Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole

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Homemade Mac and Cheese is a rich, creamy casserole that is truly a show stopper!

Not only is this creamy macaroni and cheese recipe easy to make it, has a special ingredient making it extra delicious!

This dish has so much velvety cheese in a quick homemade sauce that, once you try it, this is going to be the only baked macaroni & cheese dish you’ll ever need!

Scooping mac and cheese out of a white casserole dish

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Hello, my name is Holly and I am addicted to Macaroni and Cheese.  It is literally my favorite thing to eat on the whole planet! It doesn’t even have to be fancy, I love crock pot mac & cheese, stove top mac and cheese or even out of a little blue box.

Of all of the mac and cheese recipes, *this* little gem right here is like striking mac and cheese gold. It is definitely the best mac and cheese recipe ever and always gets rave reviews! Take it from me, I definitely should know!

How to Make Homemade Mac and Cheese

Making homemade macaroni and cheese (including this 5-star recipe) is surprisingly easy and quick!

This mac and cheese casserole starts with tender macaroni noodles that are slightly undercooked so they don’t get mushy when it’s baked.

A big plate of this Macaroni and Cheese Casserole is truly one of our all time favorites. Loads of delicious cheddar cheese flavor and a rich cheesy sauce.

About This Mac and Cheese Sauce

The sauce for this easy homemade mac and cheese is a classic roux based cheese sauce.  Roux sounds very fancy but truthfully it’s just butter and flour cooked and then milk added so don’t let it scare you away!

The results of creating a roux based sauce means your macaroni and cheese is going luscious and velvety smooth every single time. This allows the cheeses to melt in evenly and perfectly for this casserole.

To add to the creaminess of this dish, I combine a little bit of milk and a little bit of light cream (I use a cream that is about 10-12%MF or half and half).

A big plate of this Mac and Cheese Casserole is truly one of our all time favorites. Loads of delicious cheddar cheese flavor and a rich cheesy sauce make the best macaroni and cheese casserole ever.

Now, this recipe has a special ingredient that is a little bit unconventional but makes it extra yummy…  AND it is optional.

The addition of the cheddar soup makes the sauce a little bit extra velvety and just adds a little something.

mac and cheese with Velveeta, I personally prefer to make it without!  The addition of the cheddar cheese soup to this recipe is something you definitely should try!  (You can find it at your local grocery store with the other condensed soups or online here).

If you don’t happen to have cheese soup on hand (or if you just don’t want to use it), this baked mac and cheese recipe is still ridiculously great without.

You might be wondering what cheese is best for mac and cheese, and it’s one with lots of flavor!

I generally use a sharp cheddar in this recipe as I love the flavor however you can certainly use your favorite cheeses in this recipe too. Sometimes I mix up the cheeses and use a bit of gruyere, or even pepperjack for a little kick. If you have bits of cheese leftover, you can combine them all together in this easy homemade mac and cheese sauce.

I would suggest buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself as pre-shredded cheeses don’t melt the same way as they have additives to keep them from clumping/sticking.

Making Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is not difficult but below are a few simple tips to make sure it turns out absolutely perfectly every single time!

A serving spoon of gooey macaroni and cheese with on the table

Tips to Make Creamy Mac and Cheese

  • Cook your pasta al dente (firm) as the noodles cook extra in the sauce and you don’t want them mushy.
  • Don’t forget to salt your pasta water.
  • While not everyone agrees with rinsing the pasta after cooking, in this particular recipe it stops the noodles from cooking and the sauce is created with a texture that pairs perfectly with the rinsed noodles.
  • A sharper cheddar cheese will add a stronger cheese flavor.
  • Pre-shredded cheeses contain additives to keep it from sticking together which affects the way it melts.  The sauce is best if you shred your own cheeses.
  • Allowing the baked macaroni and cheese to rest for a few minutes after baking will thicken the sauce.
  • Most importantly of all… Do not over bake this recipe.

When cooking your macaroni noodles, cook them according to the package directions but you want them to be still firm.  If your package says 6-8 minutes, just cook them 6…  you get the idea.

 

I choose not to top this baked macaroni casserole with a bread crumb mixture but if you really like bread crumbs on your macaroni and cheese, by all means, add some!

How to Make a Bread Crumb Topping for Mac & Cheese

Combine the following and sprinkle over your casserole before baking.

  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (Panko Bread Crumbs are best)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (optional)

This recipe makes an extra saucy creamy macaroni.  Do not over-bake this recipe.  You want it creamy and rich, over-baking will cause it to dry out.

I find that 20 minutes was perfect in my oven…  note that the recipe will thicken slightly while standing.

Print Recipe
4.82 from 43 votes
Servings: 8 servings
HOMEMADE MAC AND CHEESE CASSEROLE
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
 
Author: Holly
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade mac and cheese

This homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole is the best you've ever had. Tender noodles in a velvety sauce for the perfectly irresistible dish!!

Ingredients
  • 12 oz dry macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup light cream about 10-12% MF
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 can condensed cream of cheddar soup optional 10.75oz
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and let cook 2 minutes while stirring. Slowly whisk in cream, milk, mustard powder and onion powder. Cook over medium heat while stirring until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese & 3 cups cheddar cheese until melted. Add soup if using.
  5. Toss cheese sauce & macaroni noodles together. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 18-24 minutes or until bubbly. Do not over cook. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 547, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 529mg, Potassium: 230mg, Carbohydrates: 38g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 24g, Vitamin A: 20.4%, Calcium: 55.4%, Iron: 6.5%

(Nutriton information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

This Creamy Mac and Cheese Casserole is a show stopper! It's easy to make with tons of rich cheese sauce and a secret ingredient making it extra delicious!

This Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole is a show stopper! It's easy to make with tons of rich cheese sauce and a specail ingredient making it extra delicious!

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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese takes all of the creamy goodness of homemade mac and cheese and turns it into a meal you can have on the table in minutes! #spendwithpennies #instantpot #mac&cheese #easyrecipe #kidfriendlyrecipe

 

 

Holly

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

514 comments on “Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole”

  1. I made this macaroni and cheese for the 4th of July and everyone loved it, especially my macaroni and cheese LOVING husband! He asked me to keep this recipe as my new go-to! So creamy and absolutely delicious!

  2. This was amazing! We made it without the bread crumbs on top and only baked for 10 min because we didn’t want to dry it out. We used the condensed cheddar soup and it was incredible. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. This was terrific! I had never made macaroni and cheese (other than the box kind). I added green onion, which was so good. I also used Ritz crackers, bacon bits, and finely diced swiss cheese for the crumble topping. Thank you so much! LOVE!

  4. Have you every had to double the recipe? Would i just double all of the ingredients?

    • I have easily doubled this recipe and it’s worked perfectly. Increasing the ratios as written will work just fine.

