This delicious Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a family favorite side dish. Tender macaroni is baked in a savory cheddar and Gruyere cheese sauce, topped with crunchy bread crumbs and baked to perfection. It’s pure comfort food bliss!
This is always a welcomed side dish for dinner or any occasion… because who doesn’t love creamy and cheesy mac and cheese?! This recipe couldn’t be easier and takes just 45 minutes to prepare from start to finish.
I could literally eat this as a meal in itself, but try to balance things out and serve it with a main course and a green veggie (I love it with roasted chicken leg quarters and brussels sprouts!).
How to Make It
You’ll start out by adding macaroni that has been cooked al dente to an easy cheese sauce prepared on the stove top. Transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle with panko bread crumbs (regular bread crumbs can be used as well) and bake until golden brown.
How to Store and Reheat
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Reheat on the stove top or in the microwave, but be sure to add a tablespoon or two of milk to make it creamy again. The macaroni continues to absorb the sauce after being cooked and tends to dry out when stored.
Can I Use Just Cheddar Cheese?
I love the combination of cheddar and Gruyere, but you can most definitely use all cheddar in this recipe.
I’d also recommend shredding your own cheese and not using pre-shredded; it doesn’t melt as well as block cheese because of the preservatives.
If you’re a lover of all things macaroni and cheese, be sure to try my Seafood Mac and Cheese (absolutely heavenly!) and fall-inspired Pumpkin Mac and Cheese.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 16 ounce package elbow macaroni
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded (1 ½ cups)
- 6 ounces Gruyere cheese shredded (1 ½ cups)
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Cook macaroni al dente (firm to the bite – about 1 minute before package instructed cook time) and drain.
- While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a 6 quart dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Slowly add flour, about a tablespoon at a time, while whisking until smooth.
- Slowly add milk, whisking frequently until mixture just starts to boil and is thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Slowly add cheeses, one handful at a time, stirring until cheese is melted and mixture is combined. Remove from heat and add cooked and drained macaroni to cheese mixture. Stir well to coat macaroni evenly. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Spoon macaroni into an ungreased 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.
- Bake (uncovered) for approximately 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly around edges.
- Regular bread crumbs can be substituted for panko bread crumbs.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
If provided, nutritional info is a courtesy, is not guaranteed and should only be considered as a guideline.
Originally published December 2015. Updated with new photographs, helpful tips, recipe revised and republished April 2020.
This macaroni is delicious and I plan on making it again