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Baked Mac and Cheese

Even people who have had their own homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe for years ask for mine when they taste this crumb-topped version. For the best baked mac and cheese, use extra-sharp white cheddar cheese for more flavor. —Shelby Thompson of Dover, Delaware
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain.
  • In a Dutch oven, heat 1/3 cup butter over medium heat; saute onion until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended; gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Stir in macaroni. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • In a microwave, melt remaining butter; toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, until heated through, 30-35 minutes.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Sharp cheddar cheese has been aged longer than regular cheddar. As cheese ages, its flavor becomes more pronounced. Using aged cheese in a recipe can add complexity and rich flavor, even to humble favorites like mac ā€™nā€™ cheese.
  • Unless otherwise specified, Taste of Home recipes are tested with lightly salted butter. Unsalted, or sweet, butter is sometimes used to achieve a buttery flavor, such as in shortbread cookies or buttercream frosting. In these recipes, added salt would detract from the buttery taste desired.
  • Don't miss the cheesiest recipes we've ever made.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 689 calories, 37g fat (22g saturated fat), 104mg cholesterol, 834mg sodium, 62g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 3g fiber), 28g protein.