No need to buy the boxed stuff anymore—this will become your new go-to for busy weeknights. Our oh-so-easy macaroni-and-cheese recipe takes just 20 minutes to make, and it will please the even pickiest eaters in your home. You'll love sitting down at the end of the day with a comforting bowl of homemade mac and cheese. If you love this mac-and-cheese recipe, you’ll want to try these other riffs on the dish. We’re all about quick-fix weeknight suppers to feed the whole family, and these oven-baked pasta recipes and one-dish dinners are hard to beat.
You’re just a few simple steps away from enjoying this rich, creamy dish. First, combine 4 qts. of water and ¼ cup of salt in a Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, microwave 1 qt. of milk on HIGH for three minutes. In a cast-iron skillet, melt 6 Tbsp. of butter. Add 6 Tbsp. of flour, and stir to combine. Gradually add the hot milk to the skillet, slowly whisking to combine. Once the pasta water is boiling, you’re ready to add 1 lb. of cavatappi pasta. We like to use these corkscrew noodles when making macaroni and cheese. Cook the noodles to the desired degree on doneness. Drain the pasta, and set it aside. Add 8 oz. of Monterey Jack cheese to the milk mixture in the cast-iron skillet. Throw in another 8 oz. of extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, and whisk to combine. Add 1 ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, and 1 tsp. hot sauce to the cheese mixture. Stir until the sauce is thoroughly combined. Add the cooked noodles to the cheese mixture, and stir until all noodles are coated. In a separate bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of panko and 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Spread the mixture on top of the macaroni and cheese. Place the cast-iron skillet in the oven, and broil it for 1-2 minutes, or until the top of the macaroni and cheese is crisp and golden brown. Serve and enjoy this simple yet delicious pasta dish.