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Good Ole Baked Mac 'N Cheese

Updated: Apr 30

🧀Good Ole Baked Mac and Cheese

Proven step-by-step perfect homemade Mac and Cheese❣️

My oldest daughter loves this Mac and Cheese recipe so this has become a family favorite

Tips for the Best Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

  • I prefer to use a good quality sharp cheddar cheese and shred it myself.  This way, It melts much better than the pre-shredded package types.  It’s worth the effort to shred it yourself for the best result.

  • I use the classic elbows but any twisty pasta will work well, too. Cook the pasta about 1 minute less than the cooking directions on the package. The pasta will continue to cook in the cheese sauce in the oven (you don’t want mushy macaroni). 

  • It’s important to start the recipe making a roux-like sauce. A roux is a combination of equal parts flour and fat which is commonly used as a thickening agent for sauces. A roux can also be used as a base for various classic French sauces, such as Béchamel, which we will make and use as the base of our cheese sauce.

  • To make a roux-like sauce for this Mac and Cheese, I use melted butter with an equal part of flour (by volume, not weight, which, for a traditional roux, it is by weight), which is stirred into the butter until incorporated. This is so important when achieving the creamiest cheese sauce for your mac and cheese.

  • SO how do you make a roux? The roux (equal parts butter and flour) is whisked together until just golden and feels like wet sand.  You can taste it to make sure it does not taste like raw flour and has a slight nuttiness flavor. This should take about 3-5 minutes.

  • Slowly whisk in cold milk in small amounts to prevent lumps. Continue to add the milk, while whisking constantly,  until the milk is fully incorporated.

  • Continue to cook the milk mixture until it starts to thicken and you see bubbles on the surface. Then, continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes before adding the cheeses.

It’s a wonderful make ahead meal, too!

You can make this recipe a day in advance and keep covered in the fridge.

Then, all the prep and mess is all done and all you have to do is bake.

Best part of this recipe is the crunchy yummy breadcrumb topping❣️

Your loved ones will ask for seconds for sure❣️

Hope this becomes a life-long favorite recipe shared with your family around your table, too🥰

En-JOY and cook just for the love of it❣️


Good Ole Baked Mac and Cheese

The BEST FROM SCRATCH Baked Mac and Cheese  you will keep forever!

Extra cheesy, ultra creamy, and topped with a crunchy - Parmesan  Breadcrumb topping, this mac and cheese recipe is most definitely a keeper. I use four different cheeses and a scratch cheese sauce which puts it into high gear so your family will LOVE it!

1 box (16 ounces) elbow macaroni (or other small tubular pasta)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

3 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups half and half or heavy cream

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

3/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups Gruyere or Swiss cheese, shredded

1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs OR Panko breadcrumbs, toasted* 

1/4 cup, Italian parsley, chopped 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350F. 

Lightly spray large 4 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or rub with some butter to coat. Set aside.

Combine shredded cheeses in a large bowl. Set aside.

Cook the pasta one minute less than according to the package instructions. (This will prevent the pasta from overcooking when baked.) Drain, and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. 

Drizzle pasta with olive oil and stir to coat pasta. Set aside to cool while preparing cheese sauce.

Melt butter on medium heat in a large heavy saucepan or stock pot big enough to add your cooked pasta later. 

Whisk in flour over medium heat and continue whisking for about 3 to 5 minutes, until bubbly and golden. Be careful not to burn. Take a little taste to make sure the mixture does not taste like raw flour and has a mild nutty taste. This is the roux-like base.

Slowly add the cold milk and cream, whisking constantly, until  the mixture thickens and it becomes creamy and smooth. Continue whisking until it bubbles on the surface ,about 2 to 3 minutes. 

Add half of shredded cheddar cheese and continue to whisk until smooth. Add  remaining shredded cheddar cheeses and 1/4 cup Parmesan and continue whisking until creamy, smooth and thickened.  Salt and pepper to taste.             

Stir in the cooled pasta until combined.

Pour half of the mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups Gruyere cheese and then the remaining mac and cheese.

In a small bowl, combine toasted breadcrumbs, remaining 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, parsley and melted butter. Sprinkle over the top and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

* To make fresh breadcrumbs, add 1/2 loaf sliced Italian bread (I use 1/2 of a Panella-type Italian bread) to food processor. Process until rough crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly golden.

*You can substitute the breadcrumbs with Panko breadcrumbs.

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