Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This classic baked macaroni and cheese recipe is creamy, cheesy, and topped with a crispy golden crust. Perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or anytime you crave comfort food.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (optional, for topping)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional, for topping)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  1. Cook the Macaroni:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  1. Prepare the Cheese Sauce:
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes until it forms a smooth paste (roux).
  • Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps, and cook until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Season with salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir to combine.
  1. Combine Pasta and Cheese Sauce:
  • Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce, stirring until the pasta is evenly coated.
  1. Transfer to Baking Dish:
  • Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
  1. Optional Topping:
  • In a small bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
  1. Bake:
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  1. Serve:
  • Let the baked macaroni and cheese cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

This baked macaroni and cheese can be served as a main dish or a side, and it’s sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike!

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