  5. I cooked this according to the recipe, and the sour cream curdled. I cooked it for the shortest amount of time also. It tasted ok, but it didn’t look as appetizing and obviously the texture was off. It definitely wasn’t worth the extra calories. Everyone at the family meal agreed that they preferred our classic Mac and cheese.

  6. I am wondering what percent milk you use in the recipe(skim, 1%, 2%, whole)? Is one better to use?
    Thanks!

  7. I’d like to make this for a potluck tomorrow, but will need to use 16 Oz of pasta. What measurements should I use for the other ingredients if using the full 16oz box?

  8. This was delish! My husband and I loved it! Thank you!

  9. I’d like to make this for the 4th and freeze ahead of time. Any one have luck with that?

    • I have not tried freezing this recipe. Often recipes with milk don’t freeze well so I can’t say for sure how it would work. Some readers have had success as you can see in the comments.

  10. This was delicious it was gone within 1 day 

  11. After trying dozens of recipe 
    Finally a crowd pleaser 
    Kid and adult and even better the next day 

  12. OMGoodness this is sooo good!
    I added extra of everything and chopped up a precooked ham to add in. Rave reviews!

  13. Absolutely delicious!!! The addition of the Cheddar Soup is GENIUS. 

  14. As a big fan of this recipe that has made it several times, I thought I would add a few comments.

    PEOPLE!!

    1. Use the concentrated soup, regular cheddar cheese soup, not the low fat kind. The can of soup is the secret ingredient that adds just the right amount of “Goosh” to this mac.
    2. DONT put more pasta in this!! When you stir the al dente mac into the cheese sauce, it DOES look like it is wayy too saucey, but after it bakes for a half hour or so, the mac expands, and once you let it cool, it will be the perfect saucy consistency, not DRIED out!! I was a little confused about the 12 oz of mac, but used a 16 oz. box, and just took a little bit out.
    3. Use old school, regular macaroni. The Cavatapi pasta I have is thinner, and by the time you boil it and bake it, it doesn’t stand up as well and can be mushy.. Hope this helps! ENJOY!

  15. I am going to make this today. Just a quick question; what is the fastest and easiest way to shred the cheese?

  16. 1) many have asked about the soup – I find it adds an extra creaminess and also helps it retain the gooey goodness when reheated the next day (without it you get that separated oily yuck most bechamel-based sauces become when reheated)
    2) I sometimes use half gruyere/half sharp cheddar and sub nutmeg for the onion/garlic – yummm!

  17. This is SOOO good! I have tried three different recipes and they all failed. But this is exactly what you crave in a Mac and Cheese. I don’t think I will ever be able to serve the stuff in the box again. This was easier to make than I thought, extra bonus! I added some Creole because we like spicy! Amazing! Even the picky boy liked it!
    Thank you for the recipe and instructions!

  18. This is the second time I’m making this recipe. I liked it so much I’m making it again. One of the easiest & tastiest mac & cheese recipe I’ve ever tried & I think I tried quite a few. Keep up with the good recipe like this one!

  19. I enjoyed making this recipe .

  20. My Mom always made homemade macaroni. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  21. Just finished making this + serving it for dinner, and I just want to put out a BIG WARNING, you won’t be able to stop eating it!! This is a fantastic recipe that I’m sure I’ll use at least once a week :) only feedback would be that this recipe does make quite a bit of cheese sauce compared to the macaroni, so you could add some more Mac if you don’t like your Mac n cheese SUPER engorged in cheese sauce haha

  22. Oh my! Just got done making this delicious mac and cheese and it is so good!!! going to have to make this more often, and its so easy to make! Thanks for sharing love. 

  23. Questions: can I substitute corn starch for flour? If yes, please let me know of the process or how to add it.

    Thank you

    • While I haven’t tried it, 1 part cornstarch replaces 3 parts flour so in this case you would need about 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to replace the flour. The method would be different in that you would need to mix the cornstarch directly into the cold milk before adding it to the pan (and not into the butter beforehand).

      Please let us know how it works out for you!

  24. Awesome! Came out very creamy, did use the cheddar soup. Made topping which came out crunchy. Definitely will make it again. Hubby loved it!

  25. Thanks for the recipe. I made this one time to try and it’s my go to for gatherings now. Everyone at church specifically requests it along with my family. I adjust to whatever I have on hand. So I usually just use milk, but sometimes I will sub the Parmesan cheese with a Mexican blend and just Cheddar with a little seasoning salt. Yummo!! So glad I found this one, it’s for sure a keeper!!

  26. This was delicious! Made it for the super bowl and everyone loved it! I did put the panko crust on the top. Loved the creamy inside and crust texture on top! Followed recipe to a tee and no changes are needed. Thanks Holly!

  27. Wow! Wow! Wow! I made this Mac and cheese yesterday for super bowl Sunday! Gone! It was a big hit.Very creamy and tastey.I used Cavatappi pasta (16ozbox) I did add the Chedder cheese soup! Love it! Will be making this version again! Thank you Holly!

  28. X the can cheese. Add sliced jalapenos and cut up green onion.

  29. Hi, Holly! Was looking for something for our Monday family dinner get together with kids, spouses & grandkids. Wanted a good, but simple mac and cheese that both the younger ones and the adults would like. Doubled the recipe and it was perfect! The only change (due only to my having just 1% milk, in an effort to make it a bit richer) was using only 1 cup of milk with 1/2 cup of fat-free half n half and 1 cup of regular half n half. Served it with a variety of hot sauces and fake bacon bits (as they were all I had). Great salad on the side and everyone loved it!

    Next time will have real bacon and perhaps some chopped up green onions as options as well. This will definitely be a go-to recipe in our household.

    Thank you!

  30. I made it without the cheese sauce and it was delish! Easy to follow recipe and measured out perfectly. I I will keep this one in rotation as everyone in my family loved it.

  31. I want to make this for a Mardi  Gras party. I want to add Cajun seasoning and cooked shrimp to recipe. What do you think?

  32. My husband loves cheese, so when I came across this recipe, I just had to try it. It turned out so great.
    I followed the recipe to the T. First time making without putting breadcrumbs on top. Mine cooked to brown on top. He liked it so much, he gave some to his mother and she loved it. Good recipe and easy and
    also liked the cheddar soup in it. Thank you.

  33. Holly is it necessary to use parmesan cheese? I’m going to make this for a large group of people. I know some of them don’t like parmesan.

    • You can certainly leave it out. The parm just adds a kick of flavor. I’d suggest making sure you use a sharp cheddar if skipping the parmesan. :)

  34. I just mixed the cheese mixture with the pasta and holy cheese! It seems to me there is WAY too much cheese for this amount of pasta.  I can’t imagine that 20 minutes in a 350 oven is going to change the fact that the pasta is currently swimming in cheese! I’m in the process of boiling another box of pasta as we speak. 

    • If you add extra pasta, it could potentially come out drier than intended. This recipe works perfectly as written and is intended to have a nice cheesy sauce.

