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Baked 3 Cheese Mac and Cheese

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound box elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup each of fresh grated cheddar, gouda, and gruyere cheese + a little extra of each (a few tablespoons of each for topping at the end)
  • 1 stick of butter, divided
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 sleeve of ritz crackers, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups when crushed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Get a pot of salted water (it should taste like the ocean) boiling for your pasta. When boiling, add your macaroni and cook on the low end of your package instructions (if it gives you a range of 6-7 minutes, for example, boil it for 6 and drain immediately)
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of your butter over medium – medium high heat. When melted, whisk in your flour. Let this cook for about 30 seconds and then whisk in your milk (this goes faster if you microwave your milk first until it’s warm, but that step is totally optional)
  4. Bring this to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened. Once it’s simmering, it won’t take more than 5 minutes to thicken. Remove the sauce from the heat, season with salt and pepper, add your nutmeg, and stir in your cheese until everything has melted together (only the 1 cup of each cheese – not the extra few tablespoons of each – keep that set aside for now)
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  6. Add the pasta back into your pot and pour in the cheese sauce. Stir to combine and season to taste
  7. Add the mac and cheese into a 9×13 baking dish
  8. In a bowl, melt your remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add your crushed ritz crackers to the bowl and stir until the butter is coating the crackers evenly
  9. Sprinkle your remaining cheese evenly across the top of the macaroni and add your buttered crushed ritz crackers on top of the cheese in an even layer
  10. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes

Notes

You can switch up your cheeses here to be whatever you are feeling, but I recommend doing a mixture of different cheeses for some delicious variety in flavor!