Who doesn’t love Mac n’ cheese? It’s cheesy. It’s delicious. It’s a southern comfort food. Something about it makes you think of home and also of your childhood.  I mean, it is after all one of the first solid foods you were probably introduced to as a kid. One word: Kraft. Haha I know I ate my fair share of it.

Once I met my husband, I was introduced to what he calls “the real stuff”.  He grew up eating only the homemade variety of my beloved Kraft Mac n’ cheese. His grandma is a Georgia farm gal and makes everything from scratch! I started making homemade Mac and realized it’s actually quite simple (and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand!).

Now, I will always have a special place in my heart for the boxed mac n’ cheese, but this “real” stuff is flippin’ delicious! Don’t be intimidated, it’s super quick and easy! Try it out!

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Individual Sized Mac n' Cheese

Ingredients:

8 oz (weight) dry pasta
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
8.5 oz cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
4 tablespoons of Panko bread crumbs, divided

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, cook pasta according to box instructions. I like to add a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of canola or olive oil to the water (totally optional). Drain pasta and set-aside until ready to use.

In a medium-large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour to create a roux. Whisk for about 1 minute to allow it to heat through. Whisking constantly, add in the milk and half & half and bring to a boil (it will begin to thicken).

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add in the cheese, 2 ounces at a time, mixing well. Season sauce with the salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Add cooked pasta into cheese sauce and toss to combine well.

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray 4 oven-safe ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly distribute the Mac n’ cheese among the four ramekins. Place ramekins onto a baking sheet before baking (in case any of the cheese spills over).

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Panko bread crumbs on top of each of the individual Mac n’ cheeses. Spray tops with non-stick cooking spray to help encourage browning. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350º. Turn oven to broil and broil just until tops brown (only 3-5 minutes). Keep a close eye so that they do not burn!

Remove from oven and serve hot! These babies are cheesy and delicious!