How To Make Mac And Cheese In Oven

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Baking Mac And Cheese

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese in the Oven
  • Baking macaroni and cheese is optional. I always bake my mac and cheese further as it tastes so good. But if you dont have an oven or the time, then just mix and serve.
  • Do top with breadcrumbs when baking as they add a lovely crispy and crunchy layer.
  • Feel free to add seasonings, herbs and spices of your choice. I keep it simple with crushed black pepper and a bit of ground nutmeg. A dash of mustard powder also perks up the flavor.
  • To add some fiber and extra nutrition to in the dish, simply mix in some steamed veggies.

Why You Will Love Tiktok Macaroni And Cheese

Incredibly thick cheese hack: This trending macaroni and cheese recipe is THICK and SO SO CHEESY. Its what we all love out of a fantastic mac and cheese recipe. This recipe is not the afterschool lunch recipe but the you bring the macaroni and cheese to Thanksgiving dinner recipe honor.

One-pot Mac & Cheese Ok, actually two if you count the boiled noodles. But overall, this cheesy oven-baked pasta goes right into a baking dish with all its ooey-gooey ingredients for a simple kitchen clean-up.

The Best Homemade Sloppy Joes

The Chunky Chef10/24/2018

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

Step away from the canned sauce and give these homemade sloppy joes a try! Theyre truly the best version of a childhood favorite!

As we head into the upcoming holiday season, Ive been thinking about family-friendly meals. You know, those meals that your kids always want to eat. In our house, this Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese is number one on our list with these sloppy joes being number 2! With two little ones myself, I know ALL too well how frustrating it is to cook a meal and have them promptly turn up their noses and say its gross. *facepalm*

Ive always been a fan of classic sloppy joes. Theres something so innately satisfying about the sweet and savory combination and messiness of it all! And I know you all love them too, since Ive been getting a lot of requests for sloppy joe recipes.

Ive made a LOT of sloppy joe recipes lately, trying to come up with the perfect one. Some were too sweet, others too spicy. Well guys, I finally got it. The perfect balance. This sloppy joe recipe is sweet, tangy, zesty and savory, with the perfect texture and consistency.

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Add The Pasta And Sauce To A Dish

After the cheese has melted, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir until all the noodles are well-coated.

Then, add the mixture to a greased 3-quart baking dish. Top with more cheese…

Then, bake! I like to broil for a few minutes at the end of the cooking time to give it a little color and extra crisp around the edges.

How To Thaw And Cook Unbaked Frozen Mac And Cheese

Oven Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

When baking uncooked mac and cheese after freezing, you do not have to thaw it. Thawing it will decrease the cooking time, however, you can just place the frozen dish into the oven to work its magic if you are not in a hurry for it to cook.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat the oven to 375 °F .

Step 2: Defrost

If you are cooking the mac and cheese after freezing, skip this step and go straight to step 3.

To defrost your macaroni and cheese in the microwave before cooking it, you need to ensure it is in a microwave-safe dish. Remove the foil. Use the defrost setting on the microwave which is equal to 30% power. Check the dish after seven minutes and continue to defrost for a few more minutes, if needed.

Once thawed, cook it in the oven straight away.

Step 3: Cover With Foil

Whether frozen or thawed, remove any cling film wrapping from your dish and cover the top with foil only. Set the dish on a baking tray to prevent any cheese or juices from melting or dripping onto the base of the oven.

Step 4: Bake

Make sure the oven is heated completely to 375 °F before placing the mac and cheese inside to cook. Bake the foil-covered dish for 25 to 50 minutes depending on the size of the dish and whether it has been thawed.

Step 5: Remove Foil and Bake

Step 6: Remove and Cool

Once the top is golden brown, remove the mac and cheese from the oven. Switch the oven off. Let the dish cool for a few minutes before serving as it will be piping hot.

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How To Freeze Uncooked Baked Mac And Cheese

This method still involves some cooking as you will have to prepare the pasta and the sauce as per the recipe before baking. It is, however, a great option to simply take the dish out of the freezer, pop it in the oven and have a freshly baked mac and cheese on hand.

Freezing unbaked mac and cheese results in a creamier texture and better-tasting end product than freezing an already cooked dish.

Step 1: Prepare the Recipe

Prepare your mac and cheese as per the recipe and fill one large dish or alternatively a number of smaller dishes with your precooked mac and cheese mix. Fill the dishes slightly below the rim and top with breadcrumbs as required. Make sure that the dishes you use are both freezer-friendly and oven safe.

Step 2: Cling Wrap

Wrap each dish with a double layer of cling film ensuring that it is well-sealed and no gaps are left open where air can get in. The presence of air can cause freezer burn, affect the taste and the texture of the dish.

Step 3: Foil Wrap

Cover the dish again in a layer of foil to create a secure seal.

