Baked Mac And Cheese
How to make the best-baked mac and cheese recipe is on today’s post. I really like making this recipe because I can make all of it with my food storage stash. It’s been a number of years since I wrote this one, so I thought I’d better update it.
It smells fabulous baking in the oven. You can make it with whole milk or skim milk. You can even make it with different cheeses, fresh or freeze-dried.
As I remember, this was a family reunion recipe, so yes, you could feed your large family. It freezes well after baking it, if you put the leftovers in smaller containers.
This is a great item for school lunches as well if you have a thermos-type container to keep it hot.
When Mark and I raised our daughters, they loved this recipe! I served it with the green beans we had grown, picked, snapped, and canned in a pressure canner.
My girls still tell me that gardening and canning taught them much of their work ethic, among other things. There is something really awesome about working side by side with your kids producing your own food and preserving it.
Kitchen Items Needed In The Kitchen:
Baked Mac And Cheese
Gather the ingredients so you’re ready to make the recipe.
Boil the macaroni according to the directions on the package. Drain, and set aside.
Drain the macaroni.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a medium pan, melt the butter and quickly add the flour, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Continue stirring with a whisk until the mixture is smooth and blended. I got distracted and the butter got a little browner than I like, but the end result was still delicious.
You can see I added the dry mustard and pepper here.
Keep stirring, add the milk, then start adding the different cheeses (save 1/2 cup cheddar cheese for the top) and stir until melted.
Remove from heat. Add the cooked and drained macaroni and blend until macaroni is covered with cheese. Scoop the mixture into a 9″ by 13″ inch greased pan and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of cheese you set aside.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, depending on the quantity you desire, on top. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until the casserole starts to bubble.
Baked Mac and Cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2-1/2 cups whole milk
- 2-1/2 cups grated sharp cheese
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese (cut into pieces)
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 16-17 Ounces macaroni (cooked and drained (al dente)
- plain breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a medium pan, melt the butter and quickly add the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard. Continue stirring with a whisk until the mixture is smooth and blended. Keep stirring, add the milk, then start adding the different cheeses (save 1/2 cup cheddar cheese for the top) and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Add the cooked and drained macaroni and blend until macaroni is covered with cheese. Scoop the mixture into a 9″ by 13″ inch greased pan and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of cheese you set aside. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs depending on the quantity you desire on top. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until the casserole starts to bubble.
How do I store this in the refrigerator?
I use a Tupper-ware type container that is airtight.
Can I freeze it after baking it?
This recipe freezes well. It will keep for 1-2 months. I usually put the leftovers in smaller containers since they are easier to deal with.
How long can I keep it in the refrigerator?
Mac and Cheese will stay good for 3-5 days if properly wrapped airtight in the refrigerator.
Can I trade out the Velveeta cheese?
Today I had to use Velveeta slices because the grocery store was out of the boxed Velveeta cheese. So yes, any cheese will work.
Is it okay to use a different cheese?
I use whatever cheese I have in the refrigerator or freezer.
Can I use different milks in this recipe?
I haven’t used anything but whole milk, but any milk will work if you like the flavor.
How do I reheat this recipe?
You can, of course, microwave the leftovers, but you can also heat them up on the stove by adding a bit more milk.
What can I serve with mac and cheese?
- Cooked Broccoli
- Green Beans
- Tossed Salad
- BBQ Ribs
- BBQ Chicken
- Baked Chicken Legs
- Hot Dogs
- Pigs in a Blanket
Who invented Mac and Cheese?
I did some research about the history of mac and cheese. Some amateur historians have given Pres. Thomas Jefferson credit, and apparently he and his chef were the ones who introduced the recipe to the US after a visit to Paris where they enjoyed a meal or two. Wikipedia states that versions of mac and cheese as a pasta casserole were being made in Italy as early as the 14th century.
Also at that time, the casserole was listed in a medieval English cookbook. Elizabeth Raffald put together a cookbook in 1769 she called The Experienced English Housekeeper, and she included a recipe for mac and cheese.
Mary Randolph of Virginia listed a recipe for macaroni and cheese in her 1824 cookbook entitled, The Virginia Housewife. Both here in the US, and throughout Europe, you’ll encounter various approaches to making this delicious meal.
Do I have to bake it in the oven?
No, many recipes call for mac and cheese to be cooked on the stovetop using a saucepan.
Can I make it without having to make a “sauce first?”
Yes, some people prefer to make their’s by preparing the pasta, and then just layering the cheese and pasta, along with some evaporated milk and/or butter, in a baking pan and then cooking it. Of course, the texture of this casserole would be different.
What if I want the casserole to have more of a crispy texture on top?
I think you’ll find my recipe above with dried bread crumbs provides that kind of texture to this mac and cheese casserole, but I have heard of people using crackers or dried onions instead. Be adventurous and try what you think your family will enjoy.
If I’m in a big hurray, do they make boxed mixes for mac and cheese?
Yes, there are a number of commercial brands you can buy. One of the most popular is manufactured by Kraft Foods. You can also buy the cheese sauce and add it to your pasta. Check it out.
Please let me know if you make my baked mac and cheese, I love hearing from you. Life is good when we know how to cook from scratch. This recipe is perfect to have our kids and grandkids make with us in the kitchen. Please keep stocking what you can afford. May God Bless this world, Linda
12 thoughts on “Baked Mac And Cheese”
Can you believe I’ve never had baked Mac and Cheese? I’m going to have to try this though.
Hi Deborah, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend!! I love mac and cheese, well any pasta!!! LOL! You will love it! Linda
This looks really good. At first glance, I thought it said bacon Mac and cheese. So, now I might just have to add some bacon. Let’s…go…all…the…way…haha!
Hi Steff, thank you for the 5 stars!! Yeah, bacon would be awesome!!! LOL! Linda
The first recipe I cooked myself as a child was mac and cheese from the recipe in the Betty Crocker boys and girls cookbook. It was a layered one like you talk about at the end, just mac, cheese, mac , cheese, and dots of butter on top. I still make it, but with gluten free pasta now!
Hi Jan, isn’t it wonderful that companies make gluten-free pasta???? I didn’t know Betty Crocker had a boys and girls cookbook!!! That would have been awesome! We all grew up with that one and the Better Homes and Garden one!! I love hearing this! Linda
I make my mac and cheese with cheese wiz. It is Velveeta in a more easy way of adding Velveeta no having to melt it. As one woman said above I add bacon to my Mac and Cheese. Or ham or whatever meat I have handy
Hi Jackie, I remember a recipe with Cheese Wiz, I forgot about that one! Ham would be good to add! Thank you for the 5 stars!!! Linda
You have the mustard. I have never had Mac and cheese that I liked without it. Should have known you would have it in there.
Hi Janet, oh my gosh, I love hearing this!! LOL! I love that dry mustard in it! Linda
Do you make sure all the pasta on top is covered with either cheese or bread crumbs? I ask because the only time I tried baking mac and cheese the pasta on top dried out.
Hi Ray, I think maybe the breadcrumbs and the extra cheese make a difference??? Yes, I always add extra cheese on top! Linda