Macaroni and Cheese

Photo: Sang An

Layer cooked macaroni with butter, milk, two kinds of cheese, and a little cayenne for a spicy kick. Assemble this casserole ahead of time and bake when ready to serve. User Alex suggests cooking it a little longer than suggested if you like the edges to get crispy and browned.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
Recipe from Real Simple

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 581
  • Calories from fat: 42%
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated fat: 17g
  • Cholesterol: 86mg
  • Sodium: 651mg
  • Carbohydrate: 57g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 11g
  • Protein: 27g


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups whole or low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Cheddar
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated Gruyère
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350° F.

    Cook the macaroni according to the package directions.

    Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the top. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Still stirring, slowly add the milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 7 minutes. Add the Cheddar, Gruyère, salt, and cayenne (if using) and heat until the cheeses melt.

    Drain and rinse the macaroni. Add it to the sauce and toss. Transfer to a buttered casserole. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

    In Advance: Assemble the macaroni and cheese but do not bake it. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed, adding 15 to 20 minutes to the cooking time.
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