The cheesy, creamy goodness of macaroni and cheese is simply unparalleled, but baking the classic dish is a close runner up. Give this baked mac n’ cheese recipe a shot and let us know where you stand — baked, or creamy?
For the macaroni and cheese:
- 16 ounces pasta
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the topping:
- 40 Ritz crackers (about 1.5 sleeves), crushed
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and butter a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Heat up a large pot of water for the pasta and cover. Add in the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Make the sauce in a large saucepan, melting the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until it browns. Slowly whisk in the milk and allow mixture to come to a simmer. Then, stir in the cheddar cheese a handful at a time until completely melted.
- Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat. Add the pasta in with the sauce and stir, then move it all into a casserole dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together the crushed Ritz crackers, crumbled bacon and parsley. Sprinkle the macaroni and cheese with the topping mixture. Bake the entire thing in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, then let set for another 10 minutes before serving.