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Macaroni and cheese being lifted off of a plate on a spoon.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Tossed in a smooth cheese sauce and loaded with freshly grated cheese, Baked Macaroni and Cheese is the definition of comfort food. The tender noodles are smothered in creamy, cheesy goodness that will have you savoring every bite.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups shredded gruyere cheese
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter and set aside.
  2. Mix the shredded cheeses together in a bowl. Start the sauce by adding the butter to a skillet, waiting until the butter is completely melted, then whisking in the flour to make a roux. Season the roux with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Slowly add the milk to the roux, whisking as you pour so that lumps don’t form. Add the milk a little at a time, then once the sauce is smooth, slowly start pouring in the cream using the same whisking process until the sauce is smooth.
  4. Season the sauce with the garlic powder, paprika and cayenne if using. Add 1 cup of the cheese mixture into the sauce and whisk until it’s melted and smooth. Repeat with 2 more cups of cheese (3 cups total in the sauce) until the sauce is smooth. Taste for seasonings and remove from the heat.
  5. Add the cooked macaroni to a large bowl. Pour the sauce in the bowl and stir to combine with the pasta. Pour half of the pasta into the prepared baking dish and smooth out to an even layer. Add 2 cups of the cheese to the top of the pasta, followed by the remaining pasta on top.
  6. Top the macaroni with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and bake for 15 minutes until the center is warm and the cheese is melted. Don’t overcook the macaroni and cheese as the cheese can break and become oily.

Recipe Notes

  • To Store: Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap. 
  • To Freeze: Keep tightly sealed in double-lock freezer bags or an airtight freezer-safe container. Let it thaw completely in the fridge.
  • To Reheat: Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes and re-bake until warmed through, OR reheat in the microwave. 
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop / Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked mac and cheese, mac and cheese, homemade mac and cheese