Macaroni and Cheddar Cheese

Total Time:
30 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
4 entree servings, 8 side serv
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or 2 percent milk
  • 3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, a couple pinches
  • Salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked 8 minutes or to al dente, with a little bite to it
Directions

Heat a medium, deep skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter. When butter melts into the oil, add flour and combine. Gently cook, whisking flour and butter together, until smooth and flour has had a chance to cook, about 3 minutes. Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk. Gently bring milk to a bubble while stirring frequently. Allow the milk to thicken a bit, then stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time. Season sauce with nutmeg and cayenne. Taste and add a little salt, if you like. Add cooked pasta to sauce and coat completely by turning over and over in the cheese sauce. Transfer to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place baking dish under a hot broiler and brown the cheddar cheese on top.


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3.9 143
This is super easy and so delicious.  I did half cheddar and half monterey jack cheese, and skim milk.   I did not add the nutmeg or cayenne but substitued a fair amount of pepper and a dash of paprika.  It was creamy, cheesy goodness!!  Didn't taste the flour as others mentioned - but you do have to cook the roux until its slightly golden.  This just might be my new go-to mac and cheese!  Thanks, RR!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is awesome!!!! Easy for make I recommend.....  item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this and it came out OK. Had to skip the nutmeg, because it was not available.  Was not as creamy as I like my mac n cheese. I will go back to my velveeta and sharp cheddar blend of cheese for this. I do like how quickly it came together though. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make this all the time, and have made it for years, but I've made adjustments over time. I don't add the nutmeg or salt, and I add the cayenne at the same time as the flour, in a larger amount to make it hot. Whenever I make this, it goes quickly, and there are never any leftovers. I've never had a problem with the sauce tasting "floury", but that might be to the large amount of cayenne I use. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I thought the texture was a bit off - like too much flour....I love RR, and she rarely disappoints, but this recipe needs some refinement I think. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My son loved it and he is only 13 month old. I will definitely do it again item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been using this recipe now for a few years now...LOVE IT!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not a very good recipe. The Nutmeg was too strong and the sauce was too floury. I will definitely be using a different one next time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
NOT FOR KIDS! The nutmeg is way too strong and the sauce tastes floury as other reviewers have observed. Definitely go with Alton Brown's recipe (evaporated milk. Had to throw out the whole batch. I have heard that some recipes here get published without an actual taste test - this might be a good candidate for that category. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First time ever making Mac and cheese! It was fabulouso! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good flavor, but could taste and feel the flour. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is our go to mac and cheese my youngest son won't eat any other. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for dinner tonight and I really liked it. I love nutmeg and cayenne, so for me...perfect. My kiddos (2 boys--10 and 7 liked it, but I am looking for a macaroni and cheese recipe that they just LOVE. I liked this recipe for the simplicity and the short amount of time/no mess and had all standard ingredients. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Unless you LOVE nutmeg, cut in half or leave it out!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My first attempt at homemade mac and cheese. So glad I found this recipe! I make this a few times a month now. I use corkscrews pasta and skip the oven step. It is great for left-overs too, heats up nicely in the microwave, perfect for my teenage son. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Definitely a better alternative to the box mac and cheese. I was surprised at how tasty and moist it was. I was nervous about the nutmeg, but it was a light flavor that brought out the taste of the cheese. Thanks Rach! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was the recipe that got me making mac n' cheese a few years ago. It's a great basic recipe and you can make it your own easily. I really like the nutmeg - it really takes it up a notch. I use whatever cheese I have on hand & sometimes need a little extra because of that, but it's always a tasty treat. Tonight I'm combining the basic recipe here with Aarti Party's Thai Curry Mac n' Cheese for something different. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent! I used 1/2 cup colby jack with 2 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (it was what I had on hand and it was perfect, with a little zest. I did not add the nutmeg - didn't really think it was necessary and I was a little nervous since I would be serving a large group. Perfect comfort food!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was nothing like a mac and cheese. The sauce tasted of flour even though i followed the recipe to the T. Will try next time without the flour. Liked the nutmeg though. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved the recipe. However, I did have to make a couple of adjustments. I took out the nutmeg and added 1/2 a 16oz box of Velveeta. I felt the sauce needed a little something and the Velveeta worked out perfectly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
it roux, not rue. but its good! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I liked it a lot, but my husband and kids were a little leery of the nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Next time I will try it with with only salt and pepper. Maybe add a few onions in with the rue for an extra kick. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I found this recipe excellent. I don't understand the review about tasting flour and olive oil - that really only happens if you don't cook the rue at all. For this recipe there isn't sufficient rue to cause this uncooked taste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
