Classic comfort food but better, with cream cheese and buttery Ritz cracker crumbs. Everyone will be asking for the recipe!
- 1 pound short-cut pasta
- 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 cheese (grated)
- 4 ounces cream cheese (cut into ½” cubes)
- 36 round buttery crackers (crackers, like Ritz)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Spray a 9x13” baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Using a cheese grater or food processor fitted with a grating attachment, grate the cheddar, Gruyere or Swiss, and gouda cheeses. Set aside.
- Cut the cream cheese into ½” cubes. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt.
- Add the noodles to the water. Cook for 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
- Drain the pasta in a large colander, and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Once melted, add the flour. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
- Continue whisking for 1-2 minutes, until the roux turns slightly golden and begins to smell toasty.
- Slowly stream the milk into the pot while continuing to whisk.
- Cook the mixture, whisking steadily for 4-5 minutes, until it begins to thicken and bubble.
- Once bubbling, turn off the heat. Add the ground mustard, salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Add the cheeses to the pot one handful at a time, whisking slowly after each addition.
- Once the sauce is smooth, add the drained pasta noodles to the pot. Stir until combined.
- Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish.
- Place 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.
- Transfer the cracker crumbs to a large bowl.
- Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30-40 seconds, until melted.
- Pour the melted butter over the cracker crumbs. Mix with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
- Sprinkle the cracker crumbs in an even layer over the pasta. Transfer the dish to the preheated oven.
- Bake the macaroni and cheese for 25-28 minutes, until the edges are bubbling and the cracker crumbs are slightly browned.
- Remove the dish from the oven. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.
PER SERVING *
|Calories430Calories from Fat280|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
|Calories from Fat280|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.