrigerated macaroni and cheese cover it with the foil and bake at 400˚F (200C) for 40-45 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue to bake for 15-20 min. until the breadcrumbs are crispy.