This warm, cheesy, delicious Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe will satisfy your hunger and put a smile on your face! Eat it as a side dish or the main course.
Usually when I make macaroni and cheese I like to finish it in the oven in a baking dish, like this:
But this time I thought I’d fancy it up a bit and serve all the cheesy goodness in individual portions!
I wish I could show you the look on the husband’s face when I brought this to him last Sunday. It was a cold and stormy day and this gooey mac-and-cheese made us feel super cozy.
Cheese shots are the best, right? I like the warm melty parts, but the husband likes the crisped-up outer pieces of baked cheese. We’re a match made in heaven. Just like…. macaroni and cheese. Okay, I may have taken that one a bit far.
But I don’t think I’m taking it too far when I say this is the “best ever” mac-and-cheese. It has the luscious, creamy center with that crisped outer layer and the peppers and jack cheese just give it a real depth of flavor.
It’s also super easy to make, and takes just 45 minutes including the time to boil the noodles and bake it in the oven.
Now, go build yourself a fire and make yourself a bit ol’ batch of this macaroni and cheese!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
- 4 cups dried Macaroni noodles
- 1 Red Bell Pepper - finely chopped
- 1 Jalapeno pepper - seeded and minced
- 1 Anaheim pepper - finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 pound Cheddar cheese - shredded (plus a little more for topping)
- 1/4 pound Pepperjack cheese - shredded
- 1/4 pound Gruyere or Fontina cheese - shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook macaroni for about 5 minutes. The noodles should still be very firm. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, saute the bell pepper, jalapeno, Anaheim pepper in one tablespoon of butter until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Return the empty pasta pot to the stove and melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat. Once hot, sprinkle in the flour and cook for five minutes, whisking constantly. The flour mixture will bubble up and froth in the pan.
- Whisk the whole milk and ground mustard into the flour mixture. Continue cooking and stirring for another five minutes, or until the mixture is very thick. Reduce heat to low.
- Beat one egg in a small bowl. Take ¼ cup of the sauce and slowly drizzle it into the bowl containing the beaten egg while whisking constantly. This will temper the egg and keep it from scrambling.
- Whisk the egg mixture into the large pot. Add in the grated cheeses, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and nutmeg. Stir well.
- Return the cooked macaroni to the pot and stir. Fold in the sauteed vegetables. Pour it into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish (or individual dishes) and top with extra grated cheese. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
I used this recipe tonight and my husband and I LOVED this! The way the pepper jack and other cheese came together with the peppers was fantastic.
Just a couple notes on the recipe card above that got me confused and I had to guess-
1. At what point do you add all the spices? The nutmeg, paprika, cayenne were just sitting on my counter as I was taking the steps in your recipe- but then I realized they needed to go in! I ended up just tossing in some spices to the cheese mixture before adding the noodles back into the pot. Would it have been better to sauté the peppers/garlic with the spices? Let me know what you do.
2. When do you toss in the peppers/garlic mix in with the cheese mixture? I added them into the cheese mixture pot before adding in the macaroni.
Anyway, husband is still giving praises and made sure I “saved the recipe.” 🙂 Thanks!
Um, thank you so much for pointing out the error in that recipe! It’s all fixed now. I made this exactly the way you did! Nice work 🙂
Mac and cheese is my absolute favorite, I will have to give this variation a try! I make mine a different way, but am always willing to explore other options!
The best thing about Mac & Cheese is that there are so many ways to make it! More opportunities for me to eat a bunch of it 🙂