This really is the best baked macaroni cheese recipe.
One of the reasons I love it is that it’s one of the easiest recipes to put together – just layer the ingredients and pop it in the oven.
I have used cheddar cheese in this recipe, but feel free to vary the cheese you use to give it a different flavor. I have used several mixes of my favorite cheeses and many work very well. Look in the tips for some great suggestions.
Make it healthier by substituting whole wheat pasta for the white pasta. It makes a real difference to the nutritional value of the recipe.
Best Baked Macaroni Cheese Recipe
- 8 ounces macaroni, uncooked
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 2/3 cup soft buttered crumbs, see Notes section below
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook macaroni in salted boiling water until almost soft (al dente). Drain well.
- Grease a large shallow casserole and place a layer of macaroni on the bottom, sprinkle with cheese, butter, flour and seasonings. Continue to layer until all ingredients are used evenly in the layers. (3 layers works well)
- Pour milk over all. Top with buttered bread crumbs.
- Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.
To make buttered crumbs:Combine 2/3 cup of bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of softened butter and mix.
- As I suggested above, try this recipe using different cheeses. A mix of 3 or 4 of your favorite cheeses would be great. The recipe works best with firmer cheeses like Swiss, cheddar, Monterey Jack or Gruyere because they melt so well and this recipe needs the melting to bring everything together. Cottage cheese would not suite this recipe.
- You don’t have to use the traditional small macaroni in this recipe. Try shaking it up a bit by using other pasta shapes, like penne, corkscrew rigatoni or even wagon wheels for the kids. They’ll love it.
- Using unusual pasta shapes and a mix of cheeses elevates macaroni and cheese to a whole new level. It makes it a dinner you can serve to guests.