      • I am sure you did not mean this to be as defensive as it sounds.  As a long time follower all I could think was WOW!

        • :) Not defensive, just wanted to let Sally know that if she adds more pasta and then bakes it risks coming out dry… it’s intended to be a bit more saucy than most mac & cheese recipes as I hate dry mac & cheese.

    • I usually use either 16 oz or 18 oz of large/xlarge elbow macaroni instead of regular 12oz macaroni and it always turns out great. A lot of creamy sauce but never too much or too little.

  35. Tried it and omg it’s delicious! Such a big hit with out family, only thing I changed was adding a little more breadcrumbs with the topping to make it crispy, this had for sure become a family favorite

  36. I have never made homemade mac and cheese. I love it but my spouse does not. When I saw this recipe I decided to give it a try – and it was the best mac and cheese I have ever eaten and the only mac and cheese I will make from now on! I also added some cubed ham to it (about a pound and a half, cubed into bite size pieces) and made it our main course for dinner. My husband, who does not like mac and cheese at all, gave it a try, ate a huge portion of it and said 2 or 3 times how much he liked it! Thank you for this recipe, it is without a doubt the best mac and cheese ever!

  37. This is Awesome. Made with mozzeralla. Co Jack. Med cheddar Munster & Velveeta

  38. Just made my first casserole and this one is really good!!!

  39. I made this recipe for Christmas Lunch and I added sweet corn. It turned out delicious!!!

  40. I made this recipe for thanksgiving and was a hit. Also I was required to make it at New Year’s dinner again. I am happy.

  41. OMG. This is some damn good mac and cheese! I have tried tons of recipes and this is AMAZING! Perfect combination of baked and creamy. This will be my go to, for sure!

    I read through all the comments, so I just want to ask:
    1) Can you make it ahead of time and reheat
    2) I can’t find “light” cream. What else can I use?

    C’mon, people….spend five minutes reading the comments before you ask your question. Chances are, it’s been answered 15 times.

    • I’ve made this twice and the first time I made it with half and half (for the light cream) and substituted evaporated milk (for the regular milk) because I only had skim on hand and didn’t think it would be “fatty” enough using skim.  The second time I made this I used heavy cream in place of the light cream and 1% milk for the milk. I also doubled the recipe using two 12oz bags of macaroni. Both times it came of perfect.  This recipe is pretty fool proof. 

  42. I made this for Christmas dinner with ham and apple compote. It was a hit! My vegetarian daughter said it was the best ever! Thanks,

  43. Love this one! I use the soup or dried mustard extra onion powder.
    I don’t use the bread crumbs just another type of cheese on top. 

  44. Ok, I’ve searched as much as I could through the comments. How many ounces is your canned cheese soup? I have a can that’s 14.75 and one that’s 10.75. Big difference so I don’t want to mess it up. 

  45. This is my go to when making Mac and cheese! Only change I make is omitting the onion powder and adding a dash of cayenne pepper! ALWAYS rave reviews from my family! 

  46. Best Mac & cheese ever! My family loves it.

  47. Absolutely Amazing!! My husband loved it too!! Thank you 

  48. Great recipe. Made as directed but used 2.5 cups of milk instead of the cream. Will definitely be making again

  49. Can you use sour cream instead of half and half?

  50. Really good and easy!

  51. I made this without the soup, and added cream cheese with 2 cans tuna, paprika and peas for a more homemade casserole. Delish!!!

  52. If making this for the next day would you recommend doing all the directions when cooking and merely re heating it in the oven, or should I follow until the last step and baking it the day of? Sorry I’m still new to cooking.

    • I would suggest baking the day of, it can tend to dry out if baked and reheated.

    • Just curious if Johnny (or anyone) ended up making a day ahead and then cooking day of? How did it turn out? I’m sure MANY people would love to make this ahead of time!

  53. #PCFavoriteThings

    I HAVE to try this! My 14 year old lives on mac ans cheese!

  54. I made this for Thanksgiving this year and it was excellent! I rarely ever comment on recipes, but had to on this one. Every mac and cheese that I have made, has been somewhat dry and never creamy, but not this one. It was super creamy and delicious – everyone loved it. Couple things that I wanted to note, is that I used half and half and also used freshly grated parm cheese, since that was all I had on hand and it worked perfect. I highly recommend this if you are looking for a creamy dish. Thanks for sharing this recipe – it will be made several times in the near future!

  55. Disappointed. I was hoping for and looking forward to a flavorful, creamy dish. It turned out bland and thick. I even used the optional can-o-cheese. Wasn’t kid approved either.

  56. Everyone raced over this dish. I will definitely make it every holiday. I did however leave out the can soup and added 1/2 cup sour cream and 4 ozs philly cream cheese. Delish!

  57. I made this dish for Thanksgiving Dinner. Well it was a hit. The whole family gobbled it up. I was definitely the show stopper. Now the family wants this mac & cheese more then just for Thanksgiving. Great receipt!!

  58. I made this recipe and it turned out wonderful.

  59. This is the most tasteful sweet potato pie I have ever made. This is right up there with my mom’s recipes. Thanks!

  60. Made this today, it is amazing!

  61. Hey Holly!
    If I’m using condensed cheddar soup do I still use milk?

  62. Do you think it would be okay to prepare it the day before i cook it? I am worried about it drying out 

  63. I’m curious… Could I bake this dish at 350 for a longer time? Would it have the same results?

  64. First off this is the best Mac and cheese ever! My grandmother in-law and her husband love it so much she asked me for the recipe. And for all of the people asking if it freezes well, it does. She makes big batches and freezes them in smaller containers so she can take out individual portions for dinner. When I make this I’ve used regular heavy cream every time and whatever milk I have on hand and it has been great each time. I use the soup every time, I can’t imagine not using it because of how creamy and good it makes it. Not dry like other recipes. The parmesan cheese just makes it that much more flavorful as well. I make this for every holiday and will be making it this Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.

  65. Can you make this ahead and freeze it?

    • I have not tried freezing this recipe. Often recipes with milk don’t freeze well so I can’t say for sure how it would work.

  66. I would like to make this for Thanksgiving. My mom always makes her mac n cheese the day before by assembling it all with the cooked pasat and refrigeratin over night. Then she takes it out tops with cheese and bakes. This saves time for Thanksgiving Day. Have you premade this recipe? Do you think it will be okay to do that?

    • Yes, I’ve made this recipe ahead of time. I’d suggest you ensure your pasta is very al dente and taking it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to ensure it is heated through.

  67. When you say 4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar.  Is that really 2-16oz bricks that I have to grate?   Seems like a lot of cheese.      Just want to mark sure I get this recipe down

  68. Self rising flour or all purpose?

  69. I want to make this for Thanksgiving! Do you think it will taste okay if I prep everything in the morning at home and bake it before serving a couple hours later at my in laws? Thanks in advance. 

