Classic Macaroni and Cheese

In the world of macaroni and cheese, there's a broad spectrum of possibilities. Versions that are geared for adults tend to be decadent with exotic cheeses—and too much of them—and are often flavored with indulgences like black truffles, prosciutto, even lobster. On the other hand, kid-friendly recipes tend to go too easy on the cheese—and on the flavor. We developed a recipe that hits the middle ground: it's rich and undeniably cheesy, but with sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack as the cheeses, it's a classic version, one that the whole family can agree on.

This recipe will require that you put to use your knowledge of boiling: the pasta is boiled (note that it's cooked past the al dente stage) and the cheese sauce must be brought to a boil in order for it to thicken properly. The crowning glory is a sprinkling of buttery homemade bread crumbs to add textural contrast.

Total Cooking Time: 60

Preparation Time: 15

Active Cooking Time: 30

Make Ahead: Serve immediately

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Difficulty: Intermediate

Core Equipment

The right tool can make or break a recipe. At America's Test Kitchen, we test kitchen equipment in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. Since we accept no advertising, our ratings are unbiased. Check out our recommended products for the equipment you'll need in this course.
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