Creamy Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Yummly
Creamy Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
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Description

The classic comfort food made extra creamy by the addition of cream cheese, and topped with buttery Ritz cracker crumbs. Everyone will be asking for the recipe!

Ingredients

  • nonstick spray
  • 1 pound short-cut pasta (elbow macaroni)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or white)
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 4 ounces gruyere cheese (grated)
  • 4 ounces gouda (grated)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (cut into ½” cubes)
  • 36 round buttery crackers (crackers, ex: Ritz)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)

Directions

  1. 1Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. 2Spray a 9x13” baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. 3Using a cheese grater or food processor fitted with a grating attachment, grate the cheddar, Gruyere or Swiss, and gouda cheeses. Set aside.
  4. 4Cut the cream cheese into ½” cubes. Set aside.
  5. 5Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt.
  6. 6Add the noodles to the water. Cook for 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
  7. 7Drain the pasta in a large colander, and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  8. 8In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
  9. 9Once melted, add the flour. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
  10. 10Continue whisking for 1-2 minutes, until the roux turns slightly golden and begins to smell toasty.
  11. 11Slowly stream the milk into the pot while continuing to whisk.
  12. 12Cook the mixture, whisking steadily for 4-5 minutes, until it begins to thicken and bubble.
  13. 13Once bubbling, turn off the heat. Add the ground mustard, salt, and black pepper to taste.
  14. 14Add the cheeses to the pot one handful at a time, whisking slowly after each addition.
  15. 15Once the sauce is smooth, add the drained pasta noodles to the pot. Stir until combined.
  16. 16Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish.
  17. 17Place the crackers in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse 4 or 5 times, or until they are the texture of coarse sand.
  18. 18Transfer the cracker crumbs to a large bowl.
  19. 19Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30-40 seconds, until melted.
  20. 20Pour the melted butter over the cracker crumbs. Mix with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
  21. 21Sprinkle the cracker crumbs in an even layer over the pasta. Transfer the dish to the preheated oven.
  22. 22Bake the macaroni and cheese for 25-28 minutes, until the edges are bubbling and the cracker crumbs are slightly browned.
  23. 23Remove the dish from the oven. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.
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