  70. Best I’ve ever had.

  71. The holiday crowd will love ❤️ this!!

  72. When you say Parmesan cheese, so you mean grated or shredded? 

    • You will want to use shredded parmesan cheese from the refrigerator section of your store (not the powdered grated parmesan).

  73. I am a mac n cheese freak! I made this and I have got one WORD for this …..YUMMMMMMO
    This hands down THE BEST mac and cheese I have EVER HAD! I will continue to use this as my go to recipe. Thank you SOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR SHARING this.

  74. I think this looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try this, but I do have a question I can not get to the store so for the cream can i use sour cream?

  75. Best Mac & Cheese recipe ever!! I started making this last year for a grad party and everyone loved it!! Thanks

  76. I always make this recipe and love it every time! The only thing is that I bake it for only 10 minutes because the sauce disappears if you bake it the full amount of time.  Definitely my favorite mac n cheese recipe!

  77. Super good. Very creamy if you do not over bake. Follow the recipe I have tried many Mac and cheese recipes but this one is the Best. Thank you

  78. My family deemed this “the best macaroni and cheese EVER!”

  79. Didn’t have the soup. Used a 3/4″ “slice” off a block of Velveeta and melted it with the cheddar. Everyone loved it. Also used 16 oz. noodles, and there was still plenty of cheese sauce. Will definitely make this again.

  80. This is some awesome MAC AND CHEESE. Easy to make and delish! Been making it for years.

  81. Made this tonight, and split the recipe in half. I forgot to buy the soup, so I made it without, and also used heavy cream since that is what I had on hand. I cooked it for 20 mins, and the noodles were perfect. My only issue was being able to “feel” the flour. Not terribly, but it was slightly gritty. Since I halved the recipe, there was very little flour and butter slurry to continuously mix, but I could have done a better job of getting it smooth. The flavor overall, was really good! I have some picky eaters in my house, and 2 of my kids really liked it, one of which doesn’t eat any mac and cheese I make whether it’s out of the box or homemade. He said it tasted like the school’s mac & cheese, and apparently that’s a compliment! I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try!

    • I am glad to hear that your family liked the recipe, Leah! The soup definitely helps to blend the flour for thickening without ‘feeling’ or tasting it.

  82. I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I absolutely had to after making this recipe last night. It was wonderful!

    I didn’t have light cream, so I substituted it with 2 parts milk (2/3 cup) + 1 part heavy cream (1/3 cup) in addition to the 1 1/2 cups milk specified. Came out perfect! I made the béchamel on the stovetop with the heat set to 4 (just before medium) as not to burn the butter. Everything mixed and thickened wonderfully. I had started preheating the oven as the water was boiling for the noodles, so by the time it was ready to go into the oven it was hot enough that it only took the 18 minutes to bubble. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again!

    I wanted to note that in the ingredients you mention to use salt + pepper to taste, but you don’t actually dictate when they should be added. I assumed, of course, that they were to be added with the other spices, but you might consider mentioning that part to avoid any confusion!

    • I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe! I am glad you were able to make it work without the light cream!

  83. Made this dish tonight and added a little chicken and broccoli. It was delicious and will be my go to Mac n Cheese recipe!

  84. Super good! It’s a keeper!

  85. My family loved this recipe! It was amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  86. I skip all the multiple ingredients and have taken boiled macaroni and combined it with a big ole brick of Kraft cheese as needed and babied it through the oven process and it’s absolutely wonderful ! Much simpler and extremely good .

  87. So I would like to make this recipe for a party, and I will need to serve around 50. I’m planning to buy 2 big aluminum disposable pans, but I am wondering about the increase in ingredients. Sometimes when you double, triple, etc the recipe, certain ingredient amounts change.

    Any advice for making the recipe for that many people? And how much do you think I need to multiply the recipe by to get that large of an amount? Thanks!!

    • Oh, and amount of time to cook with a larger batch?

      • It’s hard to judge since I haven’t seen the pans you’re using. If using disposable pans they don’t hold the heat as well as a regular pan so if it fits, I’d suggest placing cookie sheets under them to help with heat. If stirring in between I would think in the range of 40 minutes. I hope that helps!

    • I have easily doubled this recipe and it’s worked perfectly so I’m sure increasing the ratios as written will work just fine. I would suggest making about 6x the recipe and dividing it over the 2 pans.

      When cooking it, you’re just really heating it since everything is already cooked. I would reserve the cheese you are topping it with and cook the two large pans stirring part way through cooking to ensure the middle is hot. Sprinkle the cheese over the pasta about 10 minutes before removing from the oven (you could broil it slightly just before serving if needed). Enjoy!!

  88. Made this man and cheese and it is wonderful and very creamy!

  89. I had to go to the store to buy the cheddar cheese soup, and, dry mustard. I am going to be making this today.

  90. Hi Holly! First of all I want to say this is a great recipe. My family is hard to please when it comes to American dishes but they loved this one! I wanted to ask you if I should be using pre-packaged shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese or if I should grate the cheese myself?

    • Hi Caleb, Either way will be delicious! You can shred it if you have time, but your recipe won’t suffer if you use pre-shredded cheese!

  91. Thank you Holly for that delishous recipe for million dollar spagetti cassarole’ it was out-of-this-world. You are so kind.

  92. Is this good recipe to prep ahead of time to bake like the next day? I’ve made this several times and loved it.

  93. To begin, GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON ONTARIO CANADA…..
    I made this last night and OH MY GOD IT WAS AMAZING!!! I added Broccoli and Cauliflower and crossed fingers as i plated out some for my VERY PICKY Grandchildren! They totally DESPISE VEGETABLES!!! And to my surprise all 12 of my Grandchildren came back for seconds!!!!
    Thank you so much for making me the BEST NANA IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD!!!
    Again…… Thank you Thank you Thank you.
    Now i finally have my favorite Grandchildren asking for VEGETABLES!!
    God Bless you.
    April Lewis London ONTARIO CANADA.
    Ps: Im only 53yrs old and expecting another Grandbaby any day. So 13 its going to be and I can’t wait!!!!! Bring them them on!! After all God only gives you what you can handle RIGHT?!!!!

    • Good Morning April! I am so glad ALL of your crew of 12 Grandchildren loved this… great idea to add in broccoli and cauliflower!! :) And congratulations on number 13 on the day… so exciting to have a new little baby in the family to love! :)

      Have a great weekend!

  94. Has anyone ever doubled this recipe? I need mac n cheese for 20 people.

    • This recipe can successfully be doubled however I would suggest cooking it in two 9×13 pans. You may need to increase the cooking time very slightly with two pans in the oven.

  95. Hi, I’m going to try this for a BBQ this weekend. I’m going to double the recipe and we planned on putting it in the smoker instead of the oven. Would I be ok to cook the noodles al dente? I know at the bottom of your recipe it says “don’t over cook” thank you!

