Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese is a rich, delicious comfort food. A cheesy creamy homemade macaroni and cheese made with a roux, and with two kinds of cheese makes this a family favorite!
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
One of the best meals of all time, in my opinion, is good old fashioned homemade mac and cheese. Often a side dish, but for me, always a main!
There are many ways to make macaroni and cheese, even in the Instant Pot! But my favorite is to bake it.
I had my first mac and cheese made with a roux in 1980, yes I’m old, and I loved it. So Mrs. Baker, the woman who made it, gave me her recipe. I’ve since revamped it.
What is the Best Cheese for Mac and Cheese?
A combination has always been my choice. Since cheeses vary so much, it’s nice to have a couple with different characteristics.
Processed cheese, such as Velveeta, is a great one to use because it tastes like American cheese, and it melts beautifully.
I also use sharp cheddar cheese for the nice bold cheddar flavor. You can use a medium cheddar if you like a milder flavor.
There are so many other cheeses out there that will work. You can get crazy and use a spicy cheese, or even goat cheese for a tangy note!
The steps to make this fantastic homemade mac and cheese recipe are easy. Here they are:
This macaroni and cheese recipe makes a nice amount. You can get about 12 servings from it.
Mac and cheese is also a wonderful potluck recipe.
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If you make this delicious macaroni and cheese recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating. I’d love to know how you liked it!
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb Elbow Macaroni
- 1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt plus 1 Tbsp for the pasta water
- 1 1/2 sticks Unsalted Butter 3/4 cup, divided
- 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 3 cups Whole Milk
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 8 oz Velveeta Processed Cheese cubed
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese I prefer sharp cheddar
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 1/2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
- Before starting the cooking process, I recommend having all of the ingredients weighed, measured, chopped, and laid out and ready to go. It makes the process easier and faster.
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 1 Tbsp of the salt. Add the pasta and stir. Bring back to a low boil and reduce the heat to maintain low boil. Cook until al dente, then drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile, as the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat one stick (1/2 cup) of butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until combined and the mixture starts to bubble.
- Add the mustard, heavy cream, milk, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper. Whisk frequently as the mixture heats up, until the mixture thickens.
- Add the processed cheese and stir until it is melted. Then add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted and no lumps remain.
- Pour the cheese sauce into the bowl of cooked macaroni pasta and stir to coat all of the noodles. Then transfer to the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top.
- Melt 4 Tbsp remaining butter and add to a small bowl with the paprika and panko bread crumbs. Stir to coat the bread crumbs with the butter. Then sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the macaroni and cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is a golden color and the mac and cheese is bubbling. Try not to over bake so it doesn't dry out.
- Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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