All I could taste was the flour and olive oil. I even used extra sharp cheese but it wasn't cheesy tasting at all. The texture was a bit pasty too. I followed the directions perfectly. Will not make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yummy, my family loved it even my daughter who is very picky. I will take this dish to potlucks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had to throw out some stuff and add some stuff for my family... No nutmeg yuk. I added garlic powder, chili powder, and more cheese then said. and I used low fat milk and yellow sharp cheese. Then sprinkled it with Italion bread crumbs. It came out pretty good. : item not reviewed by moderator and published
very easy and tasty..thank you Rachael item not reviewed by moderator and published
I got tired of Velveeta. This was wonderful - the only reason I am not gibing 5 stars is that next time I will add more cheddar. Even so, this is great as is. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was gross. I followed it to the letter and the nutmeg just doesn't fit. I like the heat of the cayenne pepper, but the nutmeg makes the sauce taste disgusting. It is also a little dry. I ended up making more sauce without the seasoning to make it more moist and have a stronger flavor of cheese. I think if you left out the nutmeg and added a little more milk and butter this would be a winner. item not reviewed by moderator and published
A favorite family recipe now! so easy and so quick! Easy way to "health" it up.... use whole wheat macaroni and one bag of low fat (2%) cheddar and one bag of non fat cheddar and skim milk. Added in broccoli and it tasted amazing! The family likes to add a light sprinkle of panko on top and broil until brown. Thinking about adding sliced tomatoes on top before broiling next time too! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've used this RR mac & cheese for years-instead of straight cayenne, I add a bit of cajun seasoning though. Yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love mac & cheese and this was by far the worst I have ever eaten, including out of the box. The recipe was very easy, but tasted like flour when I was done, not cheese. What a waste of pasta and cheese. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ive made this because i had white cheddar cheese leftover from something or my parents accidentaly picked it up so i looked on food network and found this. So i followed it and we loved it except for the time i accidentally putn too muchj cayenne pepper in. So im makin it for xmas and im puttin in velveeta, cheddar, and mexican blend in it too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made a few adjustments!!! My family thinks I'm the greatest invention since sliced bread because of this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family loves this recipe! I have made this many times and have made a few adjustments, i use cheddar, cheddar jack and mozz, no nutmeg and berad crumbs to top it off. its soooo super easy to make and who doesnt love mac and cheese!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this and my husband loved it. I did make a few modifications. No nutmeg and added a 1/2 tablespoon of dijon mustard to cheese sauce. Used two cups milk, 8 oz. sharp cheddar and 2oz. monterey jack cheese. Also mixed 1/4 parmesean and 1/4 bread crumbs together and added to top before putting under the broiler. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I started this dish by sauteing onions in the oil/butter 3TBSP and seasoned with salt and pepper. When soft, I added the flour, cayene, and the missing ingredient..... powdered mustard! (1 tbsp) Skip the nutmeg unless you are making her butternut squash mac n cheese (which is a super recipe as is). Instead of 1 1/2 milk, I used 2 cups heavy cream (I was feeling rich). Finally, I used 4 cups of a blend of cheeses for a better depth of flavor and creamy texture. I find Cheddar has an unbeatable flavor (unless we're talking gruyere) but doesn't melt the best. Thus, with straight cheddar u run the risk of the grainy texture people were commenting on. This dish gets the gist of the technique down. Just make it your own! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this as a side dish for xmas eve dinner at my mom's this year and it was a hit, eveyone loved it!!!!! Easy and so Cheesy!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didnt like this recipe. It was very bland hardly any taste and the sauce was not as smooth as it should have been. My 2 year old son took one bite and didnt care for it and macaroni and cheese is his favorite. I dont recommend this recipe to anyone. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great and easy recipe for someone who doesn't have a lot of experience making mac and cheese. If you like extra flavors, try adding a bit of chipotle powder. It gives the mac and cheese a bit of a kick. I used regular cheddar cheese instead of the white kind, I dont think it really matters though. Husband loved it:) item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best Mac and Cheese ever and it can be done in 30 mins. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Needs more flavor!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I left out the nutmeg like the other reviews recommended. The recipe came together well (even for a novice cook like me), and it was plenty for 4 adults with some leftover for lunch the next day. Could use some more spices to liven it up a bit. Thanks, Rachel! item not reviewed by moderator and published
didn't come together well at all, not creamy enough for me item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a now a family favorite. I don't always put it in the oven at the end and it still turns out great. It's so much better for you than the boxed kind with all the artificial stuff. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love Rachael Ray, however my husband and I hated this recipe. Very bland and the nutmeg was gross! Needs something added to it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is great if you're in a hurry and don't want to get all nitty-gritty trying to make mac and cheese....mine didnt come out as creamy as I would've liked, but it could've been because I used reduced-fat milk. Anyway, I would still suggest giving this one a whirl if you're in a pinch, or just have a taste for some mac and cheese:) item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the bast mac & cheese I have ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth. It's super easy, I make it for myself and for potlucks item not reviewed by moderator and published
