Homemade baked mac and cheese with bread crumbs is simply one of my favorite foods.
Why you’ll love this recipe for mac and cheese best
You’re going to love this recipe for oven baked macaroni and cheese. Why? So many reasons. The cheese sauce is creamy and delicious in that comfort food southern way. I use Velveeta and cheddar cheeses plus a little chicken bullion then top with bread crumbs that get golden brown in the last few minutes of baking. So good! I’m betting this easy yet homemade macaroni and cheese recipe will be your new favorite!
Mom knows best
This baked macaroni and cheese always reminds me of my momma. (I added the breadcrumbs!) When I returned home after going away to college I was welcomed with a seemingly endless supply of creamy homemade macaroni and cheese. Macaroni and cheese is just one of those dishes that’s delicious, comforting and homey.
My mom’s homemade macaroni is what you might call the “Mac Daddy.” Mac Mommy? Gosh, this is getting cheesy…
Make it easy on yourself
So, I wanna let you in on a little secret to making homemade mac and cheese a little easier. It’s the pot. You can use a dutch oven or a cast iron skillet. With the dutch oven there’s no need to transfer the cheesy macaroni into an oven-safe pan before baking, you can take it right from the stove top to the oven. You can do the same with the cast iron skillet, the sides are just lower so it’s more difficult to stir without spilling but the presentation is nicer. So I guess which one you choose, depends on your priority there.
What’s the best dutch oven brand to buy?
Well, I’m not sure of that but I can tell you a little about the ones I’ve used. I used to own the Food Network dutch oven and I loved it. I actually purchased it from Kohl’s on Black Friday and didn’t know if I was going to use it that much but it was a great deal and they are not cheap otherwise. I quickly learned it’s very versatile! You can fry in it, make casseroles, popcorn and even bake bread in it! So dutch ovens in general are pretty awesome. I you don’t own one, I highly recommend making the investment.
But the point was, which one is the best. Well, the Food Network brand is pretty affordable compared to other brands. I am already on my second dutch oven though. The enamel started chipping on my first one I think because I used bleach to clean it. Apparently that’s a no no but I didn’t like the stains. I now have a Lodge dutch oven and I think I love that one even more. 🙂 It’s even more reasonably priced and I like the rounded shape of it more. So far it’s held up about a year and it hasn’t stained like my other one did although, that may be because I know better how to use it now. 😬
But what about a cast iron skillet
As you may have noticed, the photos show my macaroni and cheese baked in my cast iron skillet. I knew I was going to be taking photos so I opted for the prettier presentation. As I mentioned, you can still create your cheesy roux in the skillet, add your noodles and then transfer the skillet into the oven, it’s just a little harder to contain the macaroni noodles when you stir in the cheese. So if you have either a cast iron skillet or a dutch oven, you’re good to go. If not, no biggie, you’ll just have to use an extra casserole dish when transferring from the stove top to the oven to bake.
What’s the deal with adding barbecue sauce to macaroni and cheese?
This is a southern thing. The barbecue sauce is completely optional but if you’re serving this mac and cheese with something like pulled pork, ribs or even grilled chicken, then the barbecue sauce really works.
What other food goes well with mac and cheese?
My favorite way to serve mac and cheese is with pork ribs smothered in good quality barbecue with a side of broccoli slaw! And maybe a side of corn bread or corn casserole. 🙂
Try the 3-2-1 Ribs method for cooking pork ribs. It’s a no-fail easy way to cook ribs whether you’re a noob or pro.
Mac and cheese is a great side dish for any meal though, really. It pairs well with most any main dish.