How to Make DAMN Good Mac and Cheese

I have been attempting to better my online presence… on Instagram anyway. It has become a bit of an obsession, actually. So when I was scrolling through my feed and Sonic® had a post promoting a deal on hot dogs, it sparked a conversation.

Me: “How come their hot dogs got 4,000 likes and mine didn’t!?” with fake indignation.
Little Sasquatch: What would happen Sonic sold your hot dogs?
Me: Well, they’d have to pay me.
LS: You should totally do that!
Me: That would be great, except I don’t make my own hot dogs. I get them at the store just like everybody else… including Sonic.
LS: Well, then you should sell your mac n cheese!
Me: Sorry kid. Someone already made money off this recipe: Martha Stewart.
He approves. Now you be the judge!
Mouthwatering Mac and Cheese
*adapted from Martha Stewart
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter/grease a 3 quart casserole dish (I used a 9×13).
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/2 C milk
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 1/2 C (about 18 oz) grated sharp white cheddar
  • 1 1/4 C (about 5 oz) grated Romano
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 C Panko bread crumbs
  1. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk (do not boil). 
  2. Melt butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Stir, approx. 1 minute. (this is roux, in case you didn’t know)
  3. Slowly pour hot milk into roux while whisking. Continue whisking constantly until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick. (approx. 10-15 minutes)
  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 cup Romano. Once smooth and incorporated, set cheese sauce aside.
  5.  Fill a large saucepan with water. Salt and bring to a boil. Add macaroni – cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions. Mine said: Time to al dente 6 minutes, so I cooked them for 5) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into cheese sauce.
  6. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheeses on top; scatter breadcrumbs to cover. Bake until browned on top – about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a cooling rack for 5 minutes. (or spend 5 minutes taking pictures. ha!)
  7. Serve hot (and delicious)!
Gah! You are going to LOVE it! It takes some hands-on time, but so worth it. It will change the way you view homemade mac and cheese forever!
I have never been a huge fan of Martha Stewart (the expectations are a lot to live up to after all) but she definitely got this one right. On. The. Money.
Happy cooking!

2 thoughts on “How to Make DAMN Good Mac and Cheese

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