classic baked macaroni and cheese

macaroni and cheese

True confession, we consumed many, many boxes of macaroni with powdered cheddar when my kids were little, but now I crave the good stuff—the soul warming baked macaroni and cheese with the crunchy top and cheesy goodness lurking just below, exactly the way my grandma made it. I call this recipe a classic because it calls for a simple cheddar cheese sauce that isn’t too fancy pants. Your can assemble it ahead and bake it later.

macaroni and cheese

Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 15 minutes


  • ½ pound (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2½ tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup grated parmesan for topping
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs



Preheat oven to 400°


Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.


In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter, then whisk in flour to make a roux.


Cook roux for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it thickens and lets off a nutty aroma.


Slowly whisk in milk and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly.


Remove from heat, fold in cheddar until slightly melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.


Add macaroni and mix thoroughly.


Pour into a 9x9 inch baking dish and top with grated parmesan and breadcrumbs.


Place in the preheated oven and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.


If you must dress it up, add some fresh crab or shrimp or bacon with tomatoes.

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