How To Make Baked Mac And Cheese

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What Type Of Cheese

CHEESY BAKED MAC AND CHEESE | Thanksgiving Sides | Macaroni Pie

This classic mac and cheese recipe is made with cheddar cheese. I particularly love medium or sharp cheddar cheese but any type will do. If you want a more luxurious mac and cheese or youre really trying to impress a crowd, you could use a combination of different cheeses. Just be sure to select a type of cheese that is good for melting, like white cheddar, smoked gouda, gruyere, brie, goat cheese, mozzarella, or fontina.

Broccoli Mac & Cheese Bake Recipe: How To Make It

This classic macaroni and cheese casserole is rounded out with ham and broccoli for a hearty and delicious dish that will satisfy the whole family. Serve this all-in-one dish with homemade biscuits or yeast rolls for a complete meal.

Steps to make Broccoli cheese baked potato casserole: Preheat oven to 375°. Mix all ingredients together except shredded cheese. Pour into 9×13 baking dish and bake for one hour.. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top before serving. If you love my Baked Mac and Cheese, then you’re going to love this Broccoli Casserole.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the softened cream cheese, sour cream, 1 cup of cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well until combined. Add the broccoli, and stir to coat. Spoon the broccoli into a casserole dish, and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add green onions and cook until softened. Stir in flour, mustard powder, and nutmeg. Add milk all at once.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the rice is almost tender. Remove from the oven. Stir in the cream cheese and two thirds of the cheddar cheese until completely melted and combined. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top. Place bake in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

broccoli, leek, fresh mushrooms, shortcrust pastry, sweet corn and 10 more Spicy Mango Sausage Rice Bake Aidells cayenne pepper, kosher salt, cheddar cheese, dried parsley, flour and 15 more

Tips For The Best Baked Macaroni And Cheese Recipe:

  • Pre-toast the panko bread crumbs for a nice golden brown topping. Or in a pinch you can just preheat the broiler after baking and toast underneath it briefly .
  • Heat the milk and half and half before adding to the roux for a smooth mixture .
  • Dont let the sauce mixture or baked macaroni get too hot or it will separate. This is why I bake at 325 and not too long.
  • Add cheeses off heat so they dont curdle up.
  • Opt for smooth melting cheeses for a smooth sauce.
  • Use a blend of flavorful cheeses for best taste .
  • Add half and half or cream to make it richer.
  • Serve shortly after baking for best results. The sauce is nice and creamy just after baking, but as it sits and the sauce cools naturally the fats separate a little so the sauce isnt quite as smooth.

Also Check: What Is The Best Cheese For Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

How To Make Without An Oven

  • Prepare the macaroni casserole and transfer to a heat-proof baking dish that would fit in a skillet. Top with cheese sauce.
  • Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet on the stovetop for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Place a wire rack in the skillet and the macaroni dish on the rack.
  • Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook the pasta until heated through and cheese is melted.
  • What You Need To Make Baked Mac And Cheese:

    Baked Mac and Cheese

    Really simple ingredients in this one, and lots of room to adapt the recipe to make it your own. For this macaroni and cheese recipe, youll need:

    • Elbow Macaroni other shapes will work, as will whole wheat pasta. We havent tested this with a grain-free pasta, but it would probably work. Of course, the texture would be slightly different.
    • 1 pound of shredded cheese we like extra sharp cheddar, but you can use many types of cheese. We always recommend shredding your own cheese fo the best texture , but pre-grated will work in a pinch.
    • Flour this helps the mac and cheese thicken up.
    • Ground mustard this is totally optional but it adds depth to the flavor. You can also use dijon mustard if you dont have ground mustard.
    • Milk whole, 2%, skimtheyll all work
    • Butter helps you get that golden brown top on the macaroni and cheese!
    • Salt and Pepper always! You wont need a lot of salt since cheese is salty.

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    Perfect Mac And Cheese In 5 Steps:

  • Preheat the oven. Preheat to 325 degrees and lightly grease a square baking dish.
  • Cook the macaroni. Slightly undercook your noodles . Drain and set aside.
  • Make the roux. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Blend in the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add milk and cheese. Stir in milk and half and half, slowly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup shredded cheese to the sauce and stir just until melted. Add the cooked macaroni noodles and toss to coat them in the sauce.
  • Pourinto baking dish. Pour half or the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle ½ cup cheese over the top. Pour remaining pasta over it and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • How To Make It At Home

    For a Traditional Pan of Bahamian Macaroni and Cheese, follow this recipe adopted from Kevs Bahamian Baked Macaroni:


    • 1 lb uncooked elbow macaroni
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 2 bags cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
    • 1/2 large white onion, diced
    • 4 eggs
    • 12 ounces evaporated milk


