This stovetop side dish is made even more crave-worthy with a quick broil to create a beautifully browned topping.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups whole milk, room temperature
- 5 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided (about 2½ [8-ounce] blocks)
- 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ to 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
- 1 (16-ounce) box large elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
- Preheat oven to broil.
- In a medium Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. When butter is melted and bubbling, add flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Working in batches, add 4 cups cheese, a little at a time, whisking until completely combined after each addition. Add cream cheese, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, and hot sauce (if using), whisking until completely combined. Stir in cooked pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
- Broil until cheese is browned and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
MAKE A ROUX
Cooking the butter and flour together, or making a roux, creates the thickening base for the creamy cheese sauce.
WHISK IN MILK
Slowly add the milk while constantly whisking to dissolve any clumps of roux. Cook until the mixture is thickened and the whisk leaves a faint trace in the mixture.
ADD IN CHEESE
Whisk in cheese a handful at a time to create a creamy sauce. If added in all at once, the cheese can melt before being incorporated, creating a stringy texture.