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Mona Lou's Famous Homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Author: Mona Lou via Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or Avocado oil-- remember the olive oil you buy matters
  • 3 1/2 cups Kroger elbow macaroni-- Mom said Grandma always insisted that it had to be Kroger brand…??? *These days I love Einkorn pasta and it always turns out just fine!
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt to go into the pasta water.
  • Cold butter for greasing your dish, Mom uses a can of no-stick spray, but a cold stick of butter is just as easy and without the chemicals…Oh and pastured butter is always best… (Update, now there is a good no-stick spray option!)
  • Sea salt & pepper to your taste.
  • 2-8 ounce packages of shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese (I often use regular cheddar if that's what I have).
  • Milk – about 1-2 cups, preferably whole milk or cream for extra yumminess.
  • Few slices of colby cheese for the top or more shredded cheese.
  • 5 or 6 more pats of butter for the top.

Instructions

  • Boil water in a large pot, add oil and salt. Add macaroni and stir well several times during the 8 minutes it cooks. Drain well in a colander, running hot water over the macaroni.
  • Use a cold stick of butter to grease a large 4 quart glass bowl or spray with baking spray. Or these days I often bake it in a big 10×14 stainless steel baking pan, because my favorite part is the browned cheese on top, and this way there is a lot more of the yummy cheese in each serving.
  • Put the macaroni into your baking dish and add sea salt, pepper, and the cheese, stir well. Add milk just until you can barely see it coming up the sides of the macaroni.  Put colby cheese and butter on top. 
  • Another way I do it is to put the macaroni back into the pan it cooked in, then add the salt, pepper, and cheese and about 1/2 cup cream or milk. Stir it in good and add more milk or cream for extra creaminess. This way you can get it just how you want it and THEN transfer to your baking dish. Add more cheese and butter on top.
  • Bake 375*-400* for about 1 1/4 hours, depending on how hot your oven is – it should be just light brown on top.