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01/06/10 Baked Mac N Cheese

Another Alton Brown / Good Eats recipe. This one taught me a few lessons.

  • Always read the entire recipe first
  • Always read the entire recipe first
  • Dropping eggs on carpets tends to be messy
  • Go fetch everything the recipe calls for before starting
  • Timing, timing, timing …

I altered the recipe a bit based on what I had available, here is what I used:


  • 1/2 of elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbs butter + 3 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 tbs powdered mustard
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 medium egg
  • 5 oz mild yellow cheddar
  • 5 oz colby
  • 5 oz monterey jack
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To save you a little pain, do all this first…
Shred the cheeses if they aren’t already and mix together. Dice the onion and set aside. Mix the flour and mustard together and set aside. Lightly whip egg in small bowl and set aside. Premeasure the 3 cups of milk and set aside. Measure out the butter into 2 containers and let come to room temperature.


First, realize the following things which affect timing:

  • Al dente elbows takes roughly 6-7 minutes
  • Starting the sauce to simmer below will be roughly 15 minutes before mixing in the cheese
  • melting in 10oz of the cheese while stirring and keeping everything smooth took about 3-4 minutes
  • Prepping the panko took 2 minutes as my butter was straight from the fridge

So, In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente, pull from stove and drain completely when the sauce is at the simmering stage.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

The end result was happily eaten by my picky 3 year old who was happy to be served Mac n Cheese for dinner.

Original Recipe here: link