If you’re looking for a savory, down-home comfort food, this homemade mac packed with caramelized onions is not to be missed.
Caramelized Onion Mac and Cheese
Makes 8 servings
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 4 cups chopped Vidalia onion
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 cups shredded fontina cheese, divided
- ¾ pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
- Garnish: fresh thyme, ground black pepper
- Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; add 1 tablespoon butter, stirring until butter is melted. Add onion, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden brown and softened, about 8 minutes. (Onion will not be tender at this point.) Stir in 2 tablespoons water. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft, about 45 minutes. Remove from skillet.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large saucepan, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk, thyme, remaining 1¼ teaspoons salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Add ¾ cup cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.
- In a large bowl, stir together cooked pasta, onion, cheese sauce, and ¾ cup cheese. Spoon pasta mixture into skillet. Cover with foil.
- Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes more. Garnish with thyme and pepper, if desired.