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Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese


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  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

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Description

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese is a cheese lover’s dream! Pasta shells are completely coated in a decadently creamy, 3- cheese sauce, topped with a garlic butter cracker topping and baked until perfectly golden on top. Each spoonful is pure bliss! Make your mac and cheese dreams come true with this Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese.


Ingredients

Scale

For the mac and cheese:

  • 2 cups heavy cream (or whole milk)
  • 1 cup milk (2% works great here)
  • 4 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz processed cheese, such as Velveeta, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound medium pasta shells

For the topping:

  • 1 cup crushed saltine crackers
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

For the mac and cheese:

  1. Pour the heavy cream and milk into a large skillet or braiser and slowly bring to a low simmer over low heat. Whisk in the the white cheddar, mozzarella, and Velveeta cheese until creamy and smooth, being careful to not allow the sauce to boil as it will cause it to separate. Whisk occasionally until smooth, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Boil the pasta according to package instructions and drain. Fold the pasta shells into the cheese sauce until completely coated. Season with the salt.

For the topping:

  1. Preheat your broiler to high, or your oven to 350 degrees if preferred. In a small bowl, combine the crushed saltines, butter and garlic salt. Evenly top the mac and cheese with the topping.
  2. If using your broiler, broil the macaroni and cheese for about 5 minutes, rotating occasionally, until perfectly golden on top. If you are using a 350 degree oven, bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, being careful to not over-bake as the mac and cheese won’t be as saucy.
  3. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you don’t have heavy cream, you can use whole milk.
  • Any small pasta shape can be used, but shells work perfectly to hold all the cheesy sauce!
  • You can use your broiler or preheated oven to brown the top of the macaroni and cheese. I prefer to use the broiler as it is quicker and you don’t have to worry as much about over-baking the sauce.
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