  96. Love this Mac & cheese recipe! Would like to receive your newsletter .Dolly

  97. I just made this last night and it turned out great Any tips on reheating without it drying out?

    • I sometimes add a little milk or cream when reheating if needed (and reheat on low or lower power in the microwave to keep the cheese from separating). :)

  98. What kind of cream?

  99. I just made this for our early Christmas dinner tonight. WOW!!! This was the best baked macaroni and cheese I have ever made or eaten! We added some ham but next time I will add crab.

    I did not add in the can of soup and used a mix of sharp cheddar and co-jack. Because my 9×13 pans were in the washer, I used a deep 2qt casserole. Not a lot of crispy edges but lots of creamy mac and cheese!

  100. I have to say that I love this recipe. I have made it a few times and my family loves it . I did not change a thing, or add anything to this recipe, thank you!

  101. This is pretty close to my grandmother’s recipe what she would make for me every weekend. I miss her so much and her Mac and Cheese.

    She would change it up every once in awhile depending on who was coming to dinner. You know there is always a fussing or finicky eater. One of my favorite changes was to replace the Cheese soup with Tomato soup. So yummy! Or she would put down a layer of the Mac and Cheese, top with fresh sliced tomato then the remainder of the Mac and Cheese. She always topped hers with bread crumbs. Making this for Christmas dinner and know it will be delicious.

  102. Can I use the bagged shredded cheese?

  103. This is my go-to recipe. I don’t follow it EXACT, but 90% I do. I’ve tried hundreds of Mac & cheese recipes, and this is by FAR the best base recipe I’ve ever used so am keeping it. I add 8 oz of cream cheese and it really adds flavor!! Then I add a touch more milk so it isn’t too thick. Sometimes I cook bacon and throw that in, and sometimes (if I’m not lazy), I crush up Ritz crackers with melted butter and top it with that. It’s WAY better than bread crumbs. My mom’s bday is today and this was requested, so since I’m once again back at this recipe, I thought I’d finally add a comment since it’s my go-to :-)

  104. This was fabulous!!! So creamy and tasty! The family loved it!

  105. I like marcoroni & chese

  106. I love macaroni and cheese

  107. I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday and it was a hit!! Also just as delicious as leftovers the next day :-) Thanks for the recipe!

  108. Oh my! This recipe is now my go to Mac and cheese. This was a hit as a part of our Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks for sharing.

  109. I made this for thanksgiving! It turned out so creamy and Delicious, although next year i think i’ll add a few more noodles

  110. I used block cheddar cheese (cut into squares) and it took a long time to melt. Also, step 3 the stuff did not thicken. Did I do something wrong? I still think it will turn out great, but just took longer to prepare for me.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  111. This turned out great! Thank you. I will say I was hesitant in using canned soup. With that being said I actually tasted the sauce before adding the soup and it was delicious on its own. I decided to then add the soup and it was great too. I have picky mac and cheese critics (kids) and they are happy. I didn’t bake this. I cooked it this morning for Thanksgiving, did not top it with the final cheese yet. I placed it in crock pot on warm and later when guests arrive I will place remaining cheese on top. I doubled the recipe for a large croud and used 16oz boxes. Plenty of sauce.

  112. What are the measurements if your using 16oz of pasta?

    • You would want to add 1/3 extra of all of the other ingredients.

      • My store didn’t have the cheese soup, they were all out. I bought cream of chicken. After reading all the comments, I’m torn between adding the chicken soup or just leaving it out. What do you suggest?

        • I would suggest mixing everything together without the soup including the pasta. Once it’s all mixed (before you put it in the pan) have a taste. If you decide to add in the cream of chicken soup, you can certainly add it in at that point, stir well and then put it in your 9×13 pan.

  113. Is this something I can make ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven before eating?

  114. I made this few weeks ago and every one had seconds and thirds. I’m making it for thanksgiving. YUMMY

  115. I do not have a 9×13 dish. Do you think I could use my 2.75 quart dish?

  116. Parmesan cheese from a bottle or shredded?

  117. I’m making this for thanksgiving. I plan on making before we head over to friends for dinner. It’s a bit of a drive. How can I prep then just pop in my friends oven when I get there? Will this. Enok? Will it still turn out?

  118. Hi,
    I bought coffee creamer as the light cream, will this be ok?
    Thanks!

  119. Hello would you suggest I take it out 30 mins from my fridge before baking it and how much longer would you suggest baking it for?

    • Yes, I would suggest you take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking. You may need to add an extra 5-10 minutes, you will just want to check that the center is hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

  120. Hi I was just wondering if when you add the onion powder and the dry mustard powder if it is really noticeable when eating? I don’t like mustard or onions and some family members don’t either so I was just wondering as I might make this for thanksgiving. Thanks!

    • The mustard powder doesn’t add a mustardy flavor at all. I personally like the flavor of onion powder in this dish so it’s hard to say however you could certainly reduce the amount.

  121. Hi! I’m needing to make 2 of these 1 for a thanksgiving lunch at noon and then 1 for 4pm the same.day. do you suggest baking them both at the same time or can I put the 4pm dish together and bake it when I arrive at my in laws?

  122. I add chopped up broccoli and sausage (removed from the casing and fried up like ground meat) to my mac and cheese and it’s delicious! The spices in the sausages add loads of flavor. And broccoli and cheese…. Come on, who doesn’t love that! Lol.
    Plus it’s a good way to get your veggies, just cover it in cheese!
    FYI Re: freezing it is just fine. After its all cooked, let cool, cover in foil, then put it in a freezer bag sealed tightly. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight, bake at 375 with the foil on for 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 until heated through.

  123. What do you mean by light cream? Like reduced fat milk?

  124. I need to double this recipe, does the cooking time remain the same?

  125. Do you use all purpose flour or self rising flour?

  126. I am making this for 8 people would I need to add to anything for this? Also, what size baking dish do you recommend?

  127. Hi Holly! Quick question & im sorry if 40 other people have already asked you this, I tried reading through the comments but there are just too many!…very popular recipe! So my question is, can this be baked the night before & thrown in the oven to reheat the next day?…..or should I just prep & assemble it & baked for the first time the next day?

  128. Good Morning! I just found your recipe last night and was wondering how you thought it would fare being kept warm in a crock pot (or being ‘baked’ in a crock pot)?

    Thanks so much for your input and have a wonderful holiday season!

    • You could keep it on warm for a little while (it’s very saucy so it would likely work well). If dairy gets too hot in the slow cooker it can separate and become grainy so you’ll just have to monitor the temperature to make sure it stays warm but not too hot.

  129. When you cook/boil the macaroni, do you make it aldente, so it finishes cooking in the oven? Or do you just cook it all the way?

