10 Days of Thanksgiving: The Side Dish: Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

 

Everyone has their favorite baked mac and cheese recipe… for this fifth day of 10 days of Thanksgiving, we wanted to share with you ours!  This baked mac and cheese recipe uses a combination of cheeses, layered in the dish as well as melted into a rich and creamy cheese sauce, for the ultimate in cheesy deliciousness!

 

EASEPREP TIMETOTAL TIMEYIELD
Easy20 Minutes35 Minutes10 Servings

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried elbow pasta
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Arps Dairy Whole Milk
  • 2 1/2 cups Arps Dairy Half and Half
  • 4 cups grated medium sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese divided
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 3 qt baking dish (9×13″). Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep from sticking.
  3. While water is coming up to a boil, grate cheeses and toss together to mix, then divide into three piles. Approximately 3 cups for the sauce, 1 1/2 cups for the inner layer, and 1 1/2 cups for the topping.
  4. Melt butter in a large saucepan over MED heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Mixture will look like very wet sand. Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often. Slowly pour in about 2 cups or so of the Arps Dairy milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until smooth. Slowly pour in the remaining Arps Dairy milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.
  5. Continue to heat over MED heat, whisking very often, until thickened to a very thick consistency. It should almost be the consistency of a semi thinned out condensed soup.
  6. Stir in spices and 1 1/2 cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine. Stir in another 1 1/2 cups of cheese, and stir until completely melted and smooth.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine drained pasta with cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully. Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 cups of grated cheeses, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the last 1 1/2 cups of cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until cheesy is bubbly and lightly golden brown.
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