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Perfect Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Perfect Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This mac and cheese is perfect - can't go wrong and spice it up how you like.MORE+LESS-

Updated September 17, 2015


cup yellow onion, finely diced (optional)


oz sharp cheddar, shredded

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  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350° F.

  • 2

    In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

  • 3

    While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. This is called a roux. Make sure there aren't any lumps. Stir in the milk, onion (if desired), bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes, then remove the bay leaf.

  • 4

    Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

  • 5

    Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

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  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or a spicy brown mustard)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs (tossed with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter)

Heat oven to 375 F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth and bubbly. Continue cooking and stirring for 1 minute.

Add the salt, pepper, half-and-half or light cream, and milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Add mustard and 2 cups of the cheese. Continue cooking, stirring, until cheese is melted.

Combine the sauce mixture with the drained macaroni.

Spoon into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheese.

How to Make Homemade Macaroni and Cheese:

  • Boil the noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water really well. Add the noodles and cook until just before al dente. The noodles need to have some bite so they don’t turn to mush while baking in the sauce later.
  • Make the cheese sauce. The cheese sauce is made by mixing flour and seasonings into melted butter. Whisk in some milk and cook until nice and thick. Once removed from the heat, add in the cheese and cream cheese.
  • Bake. This helps the cheese bake into the macaroni noodles. A couple minutes under the broiler gives a nice crisp cheese topping.

4. Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Best Southern Baked Macaroni And Cheese
from Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese
. Source Image: Visit this site for details:

I’m dying to try this dish for my son who is vegetarian. It discusses having the ability to freeze them for a number of months. Do I freeze them prior to or after cooking. Do I defrost prior to cooking if previously. If after, just how do I reheat them.

Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese

****NOTE*** Ughhh!! I keep saying Monterey in the video but I meant COLBY JACK!! Lord help me!

I LOVE this creamy, stovetop macaroni and cheese. I also LOVE this comforting, Southern-style baked macaroni and cheese. You know what this means right? It was time for these macaroni and cheese recipes to make a baby. I present to you their love-child, Mabel.

That’s what I named this recipe. Yeah, I’m one of those people that give names to pretty much everything. Oh, don’t act like you don’t do that. Pretty sure your car has a name.

I’ve been getting a lot of requests for baked macaroni and cheese that is both creamy and cheesy! I hear ya! I like it that way too!! We always have such a similar taste. We might be cousins. What’s your mama’s name?

Well, this recipe does such a fantastic job at creating one heck of a creamy, cheesy, old-fashioned, baked macaroni and cheese! No Velveeta included. Although I do love me some Velveeta let’s just keep it real, OKAAY!!

If you have picky eaters or Southern eaters who complain about every freaking thing, then make this baked macaroni and cheese. It keeps you on the safe side. It’s delicious. For real.

My husband says it’s his absolute favorite! Very redeeming since my sister’s mac and cheese held the top spot in his heart for so many years.

Let me tell ya, kids will love the flavor and that it’s ultra-creamy. Adults will adore that it doesn’t feel like they are eating kid mac n cheese. Everybody wins. Case closed. Go home. Good-night.

Wait I forgot another thing that you will LOVE about this baked macaroni and cheese recipe! It doesn’t have a gazillion different cheeses in it.

Here are the two kinds of cheese I used. I LOVE them together! I got them both from Walmart.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m such a fan of baked macaroni and cheese that has a wide variety of different cheeses, but man, it can be “exspainsive.” That’s how my grandmother says expensive.

This recipe uses a big shredded block of Monetary Jack cheese (gosh I love that cheese) and of course some smoked cheddar. Baked macaroni and cheese is dead to me without smoked cheese in it! Hmph! There. I said it! Smoked cheese (whether it’s smoked gouda or smoked cheddar) just tips it over the edge and into “mercy this is sinful” territory! Be in that territory. Happiness lives there.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (12 ounce) package macaroni
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring (Optional)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ⅓ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente drain.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook for 3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, and continue cooking until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 2 minutes more. Slowly stir in the flour, and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Stir in the half-and-half and milk, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in mustard powder and liquid smoke simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, along with the cream cheese, Swiss, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar cheeses stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the drained macaroni noodles. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs over the macaroni

Bake in preheated oven until bubbly and brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


  • Elbow Macaroni: I cook until al dente. Any longer and the noodles will become mushy after baking. I love using elbow macaroni however cavatappi pasta would also be great too!
  • Butter: I use 1 whole stick on butter in this homemade macaroni and cheese. It makes it rich, buttery and creamy!
  • Flour: Is used to thicken up the sauce. If you are gluten free you can substitute cornstarch for the flour. It works great!
  • Milk: I use 2% because that is what I typically have on hand. However whole milk could also be used.
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese: I love using extra sharp cheese however gruyere, gouda, monterey jack or Colby jack would also be amazing in this. I sometimes like to do half gruyere half sharp cheddar cheese!
  • Seasonings: This macaroni and cheese is loaded with flavor thanks to the mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper!

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. I recommend cooking the pasta a minute less than the directions. Drain and set aside for a few minutes.
  2. To prepare roux, melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until color of roux gets slightly darker. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring continuously until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in cheese until melted.
  3. Transfer cooked pasta to large dutch oven or pot over low heat. Pour cheese sauce over top, stirring to combine. This is a thick and creamy sauce. To thin the sauce, add a few tablespoons of milk at a time until at desired consistency.

To make a simple and flavorful roux, start by melting a stick of butter in a medium saucepan.

Whisk in the salt and pepper. A very important step is to continue stirring for a good 2-3 minutes until roux turns a bit darker in color. It becomes richer and even more fabulous.

Slowly whisk in the milk until mixture is thick and creamy. This step will take a couple minutes over medium heat.

Stir in cheese until creamy and cheese is melted through. I prefer a finely shredded mild cheddar. It melts quickly and has a perfect &ldquocheddar&rdquo flavor.

Baked Mac & Cheese

Recipe from Basil and Bubbly


  • 16 ounces macaroni
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

For the directions and to print this awesome recipe, please head to Basil and Bubbly.

I followed the recipe to a T, zero changes – it’s perfect!

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