  130. Hi there! I am wanting to make this for Thanksgiving. I would like to cook/prepare everything at my house and then warm it up or finish the cooking at their house (its about a 20 minute drive to there place)… What would you suggest? I was thinking of doing all the steps and putting it in the fridge until we are about to leave and continue with step 6 at their house. Do you think it would turn out okay?

  131. Salt and pepper are listed in the ingredients, but not in the steps?

  132. Has anybody tried freezing this recipe and heating it up later? I’m looking for recipes to make pre-baby and this just looks oh-so-good! Thank you!

  133. This was delicious! I made it for a potluck and it went quickly. Luckily, there was just a little left for a midnight snack for this prego :) I used all 16oz of macaroni as some other posters have mentioned. There was enough sauce to cover that extra macaroni. Will make it again!!

  134. What do you use for the cream??

  135. Hey!! This will be my second Thanksgiving and Christmas making your recipe and everyone loves it. Question, is I added 2 or 3 eggs for some who prefer the more thick casserole, do you think that will mess it up? Or should i just leave it how it is?

    • I’m so glad your family loved this recipe!

      I haven’t tried it with eggs so I can’t say for sure. This recipe is very “saucy” so if you wanted it thicker you could certainly try adding the eggs or maybe add some extra pasta so there is more pasta in the sauce. I’d love to hear how it works out for you!

  136. I can’t seem to get the little chunks of butter/flour out of the milk/cream mixture. Any pointers to make it smooth before adding the shredded cheese?

  137. Just put this in the oven. I did use the Cheddar soup and 12 oz of pasta. Next time I will use the entire box of pasta (16oz) Looking forward to dinner!

  138. Can i use Velveeta with this recipe?

  139. SOOOO Yummy!!! Just made it! Eating a big bowl right now!!!! Not your average mac and cheese when you add the cheddar soup. Delicious!!! May I link here from my blog?

  140. Awesome webpage you’ve in here

  141. Thank you for this recipe, I am anxious to try it. I’ve never tried Parmesan cheese in Mac & Cheese but it does sound good. I don’t care for the bread crumbs on mine either, while growing up my Parents always made it that way & I never liked it.

  142. Scan this recipe be made ahead of time? If so would you bake and reheat?

    • Yes. I would recommend removing it from this fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to ensure it is heated through.

  143. I have made several different homemade Mac-N-Cheese recipes over the years, and this one is by far the best i have had! (and also probably the least expensive to make!). Creamy and delicious, and heatens up so well the next day (others have been so dry). Made it just as you wrote, and it is Perfect!

    Thank you so much! It is now a part of my ‘permanent’ recipes, and i will never try another mac-n-cheese recipe.

    • That is awesome, Cheryl! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you liked the recipe because it’s one of my favorites!

  144. Hi Holly,

    I plan on making this recipe for a Baby Shower I am having. Do you think it would work if I made it the day before, put in individual foil ramekin cups and baked the next day? How long do you suggest baking? Recipe sounds delish!

    • Yes. I would recommend removing it from this fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. I can’t say for sure how long they would take in individual cups, you more want to heat everything rather than cook it. I’d think about 18 minutes would be good.

  145. I made a very similar recipe to this a while ago. Unfortunately for me the soup just ruined it. I used Campbell’s cream of cheddar and it even smelled horrible. I will make this one but definitely leave out the soup!

  146. I accidentally got grated instead of shredded parm but it’s still freash. How bad will that change it?

  147. Have you tried doubling this recipe?

  148. This is not a casserole.

    • According to Dictionary.com (#2) this would be classified as a casserole.

      casserole
      [kas-uh-rohl]
      noun
      1. a baking dish of glass, pottery, etc., usually with a cover.
      2. any food, usually a mixture, cooked in such a dish.

    • LOL – I know these comments are a few years old but I can picture “Verita” and “Algernon” as cantankerous old know it alls. Like who cares if it is or isn’t a casserole?

      Thanks for a great web site!

  149. Can’t wait to try this!

    Thanks!

    Judith Smith

  150. going to try it but wondering about serving size not stated ,how many would this feed aprox.?

  151. Have you every prepped in the night before and then kept in the fridge unbaked until the next day? Just wondering if that is an option that still turns out well :-)
    Thanks!

    • You can prep this ahead of time. I would suggest taking it out of the refrigerator for at least 30 min before baking. You may need to increase the cook time slightly.

  152. I’m thinking bout making homemade macaroni and cheese for the holidays this year. I wanna try something different. I hope it turns out good. :)

  153. HI! How would this recipe work to take to a kids function? Would it stay fairly saucy or would it goob up like regular mac n cheese? Thanks!

  154. Made this tonight and it was soooooo good. thanks for sharing!

  155. This is not a casserole. This is one item in a casserole dish. Putting something in a casserole dish does not make it a casserole. You could put this in a coffee pot and it would still just be macaroni and cheese.

  156. Can you freeze this after cooking?

  157. Great recopes to make this fall!! I can’t wait to make them all!! Than you!!

  158. I’m sorry what is light cream. What section in the groceries store I found that at?

  159. Can I make this the night before so the kids can pop it in the oven so dinner is ready when I get home? Just worry it will dry out. Thoughts?

  160. Tried the Mac and cheese tonight it was great.

  161. I made this tonite and my family loved it!! I know I’ll be making it often!! Amazing twist and rake on the classic mac & cheese!!

  162. This looks so delicious. Have a receipt almost the same, only I don’t cook the macaroni. It cooks as it is in the oven.

  163. Next time I would leave out the onion powder!!!

  164. This looks amazing!!! However, a little worried to using cups as measurement, as don’t know what size of cups to use! Could you give it in ounces please? X

  165. Are you able to make this in advance & bake the next day?

  166. Can I use half and half for the cream? And also, I saw someone commenting on how 4 whole cups of cheese was too much. I am confused about how much to add now. So 1 cup of cheese is really 4 oz not 8 oz?

  167. I made this on Monday (8/15/16) It was so good!!

  168. Can I make it ahead of time and put in the fridge? Heat it up when we get home for dinner?
    Thanks

  169. Made this Mac and cheese…..and promptly threw away all of my old Mac and cheese recipes! I used 2 cups of elbow macaroni for the 12 ounce portion. I used the cheddar cheese soup, as well. I only had 3 cups of cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan. I would have liked the cheese topping, but since I didn’t have the extra cup of cheese, I made the panko topping. It really was the best! Thank you for the yummy recipe….creamy and good!

