New Orleans Baked Mac ‘N’ Cheese
This mac ‘n’ cheese recipe may be a little different from what you are used to eating. In New Orleans, we make our mac ‘n’ cheese with spaghetti. Yes, you read that right. We also call it baked spaghetti. Regardless of what you call it, this is a great comforting dish.
for 8 servings
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for boiling
- 1 lb dried spathetti (455 g)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 qt half & half (1 L)
- ½ cup heavy cream (120 mL)
- 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (400 g), divided
- 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (200 g), divided
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (200 g), divided
- Calories 1298
- Fat 94g
- Carbs 56g
- Fiber 14g
- Sugar 6g
- Protein 57g
Estimated values based on one serving size.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain the spaghetti and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne and whisk to combine.
- Gradually add the half-and-half, whisking for 30–60 seconds between each addition until starting to thicken before adding more. Whisk in the heavy cream until the sauce is smooth and no lumps remain. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot.
- Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in 2 cups (200 g) cheddar, 1 cup (100 g) pepper Jack, and 1 cup (100 g) mozzarella until the cheese is melted. Remove the pot from the heat.
- Add the spaghetti to a 9 x 13-inch (13 x 22 cm) baking dish and pour the cheese sauce on top. Stir well to coat the noodles with the sauce.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the remaining 2 cups (200 g) cheddar, 1 cup (100 g) pepper Jack, and 1 cup (100 g) mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the spaghetti.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.
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