There is nothing better than Homestyle Baked Macaroni and Cheese. If you’re looking for the best comfort food dinner recipe ever, then this is your recipe! Watch the video showing you how to make baked macaroni and cheese, then scroll to the bottom of this post and print out the recipe so you can make it at home.
I eat a lot of great food. Trust me when I say that I eat well and I don’t deprive myself of what I’m craving. So once in a while, I feel like I have to give my body a break and hold off on eating certain things. I can give up sugar for a week or two. I don’t like to give up wine, but that happens once in a while as well. And limiting carbs every so often is good for whittling down my love handles.
But there is one thing that I have a very tough time giving up: CHEESE. I love cheese. I love cheese of every kind, color and nationality. It’s part of my happy existence, and I just can’t say no to it all that often. Because of that, I tend to buy GOOD cheese. I love the gourmet cheese section at specialty markets, and I’m in heaven when I’m lucky enough to actually spot a cheese shop!
So you probably wouldn’t be terribly surprised to learn that I absolutely adore a good, homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese. It’s the best!
For this macaroni and cheese, I use an aged sharp cheddar. The sharper the better, as far as I’m concerned. I love the tangy flavor. There isn’t a particular brand that I stick to, but I happen to enjoy Cabot’s varieties quite a lot.
I make this for dinner whenever I decide to place my body on a temporary carb-ban. No one can ever resist Baked Macaroni and Cheese. After a few major bites, you are delivered to Cheese Heaven and Beyond. It’s totally worth it to cave into the craving. My husband loves this recipe too. My son, however, thinks that this Mac and Cheese is TOO CHEESY! What the heck? Who is this boy… cause he’s totally not mine if he thinks something has TOO MUCH CHEESE? I can’t even relate. Crazy kid.
How to make Homestyle Baked Macaroni and Cheese:
Pictured above: the base of the Mac and Cheese is made on the stovetop and then transferred to a baking dish. I top this one with a bacon and butter-cracker crumb topping. It’s finished off in the oven in just 20 minutes, it browns nicely and comes out hot and bubbly and very cheesy!
If you’re worried about having decadent leftovers, then spread the cheese love and bring some to neighbors. They’ll love ya!
If you’re looking for more delicious cheesy recipes for dinner, you might also enjoy my Mac and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes or these Pork and Melted Cheese Hoagies. Philly Cheesesteak Cheesy Bread, Three Cheese Stuffed Shells with Creamy White Sauce, and One Pan Cheesy Jalapeno Chicken are also great dinner recipes for cheese addicts.
Homestyle Baked Macaroni and Cheese
MAC & CHEESE:
- 2 cups small (dry) elbow macaroni (or another small pasta)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 20 Ritz crackers (or another buttery cracker), crushed
- 4 slices cooked, crispy bacon, chopped
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- Cook the macaroni using package directions; drain.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rack on the lower-third rung in your oven. Spray 2 1/2- quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook until smooth and bubbly, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in the cooked pasta and cheddar cheese.
- Spoon the cheesy macaroni into the prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the cheesy macaroni. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
How big would be a 2 1/2 quarter dish in inches?
10.25″ x 7.5″
This recipe is so good. Cream cheese puts more creaminess. Men like bacon and this recipe touches the base there. Serve with a big tossed salad loaded with diced vegetables and you have a meal for the last minute dinner night when you don’t feel like fussing ❤️
I just made this..OMG this is my absolute favorite going forward. I shared with my neighbor and she has not stopped talking about this for b the past 3 days. This was amazing. I used Cabot extra sharp cheese. It works well. Have to admit, I Used almost 4 cups of cheese…I’m still in quarantine mode.
Hi! How many cups would you say 8 ounces of cheese is? I stock up on cheese when I go to costco. I have a much bigger bag than 8 ounces. Any help would be a appreciated!
8 ounces of cheese = 2 cups
Made this last week as a side dish for company–left out the bacon bc there were some vegetarians in the mix. It was delicious! We were testing it out to see if we wanted to use it for a side dish at thanksgiving. It was the first and last recipe we tested–no need to try others, it was that good! The ritz cracker topping was so good, just the right amount of butteriness and so light that they almost melted in your mouth as you ate a bite, but still getting a bit of crispness as texture. It’s a keeper, for sure!
So glad it was a hit!
There is no such thing as too cheesy! This look fabulous, no way I could resist it either!
Cheese will never, ever leave my diet!
Needed a mac-n-cheese recipe for tomorrow evening! Thanks!!
Yum! I grew up hating mac & cheese and now I’m a connoisseur (making up for lost time… this looks divine!
I never get sick of mac n’ cheese recipes. I think it is my favorite thing to make. This looks perfect and creamy!
I love the look of this mac and cheese. I can’t imagine my kids thinking anything was too cheesy, but maybe this is his way of rebelling against his parents?
Now this is comfort food. Looks so good. Knowing me I would eat the leftovers cold right out of the fridge. And “too cheesy” is a good thing.
Of yum, your mac and cheese looks divine!
Too funny about your son! I agree with you, NEVER too much cheese! I am way obsessed with Mac and Cheese too! 🙂 This looks amazing!
I could not give up cheese either! We all love it too much! 🙂 This mac and cheese looks so comforting. Love the cracker topping!
Seriously – there is no such thing as too much cheese! And I’m with you – the sharper the better. This sounds amazing!!
The cheesier the better in my opinion! This looks delicious!
Macaroni and cheese is comfort food to the MAX. I thought the point of mac ‘n cheese was the cheesier the better. 🙂
I can almost taste this through the screen it looks so amazing! Yum Yum!
MMMM more cheese please! I definitely feel you on giving up cheese, oh the torture! Have you tried the Unexpected Cheddar at TJ’s? I literally go through blocks of that by the day!
You’ve got my mouth watering for this mac and cheese! I’m with you… I can’t give up cheese when I’m watching what I eat, so I do tend to go with really good cheese so that it’s worth it. 🙂
That topping is heavenly! I love mac and cheese and can never say no to it. I admire you being able to give up sugar for a week or two, man I wish I could do that!
Oh my god! That looks amazing. Totally indulgent. I love the addition of the dijon mustard – give that cheese an extra kick. And so glad to see that bacon is included (should be mandatory in mac and cheese!)
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Cheese chees cheese and noodles!!! woohoo! lol!
Nice to meet ya!
How can it ever be too cheesy?! Mac n cheese is my absolute weakness – I definitely wouldn’t have been able to resist this!
Never too much cheese!! That bacon and cracker crust looks so fab!!
This looks to die for! I love the addition of the dijon mustard. That topping looks so perfectly crispy and golden brown. I’ll be making this!
Seriously drooling over here at 7am, yum!!
I am with you on the need for cheese – ommitting it is not an option on any of my diets!
No such thing as too much cheese. The boy needs to go to cheese bootcamp 🙂
Lori, I agree…fellow cheese fiend, here! Had to give up dairy, grains and sugar (including fruit!) last year for 6 months to recover from an illness. It. Was. So. Hard! Your Mac & Cheese recipe looks simply divine! xo
Mac and cheese is pretty much one of my favorite things ever. This looks amazing.
The more cheese, the better. This would bring a smile to anyone’s face.
I always say that cheese is the one reason I could never go vegan…and this is really calling to me right now! No such thing as too cheesy. Ever.
I can not imagine ever thinking that mac n cheese is too cheesy, ever! I wouldn’t be able to resist this either!