Are you thinking of serving pasta for your kids? Or even for those who are kids at heart? If yes, then I’ve got the perfect answer for you: Macaroni and cheese. Mac-and-cheese is every kid’s favorite and even those who are only kids at heart enjoy it! I mean, you just can’t go wrong with serving this cheesy, creamy goodness! It’s also really easy to make, which makes it perfect for serving on any occasion! I love to cook macaroni and cheese in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The mac and cheese bake time are key for a good result. Now the question is this. How long to bake mac and cheese at 400 degrees in the oven? Let’s touch on this and also hear some tips on perfecting the recipe for homemade mac and cheese baked in oven.
For an oven at 400 degrees, you only need to bake your mac and cheese for 20 minutes! Since most of the components are already cooked before putting it in the oven, it doesn’t need much time in the oven, since you mostly just want to get the crunchy cheese top and melted cheese inside.
You can also choose to lower the temp to around 350-375 degrees. At 375 degrees, you can cook the mac and cheese in the oven in 30 minutes. However, there will be lesser crisp on your cheese top and your macaroni will turn out more moist. If you don’t like any crispy, then 350 degrees will be the better option. Cooking mac and cheese at 350 degrees in the oven takes 45 minutes. Based on experience though, I prefer 400 degrees because it’s faster and more efficient! And I get a crispy cheese top. Though, you also can’t go beyond 400 degrees because that will risk burning your cheese.
There are many recipes for homemade mac and cheese on the internet. But I always stick to this one easy mac and cheese recipe. And here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese in the oven.
To make mac and cheese, all you need to do is to first boil your macaroni pasta for 8-10 minutes or until it becomes al dente. You can also refer to the packaging instructions to have the exact time (This is originally elbow macaroni, but you can also use penne or pennette if you like!). Then, simply drain your pasta and set it aside!
Now, you just have to use a skillet and whisk together flour, butter, and milk until it thickens. Once it thickens, just fold in your cheese! I use cheddar for this, but you can also use other types of cheese you want to use!
Then, allow your cheese to melt while you season it with salt, pepper, thyme, dry basil, oregano, and other seasonings you want to add! Once you’re satisfied with your sauce, simply remove it from heat and stir in or fold in your cooked pasta! Make sure to mix it well with the sauce!
Then, transfer that to a baking pan and pop it in the oven for baking! And, you’re done! The classic mac-and-cheese is simple and easy, yet it will amaze you once it reaches your taste buds!
Macaroni and cheese is just perfect in every sense! While it’s quick and easy, I’m sure your guests can’t wait much longer for your pasta dish to be served! SO, if you need to cut some of the prep time and serve plates faster, here’s what you can do.
Some recipes skip the oven baking part to save time. This is okay too since your pasta’s already done the moment you mix it with the sauce! So, if you’re in bad need of more time, you can skip the baking part! (If you still want to melt the cheese on top, you can blow torch that part if you have one.)
You can make your mac and cheese ahead of time! Around a few hours before the actual dinner, you can already make your mac and cheese and put it in the pan, then, refrigerate it! Just put it back out when you’re already about to cook, to serve it hot and fresh!
You can also choose to cook your mac and cheese the one-pot way wherein you only use one pot for all your components! This can make things faster as you’re only working on one pan or skillet.
Yum! Yes! You just can’t go wrong with mac and cheese! I’m sure your dish won’t have any leftovers and your guests will even ask for more! I just know your mac and cheese is going to amaze them! So, why don’t we take it to the next level? Here’s what you can do to make your great dish even better.
While the original and classic mac and cheese is just macaroni and cheese, your dish will be better with some protein! Whether that’s bacon, ham, or ground beef, it’s totally up to you!
The key to a good mac-and-cheese will be the cheese! So, you can try out different cheeses like parmesan, mozzarella, or cheddar and see what works best for you! You can even do three-cheese or four-cheese dishes!
No dish is ever complete without side dishes! Meatballs, chili, and some greens are sides that go well with mac and cheese! So choose your favourite side dishes to eat with your mac and cheese.
Mac and cheese is just an absolute delight! No matter who and no matter what occasion, you just can’t go wrong with mac and cheese! Another thing I love about mac and cheese is the fact that it doesn’t take much to prepare it! It’s relatively easy to make, yet it still tastes amazing! I hope this guide can help you in baking your homemade mac and cheese to absolute perfection and that you and your guests enjoy this wonderful, cheesy, delight! Happy eating!
I normally prepare 7 ounces of mac and cheese per person per serving. 5 ounces is for macaroni and 2 ounces is for cheese. I also prepare 1 meat and 2 veggie dishes with the macaroni and cheese as the main course. And so far, my friends and family have always given me feedback that this portion is just nice.