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Super Creamy Mac and Cheese

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Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into cubes
1-1/2 cups light cream
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 (16 ounce) box elbow macaroni
4 cups shredded CoJack cheese
2 cups shredded Havarti or Swiss cheese
1-1/2 cups light cream
5 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Salt and pepper

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Super Creamy Mac and Cheese

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

I love Mac and Cheese. But the homemade version always seems to fall short. Unless you are going to make a stovetop recipe, the baked ones are never creamy enough. And they are never flavorful enough.

In fact, I should be embarrassed to admit that my favorite is the boxed Kraft Mac and Cheese. I love American cheese. And I love how creamy the sauce is – even though it’s full of all kinds of emulsifiers and additives.

So getting a nice Mac and Cheese is a challenge. I decided to make two sauces – one made right on the pasta, and another in the microwave, stirred into the pasta just before it’s baked.

In order to have a creamy finish, any baked Mac and Cheese has to have a lot of liquid. I mean a LOT of liquid. So don’t be alarmed when you see how runny the mixture is when it goes into the baking dish. It will all turn out fine.

I promise.

You can make this without baking for an even creamier version. Omit the pasta water, reduce the last amount of light cream to 1 cup. Stir everything together over low heat until the pasta is al dente and the sauce is really creamy.

Enjoy this fabulous recipe and make it when it’s cold and sleety outside. Your tummy (and family) will thank you.

Steps

1
Done

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Spray a 13" x 9" glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2
Done

Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups light cream, and Dijon in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, then remove and stir with a wire whisk.

3
Done

If the cream cheese mixture is smooth and creamy, you can stop there. If not, microwave for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Set aside.

4
Done

Cook the pasta in the boiling water, but take it off the heat 2 minutes sooner than the package recommends. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce in the oven.

5
Done

When the pasta is done (remember, cook it 2 minutes less than you should), drain it, first reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot and put it on low heat.

6
Done

Add all but 1/2 cup of the CoJack, and all but 1/2 cup of the Havarti, along with the second amount of 1-1/2 cups light cream and butter. Stir gently until the butter and cheese melt.

7
Done

Then stir in the cream cheese mixture. Add the reserved pasta water too. Stir in the bacon.

8
Done

Pour it all into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the reserved CoJack and Havarti cheeses, then sprinkle with the Parm.

9
Done

Bake the pasta for 25-35 minutes or until it's nice and bubbly around the edges. Dig in.

lindaBest

Linda Larsen has a B.A. in Biology from St. Olaf College, and a B.S. in Food Science and Nutrition with High Distinction from the University of Minnesota. She has worked for the Pillsbury Company on the Bake-Off and in their test kitchens since 1988. Linda has written 37 cookbooks (and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005.

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