Step 4: Label and Freeze

Label the wrapped containers with the contents and date as this will help you keep track of how long it has been in the freezer. Arrange the dishes in a flat, open area of the freezer to ensure it freezes evenly.

Gather & Measure The Ingredients

This easy mac and cheese recipe is super fast-paced once you start cooking, so it’s important to have all the ingredients measured and ready to go! As you can see there are only eight, common ingredients in this recipe that most of us have on hand at all times! We will discuss the ingredients and possible substitutions later in this post .

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What Is The Best Cheese To Use For Macaroni And Cheese

For this mac and cheese recipe, I use 3 different types of cheese: sharp cheddar, Velveeta cheese, and Parmesan cheese.

You can mix and match the type of cheese that you put into your macaroni and cheese. Every combination will produce a slightly different flavor.

Some great cheeses to add to your macaroni and cheese are: Colby jack, mozzarella, mild cheddar, or even pepper jack for a spicy kick.

Southern Baked Mac & Cheese


There are three major takeaways from Millie Peartree’s famous baked mac & cheese.

  • Make sure your pasta is super al dente. Boil it for too long and your baked macaroni will be mushy.
  • Layer it like a lasagna! Millie puts an entire layer of pure cheese in between two layers of macaroni. Game. Changer.
  • Make a custard. Whisking together eggs and milk and pouring it over the mac & cheese will make it extra creamy, saucy, and decadent.
  • whole milk

    Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350° and butter a large, deep baking dish. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni according to package instructions until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta and butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese.
  • Add half of the macaroni mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle Colby-cheddar cheese blend over pasta mixture, then top with another layer of pasta .
  • In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and milk then pour evenly over pasta.
  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Do not overbake! It may be a bit jiggly when you take it out of the oven.
  • Turn on oven broiler. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese. and broil until golden! It will firm up as it cool.
  • If you dont like sharp cheese please feel free to use mild or any other cheese you like

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    How To Make Oven

    Here are a few kitchen tools I recommend to make this recipe easier:

    • KitchenAid Mixer with shredder attachment– this will shred the blocks of cheese in a fraction of the time.
    • If the KitchenAid and attachments are outside of your budget, this Hamilton Beach food processor is a great option!
    • Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Any heavy-bottomed pot will do, but I love my Tramontina dutch oven set. Its a budget-friendly option that really stands up against the test of time. Weve used ours for years!
    • 3 Quart Casserole Dish – must be oven safe!

    Much like my Chicken Divan Casserole, this recipe has a creamy cheese sauce as the base, which means you need to make a roux!

    Why Is My Baked Mac And Cheese Dry

    Might back off a tablespoon of the flour too, which just thickens it to glop. The starch in the macaroni without any flour should thicken it fine if youre baking it. If you want a creamier mac n cheese, put in more milk or water than you think, and after baking it will thicken up from the starch in the pasta.

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    How To Make Roaster Oven Macaroni And Cheese

    • 1Preheat 18-quart roaster oven to 425 degrees F.
    • 2Lightly spray Cookwell with oil. Add butter to preheated Cookwell. Cover cook until melted.
    • 3Add remaining ingredients stir until well mixed.
    • 4Cover cook 45 to 55 minutes or until set. Stir once halfway through cooking time.
    • Last Step: Don’t forget to share! Make all your friends drool by posting a picture of your finished recipe on your favorite social network. And don’t forget to tag Just A Pinch and include #justapinchrecipes so we can see it too!

    Mac And Cheese Ingredients

    Baked Mac and Cheese

    Macaroni and cheese is my comfort food HEAVEN. From instant pot to slow cooker and of course this classic baked mac and cheese, I love them all.

    • Cheese: Sharp cheddar gives this baked mac and cheese tons of flavor. The addition of gruyere to the cheese sauce in this recipe is next level but of course whatever you have on and will work just do not use pre-shredded cheese.
    • Macaroni: I use a traditional elbow macaroni but any short pasta will work. Shells are great choices! Cook al dente as the pasta cooks more as it bakes.
    • Topping: The most perfect buttery crumb topping is one of my favorite parts of this recipe. Add in bacon, more parm, crushed crackers pretty much anything with crunch will work!

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    Baked Macaroni And Cheese

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a family favorite for dinner, parties and holidays! This super creamy macaroni and cheese can be made ahead of time, too!

    Dont you just love make ahead casseroles like mac & cheese??? Also check out our Perfect Baked Ziti Recipe or this easy Stove Top Mac & Cheese recipe, a 15 minute meal!

