Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese! Starting with a milk-and-egg base, seasoned with smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and dijon mustard and loaded with a blend of delicious cheeses, this is the only baked mac and cheese you’ll ever need!
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I can’t believe 2020 is almost over. It’s been a long, hard year for all of us. I’m taking this time to rest, reflect and cook. It’s just the four of us for Christmas (just like Thanksgiving) and I’ve planned our Christmas dinner menu. Just like for Thanksgiving, I ordered our dinner from Founding Farmers: their Herb-Crusted Prime Rib Christmas Dinner for 4. In addition to this, I’m making some more sides and some rolls.
Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese
This holiday season, as with all holiday seasons, I am absolutely fine with indulging. I believe in not denying yourself, enjoying the food you eat and love a balance of rich and healthy foods. So, for example, my plate will be filled with prime rib, mashed potatoes, green beans, a good amount of salad and a rich, indulgent side like this Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese.
This dish is very similar to my stovetop macaroni and cheese but the method and preparation is different. I also use more cheese, which, like I said over the holidays, I’m completely fine doing.
Normally, I would tell you to grate your own cheese. But it’s 2020 and we just survived the hardest year ever. So, these are the pre-shredded cheeses I bought to make this dish. I bought the Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese and the Two State Farmers’ Shredded Cheddar Cheese which combines the best of New York and Vermont for a smooth blend of sharp and mild cheeses. I also see they have a mac and cheese shredded cheese which I will have to try next time!
Please know this! Not all pre-shredded cheeses are the same. Some are lightly coated in cornstarch and may result in a grainy macaroni and cheese. If you don’t want to risk it, I’d say grate your own cheeses and use a blend of sharp cheddar, mild cheddar and/or a colby jack!
Enjoy!!! Wishing everyone a happy, joyous and peaceful holiday season!
Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Cast iron skillet
- 1 lb. medium shell pasta
- 1 cup milk whole or 2%
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika + more if desired
- 2 cups Sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups mild cheddar, mozzarella or Colby Jack shredded
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add in the shell pasta and cook a little under al dente, for about 4 minutes. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the milk and eggs. Add in the cooked pasta, melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, smoked paprika, 2 cups sharp Cheddar, salt and pepper, and stir until well combined.
- Pour the shell pasta mixture into a large sized cast iron skillet, in an even layer. Cover with aluminum foil, transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Carefully remove and discard the aluminum foil. Top the shell pasta mixture with the remaining 2 cups of cheese. Place back into the oven for about 5 minutes. Then, switch the oven setting to Broil and broil until the cheese is browned in spots, for about 4 to 5 minutes. (The broiled cheese can go from golden to burnt fairly quickly, so keep a close eye on it.) Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here. This recipe looks so delicious but I was very surprised that there was no added seasoning. I think adding the Worcestershire sauce, dijon and smoked paprika takes this recipe up a notch!