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My Grandma’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese, an Easy Make Ahead T-Day Side Dish

My Grandma. Wasn’t she a dish?

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My Grandma was a Mom to 7 children in your typical Boston Irish-Catholic family, so you can be sure her recipes were economical, no fuss meals that could feed a big group. This macaroni and cheese is one of them, and it reheats well, so no one will be able to tell you made it before the big day. She’s not here anymore so I can’t ask her where this came from, and my Aunts aren’t sure either, so don’t yell at me if you’ve seen it somewhere else. Doing a quick google search I found similar recipes, but none like this exactly. The kicker? Italian bread crumbs. They add a crunchy depth of flavor, and the Italian seasoning compliments the cheese perfectly, bringing out a rich savoriness that can’t be beat.

You’ll love it as much as I loved her. Well, almost.

Ingredients

  • 1 box elbow macaroni (1 lb)
  • 1 package American cheese slices (16 slices) – break the slices up into pieces
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • salt (couple of shakes)
  • pepper (couple of shakes)

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STEP 1: Boil macaroni till tender, drain and put in casserole dish.

STEP 2: Combine milk, flour, butter, salt & pepper in a saucepan and heat up over medium heat. When warm, add cheese gradually until it’s all melted. Stir often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

STEP 3: Pour cheese mixture over macaroni. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and finish with a couple pats of butter.

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Pre-baking photo with swabs of butter. Tip – elbow macaroni works the best because it just holds all that cheese in. Don’t try pinwheels or crazy stuff like that – I saw someone do that once and it was disappointing.

STEP 4: Cook in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

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Luscious creaminess with savory bread crumbs, it tastes like a million bucks even though it only cost a few dollars to make.

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