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Classic Macaroni and Cheese (America's Test Kitchen)


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Rate this recipe 3.6/5 (40 Votes)


  • 2 Cups Panko breach crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (cold)
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt



Step 1

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler.
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat.
Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender; drain and set aside in colander.
In now empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming.
Add flour, mustard, and cayenne and whisk well to combine.
Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken).
Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes.
Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted.
Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
Transfer mixture to broiler safe 9 by 13" baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumb mixture.
Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning.
Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.


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