This classic Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese recipe is a staple to have on hand! It’s easy to make and uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients to create a creamy, cheesy baked mac and cheese.
This recipe for Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese is a must-have recipe! It’s a classic comfort food that is easy to make and will satisfy your craving for a creamy, cheesy dish.
It’s hard to resist a good pasta casserole, and we love mac and cheese in any form! If you don’t have time for a baked version, then you should try my stovetop mac and cheese. It’s all made in one pot so no extra pan for boiling the pasta!
Why You Will Love This Homemade Mac and Cheese:
- Uses simple and easy-to-find ingredients that you may already have on hand!
- A classic dish that both young and old enjoy.
- It’s not dry but has just the right amount of cheesy goodness. If you want an over-the-top indulgent mac and cheese, try my Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese.
- Freezer-friendly and make-ahead friendly!
CHEESE: You will want to grate your own cheese for this recipe. It just melts better. Also, a better quality cheese will give you more flavor as well as melt smoother.
PASTA: I like to use elbow in this classic dish, but you can use any small shaped pasta.
FLOUR: Used to thicken the sauce.
MILK: For the creamiest sauce, it’s best to use whole milk. Low-fat and dairy-free can be used, but the sauce will not be as creamy.
BREADCRUMBS: Use store-bought or homemade.
STEP 1: Boil the pasta, drain and set aside. It’s best to undercook the pasta by 2 minutes, so it doesn’t overcook when baking.
STEP 2: Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour and seasonings, if using. Whisk in the milk and cook just until it starts to thicken.
STEP 3: Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Stir in the pasta. Pour into baking pan. Top with buttered breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake and enjoy!
It is not necessary to bake it covered. If you want a crunchy topping or browning to happen, you must bake it uncovered.
Any good quality melting cheese that you grate works really well in mac and cheese. Don’t use pre-shredded cheese as they use anti-caking agents and can cause a grainy sauce. Better quality cheeses melt better and provide more flavor!
Yes! Make the recipe as directed but do NOT bake. Cool completely and cover well with heavy-duty foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and let sit on the counter 30 minutes before baking. Remove foil and bake as directed or until hot and bubbly.
What to Serve With Homemade Mac and Cheese?
Mac and cheese can stand to be served as a meal all on its own. You know, for those times when all you want is a big bowl of comfort food. Add a fresh green salad or your favorite steamed veggie for a more complete meal.
I hope you all enjoy this dish! Tell me how you serve this dish by commenting below or tagging me on Instagram!
Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound (453g) elbow macaroni
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup (45g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups (1182ml) milk
- 20 ounces (565g) shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (115g) breadcrumbs or panko
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¾ cup (70g) grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teapoon prepared mustard
- Pre-heat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish; set aside.
- Cook macaroni 2 minutes less than the cooking time on package; drain and set aside.
- While macaroni is cooking, melt 4 TBSP butter in a large saucepan or 12 inch oven safe skillet. Whisk in the flour and optional seasonings if using. Cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook just until it starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Add pasta and stir well to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle over pasta. Sprinkle parmesan over pasta.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and browned.
- STORAGE: Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- FREEZER-FRIENDLY: Prepare recipe through step 5. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
- MAKE-AHEAD: Prepare recipe through step 5. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.