  170. Lol to see this. Because i always see these food posts and crave them but this is in my fridge now!! WOOT WOOT!!
    This is my EXACT recipe for baked mac and cheese which I just made my kiddo yesterday and I always serve it with little smokies in the crockpot simmering with a bottle of bbq sauce on the side perfect pairing. Only modification I do with this recipe is I splurge and use cavatopi noodles they are SO SO SO MUCH BETTER for this dish and I use the large bag of shredded cheese that is already the mix of white and yellow shredded and put more cheese on the top than this. I also bake mine @ 375 for 35 min and the cheese on top gets that perfect nice golden brown crisp. Also before baking I sprinkle the top evenly and sparingly with paprika for added taste and more eye appeal of a golden top when it comes out of the oven all bubbly. This is one of my sons absolute favorite meals. Add greenbeans cooked with smidge of vinigar and handfull of bacon bits along with a buttery croissant on the side then finishing with a wedge of watermelon or bowl of sherbert… Damn good dinner. #comfortFood #SoulFood

    • I’m going to take your word for it and try it with cavatappi… and the paprika would definitely make it look great (especially since I take photos of my food : ). Love the side suggestions, thank you for sharing!!

      • Cavatappi is the best! The recipe came out delicious using it; I love the way it “holds” the cheese. :)

    • I agree, cavatappi pasta is the best for mac and cheese; its nifty spiral shape holds the cheesy sauce perfectly!

  171. I’ve just made this in the “bush”. I’m currently in Musina (a dusty town in Limpopo, the Northernmost province in South Africa), for 2,5 weeks with my husband. It isn’t exactly the “bush” but it’s fairly close , sort of like a frontier town.

    I just had a yearning to make this when I saw the post on FB.

    We don’t have everything we need up here and when I told my husband what I was thinking he was all “Are you sure you want to do this? Pasta is full of gluten and its GMO to boot.”

    I said “Yes, I am sure I want some gluten, I’m very sure I want Mac and Cheese. I haven’t had it for yonks.”

    He wasn’t too convinced and to be honest I was worried because although I love pasta and the creamy Mac and Cheese was calling to me, I knew I would pay the price later.

    So we got what we could from the Musina Spar, and I made a few small adjustments, some to make him (and me) happy, others because we are in Musina and can’t have everything we want .

    So, I had brought some lovely organic grass-fed cream from home in Joburg, and further we bought some mediocre cheddar, full cream ultra pasteurised milk, corn flour (Maizena), unsalted butter (no salted available so can only assume there must be some bakers in this small town), the macaroni pasta and frozen peas and some delicious biltong (from the local Bakgat Biltong, biltong is a type of dried meat, like jerky). Unfortunately no cans of creamy cheddar soup to be had.

    We also don’t have many tools in our kitchen but we found a way.

    I sautéed finely chopped onion in the butter without colouring it, then added the corn flour and some English mustard because it was on the counter, and cooked it before adding the cream, milk, salt and pepper. I added frozen baby peas to the béchamel as well and brought the sauce to a boil.

    We boiled the pasta until very al dente, then put the pasta back into the pot. I added the béchamel to the just drained pasta, loads of grated cheddar and shredded biltong (our pot was too small to add the cheese to the béchamel sauce).

    We vigorously mixed it all so the cheese was mixed throughout and spooned the mixture into a buttered (greased) baking container and it went into the oven for about 15 min.

    It was delicious, not as creamy as your Spend with Pennies recipe will be, but it went down very well.

    I’m now having a lie down. Not very uncomfortable yet, and it was worth it. So sinful and so full of carbs! Sometimes I have days like today, where I can’t stop myself from enjoying something that isn’t good for me .

    Now, when I feel this way again and I’m home in Johannesburg, I’m going to find that can of cheddar soup and I will do it your way. I can’t wait.

    • I love your adaptations I’m sure some of the fresh products you added were delicious in this recipe (as frozen peas would be too). I’m so glad you enjoyed it.. and I agree, we all need to indulge a little from time to time!

  172. Would be nice if there was a print link.

  173. My macaroni and cheese always gets gummy and clumpy the next day. What do you think I’m doing wrong?
    Thanks!

    • You’ll want to be sure you don’t over bake your macaroni. Leftover macaroni and cheese does tend to be a little bit thick, I usually add in a little bit of milk/cream when reheating and gently stir a couple of times. I’d recommend reheating over medium heat.

  174. I am going to make this for my daughters birthday party in a large buffet tray. Have you ever doubled this recipe? Any special modifications you would consider?

    • I have successfully doubled this recipe. If you are cooking in two 9×13 pans the recipe should remain the same (you’ll likely bake it to the longer end of the time).

  175. I think this is a really good Mack and cheese. Think I will try it.

  176. Recipe looks great, but like nearly all recipes that tell you to “put in oven x minutes” it doesn’t specify whether to cover or not. So which do you do?

  177. Hi holy

    Love the recipe I tried this instead of mine because it was easier to make and kids loved it I have a favorite that I make on holidays and birthdays it has 10 different chz with a homemade bread crumbs topping will post soon and show you thanks for all the great recipes

  178. What is the light cream?

  179. Can this be made ahead of time and put in the oven prior to serving?

    • Yes. I would recommend removing it from this fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to ensure it is heated through.

  180. This is how my grandmother taught me and so i have always made mine like this but i also add an egg to my cheese sauce and a 12 oz pack of mozzarella cheese. Oh so Good!

  181. I would like to receive your recipes. But don’t have any money to buy in to any thing.

  182. My husband loves this with creamy blue cheese sprinkled all through it – yum

  183. This was quite good. Next time I will cut back on the onion powder, as I thought it was a bit overpowering.

  184. My daughter and I followed this recipe step by step and it turned out as good as it looks in the picture. After baking 20 mins in the oven the texture turned out perfectly…nice and creamy. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Thanks Holly for sharing!

  185. Instead of dry mustard I use a sort of regular mustard still gives it a nice zip

  186. This is big how does it reheat?

  187. How many people does it serve?

  188. Can I use something else besides the light cream?

  189. Would it be ok with out the light cream?

    • While I’ve only made this as written, you could substitute the light cream with milk or evaporated milk and it would likely be great. It may not be quite as rich but still yummy!

  190. Can you prepare this recipe ahead of time, refrigerate it, then bake it prior to serving? I am planning to make it for my kids birthday and wondering if I could make it the morning of other than cooking it during the party.

  191. Have you tried making this recipe on a grander scale? I need to make this for 100 people and this looked like just the recipe to try!!

    • I have tripled this recipe before. It worked perfectly however the cook time is slightly longer and you may need to stir the casserole part way through cooking and then top with just for the last half.

  192. I made this recipe. Adding little bit of spicy jack cheese.
    I also grilled chicken on the bbq and diced it added to the mix, some left over bacon I diced up added as well.
    Was a complete meal.
    Very yummy

  193. Hi, can I double this recipe without messing it up? Also what changes would I make to the cook time? Silly question, but I can mess up any good recipe!!

    • Great question! Yes, you can easily double this recipe. It make take about 10-15 minutes extra cooking time, you just want to make sure the center is nice and hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

  194. Im so excited to try this recipe! I even copied the link to my homepage on my phone! :D I would have never thought to use the soup in it but it makes sense that it would help make it creamier! Mac and cheese is one of the few foods my 2 1/2 yr old will eat so I’m sure she will love it!

