We can’t talk comfort food without macaroni and cheese! Make this homemade version instead of the boxed convenience food, and you’ll never want to go back!
Homemade mac and cheese is easy! All you need is a good, creamy cheese sauce, which you create by making a roux of melted butter and flour and then stirring in your desired cheeses and spices. For my real food macaroni and cheese, I used sharp cheddar and gouda, along with smoked paprika, dry mustard, salt, and pepper to give it a smoky, robust flavour.
Once you get the method down, you can let loose with different cheese combinations and spices. Instead of bacon, add in cubed ham or diced chicken and tomatoes–you’ll develop your own signature mac and cheese in no time!
Say “no!” to orange powder and enjoy real macaroni and cheese from scratch!
Cheddar and Gouda Mac & Cheese with Bacon
- 3 cups dry macaroni
- 4-6 slices bacon
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 6 oz smoked gouda cheese grated
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese grated
- Cook the macaroni in a large pot according to the package directions. While the macaroni cooks, fry the bacon.
- When the macaroni is cooked, drain and return to pot. Cover pot and turn off stove.
- Melt the butter in a skillet or large saucepan over medium-low heat; stir in flour.
- Pour milk into skillet, whisking constantly, until well combined with butter mixture. Add mustard, salt, paprika, and pepper.
- Let milk mixture simmer until it begins to thicken slightly. Stir in gouda cheese and all but 1/3 cup of cheddar.
- When cheese is melted, stir cheese sauce into macaroni. Serve with crumbled bacon and the remaining cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.
Want more comfort food recipes? Come back all season long for a cornucopia of comforting dishes from the Richly Rooted test kitchen!