Prep Time
15 Mins
Cook Time
7 Mins
Bake Time
20 Mins
Stand Time
10 Mins
Yield
Makes 2 to 3 main-dish or 4 to 6 side-dish servings

Give up the box mix because making Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese from scratch is easier than you think. Shredding a block of cheese adds a little more prep time but the smooth and creamy results are worth it. This dish makes for a great side dish that the family will love, or a fun casserole to bring to your next potluck dinner. For more tasty mac and cheese recipes, see our complete Macaroni and Cheese recipe collection.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Keep warm.

Step 2

Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, black and red pepper, 1 cup shredded cheese, and cooked pasta.

Step 3

Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

Step 4

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Step 5

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Sharp Cheddar Cheese. To lighten, 2% reduced-fat milk and reduced-fat cheese may be substituted.

Step 6

One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese: Prepare recipe as directed, stirring all grated Cheddar cheese into thickened milk mixture until melted. Add cooked pasta, and serve immediately. Prep: 10 min., Cook: 7 min.

Ratings & Reviews

buenacena
December 24, 2015
This is the BEST mac n cheese recipe EVER!!!!!! It is better than my Mom's and this year we will be adding Wright's Bacon to the top w some extra cheese!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Annav1's Review

mandybar
December 31, 2013
Although it has potential, ALTERATIONS WILL BE NEEDED if you decide to use the recipe. Definitely more cheese needed in the sauce, we added parsley, a hint of garlic powder & bread crumbs to have a crunchy top. Read some reviews stating that the sauce came out grainy, MINE TOO! Still don't know if I did something wrong.

CGroos's Review

Izograf
January 25, 2014
Yes, this is delicious! Double it for a crowd. Use half milk, and half 1/2&1/2. Also, a teaspoon of dry mustard and touch of garlic powder for zip.

Selfduo's Review

aahartman01
November 12, 2013
So so good. I doubled the cheese as suggested by the comments and used Panko on the top. I used Cabot Extra Sharp cheese and Penne pasta. I was out of milk but had heavy cream, so I used half cream and half water. Some of the best Mac and cheese I have ever had.

Delicious Basic Mac & Cheese

CGroos
March 11, 2018
I changed this a bit due to introducing "real" mac & cheese to my 8YO who due to an allergy has never had it before (he's used to vegan cheese). This turned out great! I used bacon everywhere since my son loves it. So 4 pieces bacon crumbled in the cheese sauce and 4 pieces bacon crumbled with breadcrumbs on top (i used all the cheese in the sauce). In place of the milk I used 2 cups chicken broth and used white pepper and no red pepper. I haven't baked it yet but prior to baking it tasted amazing! I had to force myself to stop so there'd be plenty for dinner. Thanks for the quick and easy basic recipe! 

TGam89's Review

Rach18
February 20, 2013
N/A

Caribbeangel's Review

Bikerman
August 20, 2013
N/A

shoshana's Review

Jengavrichev
October 16, 2012
I followed the recipe exactly, except I left out the red pepper. It turned our really, really good. I will definitely make this again.

pamelacrutcher's Review

myrecipestest
December 30, 2011
N/A

ERolfe's Review

pamelacrutcher
October 21, 2012
Felt that the ground red pepper overpowered the dish. I used extra sharp cheddar and added a panko breadcrumb topping which was perfect. Would make again omitting the red pepper.