Down-Home Mac ‘n’ Cheese

This recipe can be made in any baking dish, but by making the cheese sauce in a cast-iron pan, you’re likely to get a nice crust that contrasts well with the creamy noodles and sauce.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 50 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni noodles
  • 5 oz. grated American cheese
  • 8 oz. grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cans evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dried mustard
  • 1⁄8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until slightly underdone. Drain and rinse in cool water to stop it from cooking. Reserve 1⁄2 cup of the pasta water. Shred the cheese.
  • Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once it’s heated through add the butter and the flour. Stir continually for 2 minutes until the butter has melted and the flour has thickened. Very slowly pour in one can of milk. If it begins to get lumpy, stop pouring, and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add in the two remaining cans of milk with the dried spices. Whisk the ingredients into the sauce and stir it continually for 4 minutes. It should begin to thicken.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the pasta water. Stir in the cheese 1 handful at a time to melt evenly. Stir in the pasta in two batches, coating evenly.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese across the top and bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes before serving.