Classic baked macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and is the perfect dish for a cold winter night – or anytime, really.
This recipe was developed in partnership with the American Butter Institute.
Macaroni and cheese— is there anything more comforting? I know it’s still January and we’re all trying to lay off the carbs, but it’s also January. It’s cold, it’s dark, and it’s starting to feel like winter will never end.
It’s time to embrace the oversized sweaters and indulge in something cozy, like mac and cheese!
Before creating this recipe I did a lot of research. I checked out some trusted sources, tried a few of their recipes, and married all of my favorite components into this one tried and true dish.
When it comes to real mac and cheese, you have to go big or go home. Sure, I appreciate “skinny” recipes here and there, but there’s no beating a rich and creamy mac and cheese when you’ve got a craving.
This dish starts with plenty of butter, uses whole milk, and has a heck of a lot of sharp cheddar cheese mixed in. It’s baked with a crispy topping of breadcrumbs, more butter, and more cheese, and you’ll be so happy when you pull it out of the oven. And even happier after that first bite.
Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
For the macaroni:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 cups whole milk
- 1-2 teaspoons salt , plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (about 6 cups)
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
For the topping:
- ¼ cup butter , melted
- 2 cups panko style bread crumbs
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese , shredded
- ½ cup parmesan cheese , shredded
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter large casserole dish.
- Melt butter in large saucepan. Add flour and whisk until it forms a thick paste. Add milk a little at a time while whisking continuously to form a sauce.
- Add salt, pepper, mustard, paprika and cheddar cheese and whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and add pasta to the cheese sauce, stirring until well coated.
- Dump pasta and sauce into prepared casserole dish.
- For the topping, combine melted butter, bread crumbs, cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese in medium bowl until mixed thoroughly. Sprinkle on top of pasta.
- Bake until topping is golden brown and sauce is bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.
Disclosure: This recipe was made with Real® Butter in partnership with the American Butter Institute. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands and campaigns I believe in, which make it easier for me to bring you new and creative content. All opinions are always my own. To see all of the recipes I have created for Go Bold with Butter, click here.