Easiest Ever Baked Macaroni and Cheese (with VIDEO)
Easiest ever baked macaroni and cheese – this is a go-to recipe of many of my readers and it will become the same for your family!
This is the easiest ever macaroni and cheese! And so delicious!
You boil pasta, mix with the cheese and other ingredients, put it in the pan and pour the milk over it. No messing with white sauces or tricky steps. No getting four pots and pans dirty!
You can prep it ahead and keep it in the fridge overnight and then it will be ready to bake when you want it! It’s a total crowd pleaser. This is a great recipe for busy weeknight meals but also for entertaining.
Enjoy one of our family’s favorite meals! I grew up eating this macaroni and cheese and it was always a special day when my mom prepared it. Now I love serving it to my family and I especially love how easy it is to prepare, obviously.
Notes to answer some common questions :
- Sharp cheddar is best (I use extra sharp) – it provides this macaroni and cheese with the maximum amount of flavor.
- Grate your own cheese for best results, but it works with pre-grated as well.
- Breadcrumbs on the top would be good if that’s how you like mac & cheese!
- I like my top extra crispy. If you do not, I’d recommend covering with foil for at least the first 30 minutes, up until the entire time.
- This can be prepped in full a day ahead (aside from baking) and baked prior to serving.
- Whole wheat pasta is awesome in this, and is the way I usually make it.
- 1 package (16 oz) elbow macaroni
- 1 pound (16 oz) sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray or grease a casserole dish or a 9x13 pan.
- Cook macaroni as directed on the package in salted water until tender, drain.
- While macaroni is cooking, combine 2 and 1/2 cups of cheese with flour, pepper, and ground mustard.
- In a large bowl, combine cheese and flour mixture with hot macaroni and stir to combine. Pour into the greased pan. Pour milk over macaroni. Top with remaining cheese. Dot with butter. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes (taking the foil off after 30 minutes if desired) or until firm and golden brown. You want to make sure there isn’t a lot of runny milk in it still, poke a knife in the middle if necessary. Some will soak in as it cools but it should be mostly absorbed.
- (Optional) Let sit for 10 minutes before serving to further firm up.
- Whole wheat elbow macaroni can be substituted.
- Use sharp or extra-sharp cheddar for best results.
- If desired, add 3 tablespoons minced onion.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 16mg Sodium: 173mg Carbohydrates: 34g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 4g Protein: 10g
Husband’s take: He loves this recipe for mac & cheese.
Changes I would make: None – this is the best baked mac and cheese.
Difficulty: So easy. SO SO SO SO easy.
Looking for more macaroni and cheese? I have you MORE than covered!