Sunday, November 2, 2014

Baked Three Cheese and Macaroni


It is the most anticipated/dreaded meal of the year.  We get so stressed out over what to make and how to prepare it that The Food Network actually has an entire month dedicated to it. But, let's face it, all of this anxiety is totally warranted.  IT'S A BIG DEAL!  This year, however, things are going to be different.  I am going to take the next couple of weeks and share with you my family's traditional Thanksgiving menu, with all of the step-by-step pictures you love, that will ENSURE you have nothing but success at this year's family feast!  

Let's get started with my Baked Three Cheese and Macaroni! It's a REAL crowd pleaser and I KNOW you are going to love it.  The best part, it can be made ahead of time and baked off on the big day!

Baked Three Cheese and Macaroni:
*Prep Time: 12 min.  *Cook Time:  30 min.  *Difficulty: Easy  *Servings:  8-10


  • 1 lb. Box of Elbow Macaroni
  • 3 c. Half and Half
  • 8 oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 oz, Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • 3 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 10 Butter Crackers, crushed
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Since this is a baked mac & cheese, you will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

I would also take this time to shred the cheese.  This way it is ready to go when you need it.

Next, Fill a large pot with water and add salt.  It should be salty like the sea.
Bring the pot of water to a boil.

Once the pot of water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta.
Cook according to the instructions on the box.

While your pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium sized sauce pan.

To the melted butter add the flour.

Whisk the flour into the butter and let it cook until it turns a golden color.
This is a roux.  It is what will make your cheese sauce nice and thick.

To the roux add the half and half.
I like to let mine come to room temperature.  It helps to keep the flour from lumping.

Whisk until smooth.
Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it go for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens.

Now that your sauce has thickened, it is time to add the good stuff.
Put in the cream cheese and whisk until smooth.

Next, add the shredded cheeses.  Remember to save a little for the top though.
Whisk that until smooth as well.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Whisk that in.

Now add the Worcestershire Sauce.
Taste for seasoning one last time and make any adjustments.

By this time the pasta should be ready.
Drain off the water and return to the pot.

Pour the cheese sauce over it and stir together so that everything is WELL coated!

Next, pour the cheese covered pasta into a greased baking dish.
It is at this point that you can cover it and stick the baking dish in the refrigerator.

On the day you are ready to bake it off, top with the remainder of the shredded cheese.

Place the crackers in resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Sprinkle on top of the dish.

Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the cracker topping is golden brown.

Look at that!  Gorgeous!

Mmmm...Creamy, cheesy, gooey, a little crunchy.  Absolutely divine!  And so easy!  Follow this recipe and this Baked Three Cheese Macaroni CAN and WILL be on YOUR Thanksgiving table this year! Your family is going to go wild for it!

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
~The Kitchen Wife~


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