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    Baked Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

    Published July 1, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Learn how to make the most delicious homemade macaroni and cheese recipe that is loaded up with 3 different kinds of cheese.

    We are huge comfort food eaters in this family.  Whether it’s tomato soup and grilled cheese or chicken noodle soup, we are big-time fans of classic comfort food.

    big casserole dish of macaroni and cheese

    Macaroni and Cheese

    Is there anything more classic and comforting than homemade macaroni and cheese?  While Kraft may have packaged it up and put it in a box, it’s roots stem to back to Southern Italy as early as the 13th century.

    There are many takes on macaroni and cheese and the ingredients that are used in it and here are the staples:

    • Macaroni Noodles
    • Cheese
    • Milk

    What’s the Best Cheese to Use?

    What cheese to use in this recipe is a little bit subjective based upon what you like.  I’m a huge fan of a combination of cheddars and American cheese, I believe it provides the cheesiest macaroni.

    Some great cheeses to use include:

    • Cheddar
    • White Cheddar
    • American
    • Gouda
    • Mozzarella
    • Colby Jack
    • Monterey Jack
    • Pepper Jack
    • Gruyere
    • Comte
    • Parmesan
    • Asiago
    • Mascarpone

    Macaroni and Cheese Bake Recipe Video

    It’s easy to make this homemade macaroni and cheese bake recipe, but it does help to have a helpful step-by-step video tutorial. Watch the video and follow along!

    How to Make It

    Follow these easy instructions for how to make this recipe.

    Start by grating all of the cheeses and setting them to the side.

    grating cheddar cheese on a cheese grater

    Sauté some onions and garlic in a little bit of butter until lightly browned.

    sautéing garlic and onions in a large pot

    Stir in flour to make a roux

    adding flour to the pot with onions and garlic

    Add in milk to make a bechamel sauce and bring to a boil to thicken.

    mixing a creamy sauce in a large rondeau pot

    Pour in the shredded cheeses to the thick milk sauce and whisk until smooth.

    adding shredded cheese to a large pot with milk

    Boil the macaroni noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly crunchy or al dente.

    boiling macaroni noodles in a large pot of boiling water

    Mix the cooked macaroni noodles with the cheese sauce and eggs until completely combined.

    mixing together eggs, cheese sauce and cooked macaroni noodles together in a pot

    Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish, top off with additional shredded cheese and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

    sprinkling cheese on top of macaroni and cheese in a casserole dish

    Why is My Macaroni and Cheese Dry?

    When macaroni and cheese are on the drier side it tends to be two different things:

    1. Undercooked Noodles: When this happens, the undercooked noodles suck up too much liquid when baking causing it to be dry.
    2. Not Enough Sauce: The noodles regardless of how cooked or uncooked they are, will continue to suck up the sauce when baking in the oven, so if there isn’t enough sauce it will dry out your macaroni and cheese.

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 2 days ahead of time and will need to be reheated before serving.  In addition, you can make the recipe without baking, cool the sauce and noodles separately, and then reheat the sauce first before mixing with the noodles before baking it.  You may need to add a little bit of milk to the sauce to help thin it out while reheating it.  Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days until you are ready to bake and serve it.

    How to Reheat: Place your desired amount of macaroni and cheese in a casserole dish and cover with foil and bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until hot.  Likewise, you can heat on a microwave-safe dish until hot.

    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  This will freeze well covered for up to 3 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • While macaroni noodles are the most common noodle, you can absolutely use things like fusilli or farfalle in substitution.
    • Feel free to swap out the cheeses with your desired favorites.
    • If you want a looser macaroni and cheese, then please do not use the eggs.
    • You can optionally garnish the macaroni and cheese when it’s finished with chopped parsley or chives.
    macaroni and cheese casserole dish with a large spoonful taken out

    More Comfort Food Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Baked Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

    5 from 4 votes
    Learn how to make the most delicious homemade macaroni and cheese recipe that is loaded up with 3 different kinds of cheese.
    Servings: 16
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 peeled and small diced yellow onion
    • 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
    • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 6 cups whole milk
    • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
    • 3 cups shredded white cheddar
    • 3 cups shredded American cheese
    • 1 ½ pounds macaroni noodles
    • 3 large eggs
    • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 350°.
    • Add the butter to a large rondeau or Dutch oven pot over medium heat until melted and add in the onions and garlic and cook until lightly browned about 5-7 minutes.
    • Next, stir in the flour until completely combined and add in the milk and bring to a boil over high heat.
    • Once the milk becomes thick, stir in 2 cups each of each cheese, totaling 6 cups of shredded cheese and whisk until smooth.
    • Turn the heat down to low and finish with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
    • In the meantime, boil the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water for 6-8 minutes or until slightly crunchy or al dente.
    • Drain the noodles and transfer them to the pot of cheese sauce and mix thoroughly along with the eggs. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper if need be.
    • Transfer the macaroni and cheese to a large casserole dish and sprinkle on the remaining 1 cup each of the shredded cheese totaling 3 cups of cheese.
    • Bake in the oven at 350° for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

    Notes

    Chef Notes: 
    • Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 2 days ahead of time and will need to be reheated before serving. In addition, you can make the recipe without baking, cool it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days until you are ready to bake and serve it.
     
    • How to Reheat: Place your desired amount of macaroni and cheese in a casserole dish and cover with foil and bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until hot. Likewise, you can heat on a microwave-safe dish until hot.
     
    • How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This will freeze well covered for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
     
    • While macaroni noodles are the most common noodle, you can absolutely use things like fusilli or farfalle in substitution.
     
    • Feel free to swap out the cheeses with your desired favorites.
     
    • If you want a looser macaroni and cheese, then please do not use the eggs.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 529kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 25gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 756mgPotassium: 316mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 953IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 701mgIron: 1mg
    Course: Main, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American