  • Add 2 pinches of salt to large pot of water. Bring water to a boil and add uncooked macaroni pasta. Boil until tender.
  • Strain macaroni and place back in pot. Add butter and stir in macaroni until butter melts.
  • Slowly stir in most of cheese evenly. Reserve 8 ounces for later topping.
  • Add paprika, black pepper, onion, bell pepper, and 1/2 of a finely diced habanero or goat pepper. Stir well until cheese is melted and blended.
  • Beat eggs lightly and stir into mixture.
  • Slowly add evaporated milk, pouring about half a cup at a time. Stir well, and spread the mixture evenly into a large prepared baking pan about 13 x 9.
  • Top with remainder of cheese and loosely cover with foil.
  • Bake at 375°F for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until top is a golden color.
  • Allow macaroni to cool for 45-50 minutes until room temperature before serving.
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    Cheesy Baked Macaroni Recipe

    Cheesy Baked Macaroni is a good dish to prepare this holiday season. It is delicious, cheesy, and a sure crowd pleaser. This can be prepared during Christmas dinner, or you can bring this along for your potluck parties.

    My entire family loves pasta the richer and cheesier, the better. Cheesy Baked Macaroni is one of our favorite pasta dishes. We love it with a toasted sliced of loaf bread with butter, or even garlic bread.

    This has similarities with the previous baked macaroni recipe that I posted. The main difference is the type of cheese used and the amount of bell peppers, which I think helps gives this dish a unique overall taste. Both are great recipes that I am really proud of.

    I hope that you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. Cheers!

    Try this Cheesy Baked Macaroni Recipe. Enjoy!

    Best Cheese For Baked Mac And Cheese


    Dont be scared when using cheese for this recipe. I used three types of cheeses to grace every noodle of this dish. For the best flavor, I highly recommend adding a sharp cheddar to your baked mac and cheese. Just a warning though, dont use the pre-shredded bagged cheese as it has preservatives that make it drier compared to fresh-grated cheese.

    Sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella, jack cheese, are my top fave. Or you can also use pepper jack cheese, gouda, fontina, and Gruyere.

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    Can This Mac And Cheese Be Made Ahead

    I know how everyone loves a make-ahead recipe for the holidays. Recipes like Overnight French Toast Casserole, Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole, and Homemade Cranberry Sauce are all things we can make in advance instead of running around at the last minute trying to cook everything that day.

    If you want to make your Baked Macaroni and Cheese ahead of time, I recommend prepping it up through combining the sauce and noodles in the casserole dish. Cover it and refrigerate until youre ready to bake.

    Before baking, toast the panko and add it to the top of the casserole. Instead of baking for 30 minutes uncovered, bake covered with foil for 30 minutes and remove the foil and bake uncovered for 15-20 more minutes.

    Whether youre making this Baked Macaroni and Cheese for a holiday or special occasion or on a random Sunday night, this one is sure to be a hit with the whole family!

    Ways To Dress Up Boxed Mac And Cheese

    • Add sautéed onions, garlic, broccoli, and spinach to the mac and cheese to get your daily servings of veg.
    • Add chopped pastrami to the mac and cheese, lay swiss cheese on top, and use rye bread for your topping for a Reuben mac and cheeseheck, I think Id even drizzle some Russian dressing on the top after I took it out of the oven!
    • Add chopped tomato to the mac and cheese, crumble feta on top, and use pita bread or chips for your topping to make a Greek-style mac and cheese.
    • Add leftover sliced steak and fried onions and peppers to your mac and cheese, top with provolone, and use hoagie rolls for your topping to make Philly cheesesteak mac and cheese. Dont forget the ketchup and hot sauce to dip bites into.

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    Whats The Best Cheese For Mac And Cheese

    You can definitely use your favorites! I like using a combination of at least two different cheeses for mac and cheese. Cheddar cheese is always included in my mac and cheese recipe and then I add in another more mild cheese, like muenster. Medium or sharp cheddar is a popular choice because it has a great flavor, melts well and gives the mac and cheese that classic orange color.

    I would not recommend extra sharp or aged cheddar cheese for mac and cheese because they will not melt as well as younger cheeses. Get creative and try using different cheese varieties that melt well. Heres a list of cheeses that would work great:

    • Colby
    • White cheddar
    • Provolone

    Feel free to use all sharp cheddar, if youd like. Also, remember some of the cheeses listed are very mild, so youll want to make sure and combine it with a more bold flavored cheese.

    Can I Freeze Mac And Cheese

    Perfect Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    You sure can – but be aware: dairy and the freezer don’t always love each other, and frozen mac and cheese that’s been reheated is never going to be good as the fresh version.

    If you’d like to freeze it, I recommend assembling the entire recipe, baking it at 425 F for just long enough to get a little browning on top, letting it cool completely, then wrapping it and freezing.

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    More About This Recipe

    • When youre craving homemade mac and cheese, this southern baked version is a wonderful option. It takes just 15 minutes to prep and 45 minutes of hands-off time, which means you can do more of what you want and spend less time standing over the stove. Not a macaroni connoisseur but ready to learn all the ways to make mac and cheese? We did the heavy lifting, delving deep on the cheesy details, so you can learn all about it before you begin. Who knew there were so many ways to make it? And if this baked mac and cheese recipe isnt your style, weve got lots more mac and cheese recipes for you to search through!

