Skip the boxed macaroni and cheese and make this creamy and rich Baked Mac and Cheese recipe in under an hour. It’s topped with a crispy buttery crust and makes a delicious comforting meal or the ultimate holiday side!
Baked Mac and Cheese is a dish that most people enjoy eating. Something about the combination of macaroni with a cheesy sauce truly comforts people. If you often prepare this comfort food for your family, but you would like to try a new recipe from scratch, this Mac and Cheese recipe is the right one to try. It is much better than boxed options that come with powdered cheese to add to your macaroni. Once you try this recipe, you will never want to go back to that stuff again.
If you thought that preparing macaroni and cheese from scratch was difficult, you were wrong. This Mac and Cheese recipe proves that you only need a few good ingredients and less than an hour of your time to prepare the perfect side dish for the family.
What You’ll Need to Make the Baked Mac and Cheese
If you want to make homemade Mac and Cheese, be sure to have the following ingredients with you:
- Elbow Macaroni. Use elbow macaroni as the pasta to help you create this delectable dish.
- Butter. Make sure you have plenty of butter to add to your elbow macaroni noodles.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese. The sharp cheddar cheese is just one of several kinds of cheese to add to this dish to give it that creamy, cheesy taste.
- Gruyere Cheese. The gruyere cheese goes well with sharp cheddar cheese and takes the dish to a new level.
- Panko Breadcrumbs. You will need panko breadcrumbs to add to the top of your Mac and Cheese to give it a crunchy coating.
Of course, there are a few other ingredients needed, such as plain flour, heavy cream, garlic powder, and pepper, that you will need to have to complete this recipe, but most ingredients are ones that you might already have in your pantry.
How to Make Mac and Cheese
Making the Mac and Cheese is simple. Start by boiling your elbow macaroni in a pot, draining the water, and putting some butter into the pot with the macaroni.
The next step involves creating the cheese sauce that you will pour over your macaroni. You need to melt butter, flour, milk, seasonings, and the different cheeses to prepare the most flavorful cheese sauce.
Mix your pasta with your cheese sauce until mixed through.
Next, pour half of it into a baking dish, spread a layer of cheese on top, and then pour more macaroni and cheese sauce on top.
Sprinkle your Panko bread crumb topping over your Mac and Cheese, and then put it in the oven where you will bake it for 20 minutes.
How to Store the Mac and Cheese
Store your leftover Mac and Cheese in an airtight container or leave it in the baking dish, cover it with foil, and put a lid on top of it. You can keep the homemade Mac and Cheese fresh in your refrigerator for up to four days. If you would like to freeze the dish, put it in an airtight container and place it in your freezer for as long as three months.
More Delicious Comfort Food Recipes
The BEST Baked Macaroni and Cheese
To cook macaroni pasta
- 4 cups water
- 8 ounces dried elbow pasta
- 1 tbsp butter
To make topping
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
To make cheese sauce
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Grease a 9 inch baking dish and keep it ready.
- In a large pot bring the water to boil, add elbow pasta and cook per packet instruction minus 1 minute.
- Drain the water and add a tablespoon of butter to the cooked pasta and set aside.
- To the bowl with melted butter, combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley and salt. Keep aside.
Making cheese sauce
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk often for a minute.
- Slowly pour the whole milk and whisk until the mixture becomes smooth. Pour the remaining milk and heavy cream.
- Add the garlic powder, pepper and salt, cook for 5 more minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the cheeses to melt and combine (reserving 1 cup of cheese to use it later)
Assembling the baking dish
- Combine the cooked macaroni pasta and sauce together.
- Pour half of the macaroni and cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish. Add in a layer of reserved 1 cup of cheese on top. Pour the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture on top of the cheese layer.
- Sprinkle the prepared breadcrumb “topping”. Bake for 20 minutes until the top is light golden in color.
- Serve the baked mac and cheese while it is still hot.