My mac and cheese is pretty simple: elbows, béchamel, extra sharp cheddar, salt and pepper, hot sauce. I usually serve it unbaked, as I find it creamier. But I’ve been assigned baked mac and cheese for my Thanksgiving contribution. Whenever I bake it (usually at 350), I find it too dry for my liking. I’ve tried upping the amount of cheese sauce and briefly broiling the top instead of longer baking, but still not creamy enough. Any suggestions for keeping it very creamy? Is baked mac and cheese naturally more dry than non-baked? Might just be a personal preference thing on my part. :)

  • 2979 views
  • 6 Comments

6 Comments

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser November 22, 2010

Yes, I think it's going to be less creamy because of the baking process. I'd make the cheese sauce a little thinner (adding more milk probably) and yes, would use about 20% more of it. I'd bake it at 300 degrees (so it warms rather than cooks) and then, yes, broiling it like you did -- that was a great idea!

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Kayb
Kayb November 22, 2010

I'm with Amanda -- I bake mine, occasionally, and when I do, it's always with additional milk to thin down the sauce, and going with a "soupier" product pre-baking. I top with a combo of bread crumbs and parmesan, and just bake long enough to crisp that up.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
mrslarkin
mrslarkin November 22, 2010

I hardly ever bake mine, but a good thing to do is slightly undercook your pasta, like just under al dente, so the pasta won't be overcooked once it has finished baked. And I agree, use more cheese sauce.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
cheater chef
cheater chef November 22, 2010

Why bake, make it your way. Bring your recipe the way you like it.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
pierino
pierino November 22, 2010

The fancy French term for bechamel with cheese is sauce mornay. As Amanda has suggested you can make it "looser" but also mentally factor in the moisture content of the cheese you are choosing to use. It can make a big difference if it's a really dry cheese as compared to say, Velveeta.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
campagnes
campagnes November 23, 2010

awesome.. thanks for all the feedback! I agree, cheaterchef, I'd love to just bring my own mac and cheese, but they really dig that crunchy top, so I'm stuck with baked. :) I'll increase a slightly thinner cheese sauce and see how that goes.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Showing 6 out of 6 Comments Back to top
Recommended by Food52