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Photo: Sang An Photo by: Photo: Sang An

Macaroni and Cheese

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.

Real Simple NOVEMBER 2006

  • Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings


  • 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)


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.

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

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Macaroni and Cheese Recipe