Homemade baked macaroni and cheese brings back great memories about my childhood like nothing else! You most likely already have the ingredients for baked macaroni and cheese on hand!
I learned how to make baked macaroni and cheese from scratch from my mom. My mom served oven baked macaroni and cheese every week, especially on weekends after sports practice. She would finish the meal off with a little peach crisp for dessert, and we were always super happy!
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I’ve never really like the boxed macaroni and cheese with powdered sauce. This homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe is almost as fast and easy to make as a boxed mac and cheese, but it is SO much healthier and tastier!
I promise, this easy baked macaroni and cheese recipe will be a hit with your entire family. Kids love the cheesy flavors that you just can’t get from the boxed variety. If your kids like to cook like mine do, they will love to help prepare this baked macaroni and cheese.
I like to think of this as my award winning baked macaroni and cheese recipe. I love serving it for a weekend lunch with friends, starting with Hot Artichoke Dip, along with a gorgeous fresh salad with lemon vinaigrette or coleslaw, and some No Knead Bread.
The simplicity and old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese flavors will win accolades and praises from everyone you serve it to. My kids tell me that this is the best baked macaroni and cheese that we make!
How to Make Baked Macaroni and Cheese
This simple baked macaroni and cheese starts with a luscious cheese sauce. Mix the cheesy sauce with macaroni noodles, put in a casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake and enjoy!
The cheese sauce for this homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe begins with a simple classic white roux (pronounced Roo) made from 1 Tablespoon of butter and 1 Tablespoon of flour. The butter is heated in a saucepan and flour is whisked into it. The heat from the melted bubbling butter releases the starch from the flour. This helps bind the milk and cheese when they are added to the mixture (the roux).
This makes a delicious creamy cheesy sauce for your baked macaroni and cheese that will be smooth and silky. While your kids may not pick up on the velvety texture, they certainly will devour this cheesy baked macaroni and cheese.
Once the sauce is ready, mix it with the cooked macaroni pasta, and onions if you’d like. Toss them into a casserole dish, top with cheese and bake away!
How Long Do You Bake Macaroni and Cheese
If you’re wondering how long to bake macaroni and cheese, it’s just long enough to make sure it is piping hot, and the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Bake the macaroni and cheese at 400°F for 10-15 minutes.
If you like your baked macaroni and cheese with bread crumbs on the top, just sprinkle it with 1/2 to 1 cup of breadcrumbs before baking.
Sometimes I mix the breadcrumbs with 2 Tablespoons of melted butter for a bit of extra heavenly crunch!
How Do You Make Macaroni and Cheese Healthy
Macaroni and cheese is an excellent source of calcium, iron and of course carbohydrates and protein. The box type of macaroni and cheese is approximately 1000 calories – which is about half of your daily intake of calories. Enjoy a tasty version with fewer calories and more wholesome ingredients.
We love adding healthy items to this dish, especially if it’s going to be the only item on the plate. Try adding frozen peas or edamame. Sometimes we use penne pasta to change things up, or add a teaspoon of grainy mustard to enhance the flavor (try it, it’s great!).
When I’m in a real hurry, I add approximately 8 ounces of prepared cheese sauce to make this baked macaroni and cheese casserole.
Treat yourself and your family to this homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe! You’ll be glad you did!
Homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese (with red onion)
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon whole wheat flour *
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 ¼ cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 12 ounces macaroni
- Salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup red onion finely diced, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cook pasta per package and drain, reserving a small amount of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pot and remove from heat. Stir in flour until well combined.
- Return to heat and add milk gradually. Whisk constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add dry mustard and 1 cup of cheese, stirring until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine pasta and cheese sauce and onion if using. If it is a little dry, mix in some pasta water.
- Add to casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes, until bubbling.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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Recipe from The Illustrated Quick Cook