Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

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With satisfying heft and bright flavor, this custard-based mac and cheese has lots going for it--as long as you can keep the eggs from scrambling.

SERVES4 to 6

TIME1½ hours, plus 20 minutes resting

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

Unlike standard, saucy, béchamel-based macaroni and cheese, Southern-style macaroni and cheese is made with a cold custard, and bakes into a nearly sliceable casserole. Starting with cold custard required long baking to get the center to se... Read More

GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS

*

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

The macaroni will still be firm after cooking according to the directions in step 1 (it will finish cooking in the oven). Barilla Elbows won the test kitchen's taste test of elbow macaroni.

1

INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large saucepan. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt and cook for 5 minutes. Drain macaroni; set aside. Toss mild cheddar with cornstarch; set aside.

2

In now-empty saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat. Add panko and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl and reserve.

3

Return saucepan to medium heat and melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in water and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

4

Remove cream sauce from heat and whisk in mild cheddar–cornstarch mixture until melted. Whisk in eggs, yolk, and Worcestershire. Stir in parcooked macaroni. Transfer macaroni and cheese to 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese, then panko. Bake until well browned and set, 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 20 -minutes. Serve.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.

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