I Tried this mac and cheese thinking it would be good. After all, this is Rachel Ray! However, I was disappointed. This recipe is bland as they come! I could've done bad all by myself! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I changed this recipe from the start. I started by cooking some Italian sweet sausage in the pan first. I took the sausage out of the pan and right to the drippings I added the butter, little evoo and flour. I added the milk per directions, then threw in Gemelli pasta and the sausage. Awesome flavor with the sausage and turned it into a main meal instead of side dish. Leftovers were great too!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was very good and easy to make... I cut down the nutmeg by 1/2 per other reviews and used 2 cups sharp white cheddar and 1 cup mild. 8 year old handled the spice without a problem. Everyone had seconds. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I usually love Rachel Ray's recipes, so I was confident that I couldn't go wrong with her mac and cheese. WRONG! The lack of ingredients should have tipped me off. The entire dish is bland. I had to add at least double the cheese it asked for, as well as onion powder, salt, pepper, and other spices to give it any flavor at all. Kraft from the box would have been better. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I really want to like it, but never do. This was great. I sauteed some onions. Used sharp cheddar. Didn't use nutmeg. Added Emeril's Essence as suggested. It was great and I made it in a flash. Loved it so much, I didn't bother to bake it. Definately add as a quick side dish to my usual rotation. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a good base, but I like to use 1/2 cheddar cheese and 1/2 pepper jack cheese for more flavor. Instead of nutmeg, I season the sauce with chili powder and the black pepper as written. Both of these additions adds a subtle spice and makes the dish a bit more original. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow this recipe was soo good it was so easy to follow i subed the white cheddar cheese for orange cheddar cheese and it was excellent item not reviewed by moderator and published
The flavor is interesting; I did not mind the nutmeg. The browned cheese topping and white cheddar look nice, and it is not terribly difficult to make. However, mac and cheese should be creamy. The consistency of the sauce is far from desirable. Made two attempts to ensure no errors, but I will not make this again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It tasted great for the amount of time that it took to prepare. Much better then the boxed. I still prefer the southern style mac and cheese, but when you are short on time this recipe works great. My picky 17 month old son devoured it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
A good dish. My entire family enjoyed it. It was a good way to make my first rue (did I speel that right?). Overall, I followed the reipe exactly, but I did not add nutmeg. That is not one of my favorite spices, and other reviews mentioned that it was overpowering. I was going to add it, but after smelling it when I opened the spice can, I knew I had better not. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is very easy and fast for a working Mother. It also tastes great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The nutmeg made it taste strange almost sweet, and I halved the amount the recipe called for. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is probably the BEST mac n cheese I have ever had and I have had a lot of mac n cheese (I have 3 small boys). Thanks, Rach, and keep up the great work!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a very easy recipe that I make about once a month. We really love it for a quick meal. Left overs are just as delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am not a huge fan of nutmeg so I cut it in half per prior suggestions that it was over powering; bad idea because it had no flavor & I had to sprinkle it on top. I'd also add a little extra cayenne or more salt if doing this again. Finally, it was dry so I would probably make 1 1/2 batches of the sauce to mix with the pasta. Although next time I'd probably just make the box kind as it's easier and about equal flavorwise. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish was pretty good. I liked the cayenne pepper and nutmeg seasoning in the sauce. It gave it a nice little kick. It wasn't as creamy as I hoped, also the flour and milk cut the cheesy flavor of the dish in half. The sauce reminded me of a cheesy version of a breakfast gravy served on biscuits. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We made this for our son's 2nd birthday party. The family loved it. Several people left with a copy of this particular recipe. Goes excellent with a grilled hot dog. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was super easy and very quick to make. If I can do it anyone can. I sprinkled some bread crumbs on top before broiling it to add a bit more flavor. I also added 1/2 cup parm. cheese into the cheese mixture. It was delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My daughter will not eat mac and cheese unless it comes from the box. But when I made this recipe she ate two bowls of it. My husband loved it too. I know some of the reviews complained it was dry...but my dish came out very creamy and tasty. I did only use 1/4 tsp of nutmeg to play it safe...and it turned out perfect! Delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe's sauce was a great consistency, but I thought the taste was a little lackluster. I didn't add the nutmeg, as I don't care for it in savory dishes. But, maybe it was necessary. I think mixing a sharper cheese with the cheddar would have improved the taste. Still, not bad! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tastes great and very easy to make.. I added Emeril Essense instead of Nutmeg and Cayenne Pepper.. I tried it with the Nutmeg and Cayenne but to me it tastes better the Emeril Essense. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i loved this mac and cheese and it made making it homemade really easy item not reviewed by moderator and published
