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Best Macaroni Cheese recipe

Best Macaroni Cheese recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Macaroni
  • Macaroni cheese

This vegetarian pasta bake is quick and easy to prepare. It's the perfect winter comfort food.

559 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 450g macaroni pasta
  • 450g mature Cheddar cheese, sliced
  • 15g butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 340ml evaporated milk

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr10min

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Grease a 2 litre baking dish. Place a quarter of the macaroni in the bottom, followed by an even layer of one-quarter of the cheese slices. Dot with butter and season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering three times. Pour evaporated milk evenly over the top.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until top is golden brown.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(433)

Reviews in English (343)

I tried this recipe yesterday, and was really impressed at how easy it was, as I usually make the sauce on the hob. I will no longer be using my hob for this dish. I also added bacon strips to one layer and reduced the cooking time to 40 mins. Everyone loved it, next time I will add onions so the veggies can eat it.-27 Jun 2013

Absolutely loved this recipe...also added some semi skinned milk, bacon and roast chicken pieces and sprinkled breadcrumbs on top as suggested by a previous reviewer. Will definitely do again.-25 Mar 2014

very very easy and tastes good. I added breadcrumbs and paprika to the top. Also was baked, bubbling and thoroughly cooked after half hour in fan assisted oven.-21 Sep 2013

38 Of The Best Macaroni And Cheese Recipes On Planet Earth

Macaroni and cheese is everything we could want: hot, melted cheese blended in creamy harmony with pasta, one of our all-time favorite comfort foods. Whether your favorite version is classic, jazzed up or lobstered, it’s hard to get enough. But who was responsible for making it popular, anyway?

Thomas Jefferson was an American founding father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third president of the United States. But one could argue his greatest achievement was helping to popularize macaroni and cheese in the U.S.

After encountering macaroni in France and northern Italy in the late 1700s, Jefferson arranged for a special macaroni extruder to be shipped to his home in Virginia, where he served macaroni to guests at presidential dinners, putting the noodle in the spotlight. There even exists a recipe for macaroni noodles written in Jefferson’s own handwriting.

In honor of this important contribution to American cuisine, let’s make some of our favorite recipes for the dish. We’ve got 38 variations, including some for vegans.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

This incredibly creamy Instant Pot macaroni and cheese recipe is surprisingly fast and easy to prepare. Aside from needing very little attention, there are no boil-over messes to worry about, no separate sauce to make, and no baking required.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make it ahead of time?

Yes! I will assemble it up to the point of baking and refrigerate for up to 48 hours before it’s time to bake it. However! Your mac and cheese might not be quite as creamy as if it had gone straight into the oven. It will still be delicious, but that’s a downside.

Can you freeze mac and cheese?

Yes, I have frozen it with success! I make it up to the point of baking, cover well, and freeze right in the pan. Then I bring it out and let it thaw at room temp for an hour or so, and then into the oven. Just like making it ahead and refrigerating it, the result isn’t quite as saucy. But still delish.

Do you use bags of shredded cheese or freshly grated?

I definitely prefer freshly grated, as pre-shredded cheese can result in a grainier sauce. That said, the convenience of pre-shredded cheese can’t be denied! And a mac and cheese with pre-shredded cheese is better than no mac and cheese at all. So do what works best for you!

What can I add to mac and cheese for flavor?

I love adding seasonings to the roux to amp up my mac and cheese. This one has smoked paprika for – yep – a smoky note. And I love how dry mustard powder helps emphasize the cheesy flavor. Some readers like to add a hefty pinch of onion powder, others love a bit of nutmeg. If you like heat, adding jalapeños is delicious (get my Jalapeño Mac & Cheese recipe here).

You can also tweak the flavor by varying the cheeses. Readers report using smoked cheese for tons of sultry goodness (one reader reported using smoked cheddar, smoked gouda, and smoked gruyere. Yum.) Other readers have added mozzarella or jack for some stretchy goodness, creamy havarti, parmesan (loads of flavor!), or prefer to go with extra-sharp cheddar.

Do I have to use 2% milk?

No! Whole milk will do just fine the result may be a bit thicker though.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes. I (and many others) have doubled this recipe with success – no changes needed other than a bigger pan!

Our 8 Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipes Because Nothing Is Better Than Cheesy Pasta

Farideh Sadeghin

Macaroni and cheese is hands-down one of our favorite pastas. Whether it’s loaded with bacon, topped with bread crumbs, or studded with lobster, mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Fruits like apple give macaroni and cheese recipes an added layer of depth and an unexpected flavor. Baking the macaroni and cheese gives the recipes a golden crispiness on top that contrasts the soft noodles in the middle. Maybe you’re looking for an elegant twist on this comfort food staple, like adding truffles, or perhaps you’re seeking the classic four-cheese. No matter what type of cheesy pasta you’re craving, our best macaroni and cheese recipes have you covered.

Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Apple & Sausage Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese with Sausage and Apple Casserole

Macaroni au Gratin

The foundation of this creamy casserole is a classic mornay sauce, a béchamel sauce to which cheese has been added—in this case, comté, a French cheese with a complex, nutty flavor that melts beautifully. With lots of freshly grated nutmeg to season it and a golden, crunchy breadcrumb topping, it’s a luscious, satisfying side dish for the Thanksgiving table. The dish comes from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro, in the Napa Valley, where the staff makes it as part of their annual Thanksgiving dinner for veterans and their families.

Greek Mac and Cheese

A pinch of cinnamon adds complexity to traditional greek flavors. Get the recipe for Greek Mac and Cheese »

Artisanal Macaroni and Cheese

Chef Terrance Brennan of the Manhattan restaurant Artisanal uses penne instead of the standard elbow macaroni for his take on the dish, which is topped with a crisp panko-Parmesan crust. Get the recipe for Artisanal Macaroni and Cheese »

Four Cheese Mac and Cheese

This ultra-creamy, decadent mac and cheese—with sharp white cheddar, Gruyère, blue cheese, and, yes, a touch of Velveeta—is one of the best we’ve ever tried. Get the recipe for Four Cheese Mac and Cheese »

Lobster Mac and Cheese

This lobster meat–studded mac and cheese, from New York’s Macbar, is a decadent, holiday-appropriate version of that homey dish. Get the recipe for Lobster mac and cheese »

Southern style macaroni and cheese casserole, smothered in a homemade creamy cheese sauce, and layered with tons of cheese!

By now you know I am the queen of macaroni and cheese recipes. I’ve shared so many! I have a southern baked macaroni and cheese recipe, a slow cooker mac and cheese, stovetop macaroni and cheese, and even a soul food macaroni and cheese. I guess it’s safe to say that macaroni and cheese is definitely one of my favorite dishes. There’s just something about creamy cheesy macaroni and cheese that I can’t resist..

I always get asked which macaroni and cheese recipe I like best, but honestly – I love ALL my macaroni and cheese recipes! If you ask me they are all the bomb, like seriously. I know a lot of you LOVE my southern baked macaroni and cheese recipe, while others swear by my slow cooker macaroni, and cheese- And the soul food macaroni and cheese has bee a holiday favorite since I dropped it. HOWEVER, I’m about to blow your minds with this right here southern baked macaroni and cheese casserole recipe!

This macaroni and cheese casserole is the creamiest, cheesiest, best ever macaroni and cheese recipe.. ( Drops the mic.. and walks away…) I’m not playing y’all!

And guess what?! I only use two different cheese in this recipe! Two EASY TO FIND cheeses!! No more searching for hard to find cheeses, I got you covered with this one.

I can go on, and on… but just watch the video below, and see how creamy and cheesy this macaroni and cheese is for yourself!

A Little Back Story

Did you know that Thomas Jefferson, purportedly a great lover of both cheese and Italian food, served his baked macaroni and cheese at dinner parties all the time?

During the age of European colonization, seafaring men would transport dried macarone -- one of the few staples that could survive a year aboard ship -- from Italy to Britain and to the American colonies.

American colonists did not have the selection of fresh produce and other ingredients that the Italians had their meals were improvised from a larder of fresh or sour milk, stale bread, and pork drippings. So the imported pasta would often be served with a simple white sauce -- milk thickened with flour and butter. Sometimes, it was baked in a casserole with buttered breadcrumbs on top. A recipe for a casserole of macaroni, white sauce, and grated yellow cheese was first recorded in the "Boston Cooking School Cookbook" in 1896.

Kraft introduced its macaroni-and-cheese dinner in 1937 as a way to market processed American cheese and Tenderoni macaroni. It swept the nation. Recipes for homemade macaroni and cheese began to appear frequently in cookbooks.

Nowadays, making delicious homemade macaroni and cheese has become a mission for some people: They are always trying to make it more comforting, cheesier. It&aposs a completely worthwhile way to spend your time.

You Will Need

1 pound dried pasta like elbow macaroni, shells or penne

5 cups (1180 ml) milk, whole or 2% are best

5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter

5 tablespoons (45 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (4 heaping cups), plus more if baking (about 1/2 cup)

5 ounces (140 grams) Pecorino-Romano cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

Best Macaroni Cheese recipe - Recipes


In saute pan, melt 1/2 the stick of butter (or 4 tablespoons). When melted, stir in the breadcrumbs and toast just until lightly browned. Remove breadcrumbs from pan and set aside. Wipe pan clean with paper towel and re-use for next step. Breadcrumb topping: Melt remaining butter, add onions, and stir over low heat until onions are just translucent, but not browned. Stir in the flour and seasonings. Continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, then gradually stir in the milk or cream.

Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Add cheese and continue stirring until the cheese melts.

Combine the macaroni with the cheese sauce. Turn out into a generously buttered casserole dish (approximately 1 1/2 quarts). If you have any extra grated cheese, you can sprinkle this on top along with the 1/2 cup of buttered, toasted bread crumbs.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for approximately 20 minutes or until heated all the way through and golden brown on top.


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