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Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Marsha


8 oz (about 2 cups) elbow macaroni or your choice of pasta

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups milk (preferably whole milk)

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 cup bread crumbs (for topping)

2 tablespoons melted butter (for topping)


Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Cook Pasta: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain well.

Make the Cheese Sauce: In a separate pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour until the mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk so that no lumps form, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Add Cheese: Add 1 3/4 cups of the cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Combine Pasta and Cheese Sauce: Add the drained pasta to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir to coat.

Transfer to Baking Dish: Transfer the mac and cheese to a lightly greased baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Bread Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the mac and cheese.

Bake: Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Serve: Let the mac and cheese sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!