Am I the only one who thought this was dry??? I felt like I was eating plain noodles with nutmeg!!! I like my mac and cheese creamy!! I thought there was way too much pasta for the amount of sauce in this recipe. I would either cut the amount of pasta in 1/2 or I would double the sauce. I actually thought this was pretty bland. With the exception of the over-powering nutmeg flavor there really was no taste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've always been intimidated about making mac & cheese from scratch. But this is so fool-proof even I could do it! And better yet, it was delicious! I'll never turn to that blue box again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is very easy and the kids love it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was a little scared about making mac and cheese from scratch! But this recipe was easy to follow and the final product was so yummy! My whole family loved it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I crave mac and cheese occasionally, and have to eat GLUTEN FREE, so I used brown rice pasta. The dish was delicious. I will use this tremendously easy recipe every time I want mac and cheese. Thanks Rachel. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was very easy to make and very tasty. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I ccok often, but never made mac-n-cheese from scratch. This recipe was fabulous and I will definitely make it again. I LOVE the seasonings of nutmeg and cayenne pepper and the crunchy top adds a nice texture - very tasty. I was surprised at how easy homemade mac-n-cheese can be! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not sure if I did something wrong or not, seeing as some others had success with this. I used freshly grated cheddar instead of pre-packaged shredded cheddar, thinking this would make an outstanding difference. I wish I had used the crappy pre-shredded stuff because my freshly grated cheese didn't seem to want to spread at all through the pasta as I sprinkled it. It just sat and formed into clumps. The result was a very floury tasting macaroni with very little cheese taste. It was a lot of trouble for nothing. I was very bummed out. Don't think I'll even take a 2nd attempt at it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been looking for a mac and cheese recipe for awhile and this one is pretty good. I did not put the nutmeg in though, and added a little dry mustard. I cut the elbows to 8 oz instead of a pound since I cook for 2 people. Very cheesy and delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was by far the worst mac and cheese I have ever eaten. The nutmeg was too overpowering. It was very dry and greasy. I will never make this recipe again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe because my mother (or "mommy" as Ms Ray prefers) raves about Rachael Ray. My five-year-old wouldn't touch his after the first bite, and this child is not a picky eater in the least. I did not care for it much at all either, and will be sticking with Alton Brown's recipe from now on. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I enjoyed this recipe very much... I left out the nutmeg, but that's just me. Other ppl might enjoy it. For a good combo try serving this w/ tuna fish and cornbread. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for our Easter Dinner. The Macaroni and Cheese was very dry and the nutmeg overpowered every other flavor. I literally dumped the entire dish into the trash can after dinner. No one finished the portion they had put on their plate. I was very disappointed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great comfort food. Almost as fast as packaged mac and cheese, but so much better. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't realize exactly how much this would make and I ended up having it give it to my dinner party members to take home since we were in the process of moving at the time of making this. It was a hit with my dinner party! Comfort food at its best! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This macaroni and cheese recipe is really a crowd pleaser. My father hates macaroni and cheese and even he had a second helping!! I did need to doctor it up with a bit of salt and pepper after it was done cooking...but other than that, it was great! For a little bit of a different flavor try doing a combination of white cheddar and montery jack cheese. Mmmmm. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I will admit it is easy to put together but the nutmeg is just an awful taste-ruined the dish for us. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Everyone in the family loved it! I left out the nutmeg and cayenne and just added salt and pepper. I have a bunch of picky eaters and didn't want to add in an unfamiliar taste. When I first added the milk the sauce was clumpy but it became uniform after about a minute. Tasted like the slow baked one my mom used to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This mac and cheese is awesome and so easy to make. So much better than a box!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
the macaroni was ok, but not as good as it was made out to be. item not reviewed by moderator and published
very bad :( item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great recipe and even ready in 30 min! item not reviewed by moderator and published
.... this is so much better! I'd add a bit more saltiness to it next time I think as the white cheddar was not quite as salty as we thought, but otherwise it was fantastic! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe for mac & cheese was alright but wasn't the best I've had. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great recipe to throw together before a gathering that includes children. Both the adults and kids raved about it. It takes no longer than making a box, but it tastes much better! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I, too didn't use much nutmeg. I also "stole" someone else's idea to use french fried onions on top. That was a hit! (careful when you go to broil, it gets burned quickly). I thought it needed a little something more, so I put Lawry's salt instead of regular salt and it was really good. I'm new to cooking, and this was definitely do-able!! Thanks Rachel! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe to replace that boxed stuff. I omitted the nutmeg and added extra cayenne and it came out wonderfully! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been looking for a good easy mac n' chz recipe, and this one is it. I even had to subsitute regular cheddar because the commisary in our overseas base dosn't carry white cheddar, and it still turned out great. My son even liked it, and he dosn't like macaroni and cheese. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Need I say more? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this recipe because it was so easy! It doesn't require many ingredients and most of them I already had in my refrigerator. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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