    How To Make The Crispy Topping

    I decided to use panko breadcrumbs for this crispy topping because the texture of them cant be beat. Theyre so light!

    But they also need a little help to get nice and golden.

    Grab a skillet and melt a couple more tablespoons of Challenge salted butter. Add in the panko and toast, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes until the panko is golden brown.

    Keep a close eye on the panko, though, and definitely dont walk away we want the breadcrumbs to be golden, not burnt!

    As soon as the panko is beautifully golden, immediately remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the mac and cheese. Bake the whole thing for about 30 minutes or until the tops and edges are golden brown and delicious.

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    Can I Freeze Macaroni And Cheese

    I get asked that a lot and my answer is always no. As the pasta and cheese sauce sit, it will thicken and when you thaw it and bake it, the creamy consistency is just gone. Its thick and gloppy. Plus if you freeze it and its still a bit warm, water crystals will form and then thaw into your dish and could make it separate when you bake it. Besides, its so fast to make, theres not really a reason to freeze your macaroni and cheese.

    How To Avoid Grainy Cheese Sauce:

    • The type of cheddar makes a difference. High quality aged cheddar cheese will give you a stronger taste and smoother texture. More mild and inexpensive cheddar cheeses will have less flavor and almost a grittier taste.
    • Use fresh grated cheese. Pre-shredded store-bought cheese will not melt the same as freshly grated cheese, and grating the cheese helps it melt smoothly and evenly in the sauce.
    • Bring the cheese to room temperature. I like to grate the cheese very first, before moving forward with the recipe. That allows it to sit at room temperature while I prepare the white sauce.
    • Use low heat. In order for the cheese to melt properly and smoothly we want it to have gradual changes in temperature . When its time to add the cheese to the white sauce, remove the sauce from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. It only needs to be warm enough to melt the cheese.
    • Dont over-stirthe sauce once the cheese has melted. Add the noodles and quickly assemble in pan and put into the oven.

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    Find Tons Of Other Dreamy Cheesy Meals In Ree’s Bestselling Cookbooks

    And stir together until its all melted. Go ahead and turn off the heat.

    Now its time for seasoning! Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt If youre sensitive to salt, start really low and work your way upand remember that the cheese imparts quite a bit of salt to the mix.

    BUTand this is importantbe careful not to UNDERSALT the mac & cheese. It really needs ample salt to put the flavor over the top.

    *I also use paprika, cayenne pepper, even ground thyme every now and then. Play with different ground spices and see what you like best.

    And finally, add plenty of black pepper, of the Black Dust variety. Honestly, I love freshly ground pepperbut not in homemade Mac & Cheese. For me, it has to be the powdery stuff.

    Now THATs what Im talkin about.

    And guess what? You can just steam some fresh broccoli and spoon some of this over the top. Kids from all over the land will show up at your doorstep.

    Did you know a single serving of broccoli is positively loaded with Vitamin C?

    Now just dump in the drained, not-fully-cooked macaroni!

    And stir the mixture together.

    I use a little less than the full amount of cooked macaroni, because I love it extra creamy and coated. Just add it according to how you like it.

    Now, you can either dish it up as it is right now, which makes for an ultra-creamy love fest

    OR you can pour the macaroni into a buttered baking dish. This is a 2-quart dish, but a 9 x 13 pan would work just fine.

    Kinda like this.

    Hello, lover.

    What Are The Best Cheeses For Baked Mac And Cheese

    As I mentioned above, the secret to creamy baked mac and cheese is Velveeta cheese! This American cheese just melts smoother than other cheeses and gives the sauce that creamy mouthfeel that we’re all looking for. I’ve found that an equal ratio of cheddar cheese and Velveeta cheese yields the best of both worlds — a smooth, creamy mac and cheese with plenty of rich, sharp cheddar flavor.

    If you like a combination of other cheeses, you can feel free to replace some of the cheddar with other good melting cheeses. Try Gruyere, Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack, gouda, smoked gouda, Swiss or mozzarella. The options are endless, so pick your favorites!

    Read Also: What Is Shredded Italian Cheese Blend

    Homemade Baked Macaroni And Cheese

    Heres the thing about a good Baked Macaroni and Cheese: It has to be both crispy and creamy.

    I want a super crispy topping and crispy baked edges , but I want the noodles inside to still be super cheesy and creamy.

    I am not here for a dry mac and cheese. Thats just a disappointment.

    But I am proud to say that this recipe hits that balance.

    Creamy and super cheesy noodles? Check!

    Crispy, buttery panko topping? Check!

    And while this recipe does take a bit more time than making a stovetop mac, the extra step of baking it is well worth it.

    Easiest Baked Macaroni And Cheese

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Homemade and Southern!

    Rachel GurkPosted:

    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Easiest ever baked macaroni and cheese this is a go-to recipe of many of my readers and it will become the same for your family!

    No, really.

    This is the easiest ever macaroni and cheese! And so delicious!

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