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.