    Easiest Baked Macaroni And Cheese

    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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    Variations Of Mac And Cheese

    • Bacon if you love bacon, feel free to add some crispy, crumbled bacon to the topping, or even inside the mac and cheese as well!
    • Stovetop if youd prefer not to bake this mac and cheese, you dont have to! Make sure you boil your pasta until al dente , and youll only need about 3 3 1/2 cups of cheese total. No need to layer the pasta and cheese, just add all the cheese to the sauce, then combine with the pasta.
    • Different Toppings Im a huge fan of the cheese layer on top, since it gets nice and crispy, but we also love tossing 1 cup of panko with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and using that as a topping. 1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers with 2 Tbsp of butter work amazingly well too!
    • Different Baking Times the recipe calls for a lower baking temperature and time, but most of the time I find myself adjusting that based on my familys tastes. I like to bake this mac and cheese at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to get that glorious cheesy crust.

    Baked Macaroni And Cheese Ingredients

    Oven Baked Macaroni and cheese | 3 cheese macaroni

    To make macaroni and cheese from scratch, you will need the following ingredients :

    • Dry pasta: I used elbow macaroni, but you can use any small to medium sized pasta for this.
    • Butter
    • Flour
    • Whole milk: You can also use 2% milk, but it may take a little bit longer to thicken up.
    • Heavy whipping cream
    • Seasonings: I used dry mustard powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
    • Cheese

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    How To Make Instant Pot Mac And Cheese

  • Add pasta, liquids, butter, hot sauce and seasonings.
  • Dont stir. Just gently press down with a wooden spoon to make sure all the pasta is submerged. This ensures the pasta will cook and not be hard. Stirring could result in a burn notice on your Instant Pot.
  • Pressure cook for 4 minutes.
  • Quick release. I tested performing a natural pressure release, and it usually resulted in overcooked pasta, so I prefer to do a quick release.Be aware, this recipe is starchy, and can sputter quite a bit when venting. I usually place a folded paper towel loosely over the vent to prevent any kitchen messes. Keep in mind, this isnt recommended by Instant Pot, just something I do do this at your own risk.
  • Turn off your Instant Pot. This prevents any possible overcooking by keeping it on keep warm.
  • Stir in heavy cream, and cheeses. Add in the cheese a handful or so at a time, stirring really well after each addition. Keep stirring until a creamy sauce forms.
  • Faqs About Homemade Mac And Cheese

    This mac and cheese recipe is one of my most popular, so here are some of the commonly asked questions.

    How do you store mac and cheese?

    Store the leftovers of this homemade mac and cheese recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Since it thickens as it cools, you may need to add 1-2 TBS of milk when it’s reheated it to restore its original creaminess.

    Can homemade mac and cheese be frozen?

    Yes, you can freeze this homemade mac and cheese, however I don’t recommend it. Since this mac and cheese recipe is so easy to make, there’s really no need to freeze it. If you’re looking for a freezer-friendly mac and cheese recipe check out my baked mac and cheese!

    What main dish goes well with mac and cheese?

    If you’re looking to serve this mac and cheese recipe as a side dish instead of the main event, here are some suggestions for other dishes that pair well with it: meatloaf

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    What Can I Add To Macaroni And Cheese To Make It Taste Better

    1. Spice Up Your Plain Mac. Throwing in spices to your macaroni and cheese might be the easiest and most affordable way to add in additional flavor. Basic spices that you may already have in your pantry that would work well include red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, chili, onion, and garlic powder.

    Baked Mac And Cheese Ingredients

    Baked Mac and Cheese

    This easy mac and cheese calls for just a few simple, everyday ingredients! Heres what youll need to add to your next grocery list:

    • Elbow Pasta to start, youll need 12 ounces of dried elbow macaroni. We use THIS gluten-free option, but know that regular macaroni will totally work too!
    • Milk youll also need 3 cups of milk we used regular, whole cows milk, but feel free to use plain, unsweetened almond milk if youd prefer.
    • Salt + Pepper + Garlic Powder to season, well use 1 teaspoon of salt and a ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.
    • Butter in order to really take the creamy, richness of this dish over the edge, youll also need 4 tablespoons of butter.
    • Heavy Cream + Cream Cheese 1/2 cup heavy cream and 4 ounces of cream cheese help make this mac and cheese super creamy.
    • Shredded Cheese what is macaroni and cheese without cheese?! Its not mac and cheese, thats for sure! Youll need 3 cups of shredded cheese here! We used half sharp cheddar for flavor and half gouda for creaminess!
    • Breadcrumbs to add a little bit of texture and pizazz to our mac and cheese, well need a ½ cup of breadcrumbs to sprinkle overtop! Feel free to use gluten-free or regular breadcrumbs here.

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    Can I Refrigerate Before Baking

    Yes, you can refrigerate macaroni and cheese before you bake it. This make-ahead mac and cheese is a great option for meal prep. Do all the cooking whenever you have the time and bake it right before youre ready to eat.

    To refrigerate before baking, you will complete all the steps up to putting the mixture in the pan. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate for up to two days. When youre ready to bake it, pull the mac out of the fridge while the oven is preheating and top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

    You will need to bake the macaroni and cheese casserole a little longer since itll be cold. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until heated through.

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