  195. This dish was so creamy and cheesy. It took a lot of cheese but it was worth it.

  196. Do you bake this covered or uncovered? :)

  197. I add 8oz of cream cheese…

  198. Never heard of putting flour inn he Mac and cheese.

  199. Looking forward to trying, sounds delicious!! Can this be made the night before and baked the next day?

    • Yes, it can be made the night before. I’d recommend leaving on the counter for a little bit before baking and you may need to adjust the baking time by a few minutes if it’s cold.

  200. Is the 12 oz dry macaroni by weight or volume ?

  201. Do you cook you soup first with can milk? Or just add it from the can?

  202. I am going to make macaroni and cheese recipe today my granddaughter loves it and I am sure she will love this better .

  203. Looks so yummy! Going to make it for the kids later this week! Just wondering if the four cups of cheese is 4 shredded cups? Or do you just use block cheese and measure it out that way? Thanks!

  204. Can you make the night before and put in the fridge until ready to bake?

  205. What does the dry mustard do? I’ve seen this in other Mac and cheese recipes. I don’t usually buy dirty mustard but was curious what it does.

    • It adds a little bit of flavor and sharpness to the sauce (almost like adding white pepper). If it’s not an item you usually buy and you’d like to give it a try, you can usually buy it in the bulk section and a couple of small spoonfuls will likely cost less than $0.50. :)

  206. I’m no longer using anything else! I thank YOU SOOOO MUCH! This is the best macaroni ive ever had and it will be a family staple for years to come!

  207. Enjoying all the recipes. You place a different way of making the most of each recipe.

  208. Hey Holly, thanks for the Mac and cheese recipe. If I’m using the cream of cheddar soup can I leave out the light cream? Thanks

  209. Hey! Thanks for the mac and cheese recipe. Can’t wait to try it but was wondering if I can leave out the light cream if I am using the cream of cheddar soup??? Thanks

  210. How many people will this size dish feed??

  211. Delicious! My wife and I just made this recipe for my birthday and I couldn’t stop serving more! Thank you :)

  212. I never leave comments on recipes I try but I have to leave one here. This mac and cheese is so delicious and will now be my go-to recipe. Thank you so very much for sharing!

    • <3 Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Candace! I'm glad you loved this, we love it too... definitely my personal favorite!

  213. The best Mac and cheese ever! Thanks

  214. Sounds soooooo good. Going to try, thank you.

  215. I made this tonight, and it was AWESOME! I was afraid of it being too saucy (therefore soupy), but it was actually the perfect consistency. I think the key is really following the directions — don’t overcook the macaroni in the first step so it can still soak up some of the moisture when it bakes in the oven. Also, allowing it to rest for about 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven helps the sauce to thicken (don’t worry, it’s still plenty hot enough to eat!) I didn’t have any cream or milk on hand, so I used half-and-half for each (so 2.5 cups total). I did use the cheddar cheese soup, and I think that’s what helped keep the sauce so velvety. Some recipes I’ve tried before ended up with a clumpy sauce after it sits. Thanks for a great recipe!

  216. How does this recipe keep? I want to make it a day ahead..

  217. Looks delicious

  218. Holly, thanks! I’ve been looking for a mac and cheese recipe for my potluck tomorrow. I think yours is the winner. Have you ever added any meat or veggies to your recipe before? I was thinking about adding in some shredded chicken or bits of butternut squash with a little bit of sage to the recipe.

  219. Made this tonight and it was so delicious. Very creamy and a perfect mix of flavors

  220. This receipe is a dream! I’ve made it for thanksgiving and christmas. My mother who hardly eats anything I cook even loved it. I searched all over the internet for the perfect mac and cheese receipe. Decided to take a chance on this one. It’s so creamy and even better the next day!

  221. Hi there, can I make this a day before and then bake before serving?

  222. This is one of our favorite mac and cheese recipes! Since I have found it, I have made it four times! Will be making it for our family Christmas dinner! It is probably the best mac and cheese I have had, so creamy and such a comfort food! YUMMY!

  223. Hi,
    I want to make this for Christmas. I have regular cheddar cheese soup that asks for a can of milk to be mixed with it. Will that work ok?

  224. I just made this and it’s great! I made one small change in reserving a little of the Parmesan cheese to put on top with the rest of the cheddar as well :).

  225. I made this as a first timer in the macaroni field, and I’m a rookie in the kitchen. I do not know how to measure a cup of cheese. I figured a pints a pound the world around, so I just used 8 oz of cheese per cup and whoa too much! Help me out here, are you talking shredded cheese? By the way, I received many compliments on my attempt. Thanks.

    • A cup of cheese would be about 4oz. You are correct in that 1 cup is 8 fl. oz (for liquid) which is a volume measure. Weight measures are not always the same. Hope that helps!

      • Holy catfish! How did I not know this?! Thank you so much for pointing this out! I plan to try this recipe this week. My family loves velveeta in their mac and cheese, but ‘m a fan of real cheese. Can’t wait – it looks so delicious!

        • A kitchen scale is invaluable!!! Only like $9.99 on Amazon too! Million times easier to measure things correctly like loose stuff such as shredded cheese!

      • I am still confused about the measurement of the cheese. Are you seeing instead of 1-8 oz. cup, use 1/2 C to equal 1 cup of volume? I only have regular measuring cups.

    • One 8 oz package of block cheese yields 2 cups shredded so you will only want to use 1/2 block for one cup.

  226. Next time I make it. ..and it will be soon. ..I feel either 16oz of noodles or perhaps even some cauliflower would be appropriate. It seemed there was plenty of sauce to accommodate more. I may even go crazy and experiment with other “cream of” soups. Yeah. …I know. ..but I live dangerously.

    • LOL… gettin’ crazy in the kitchen! :) I really love the idea of adding some cauliflower! I’d love to hear how your escapades turn out!

    • My mom uses cream of mushroom and it’s really good also. I personally don’t add it to mine but if you want to use soup it’s a good alternative.

  227. I have everything but the mustard powder. Do you think this is a huge part of the recipe or will it be fine without??

  228. Do you think that after the casserole is out of the oven can you put in crock pot to keep warm until served?

  229. This looks delicious and we plan on making it! Question though: could you prep the noodles and cheese mixture at night and then throw it in the oven in the morning or do you have to do it all at once?

  230. Hello I have a question when u say light cream do u mean light sour cream or something else please explain I want to make this for thanksgiving looks delicious THANKS in advance
    Miesha!!!!

  231. We like using whole wheat noodles. Do you think they will affect the taste?

  232. This is the absolute best Mac n cheese I have ever had. The leftovers are just as good! I will never look for another recipe again! The cream of cheddar is what makes it!

  233. Just wondering if this could be frozen?

  234. I just bought regular whipping cream since they didn’t have light. Will that be OK? Also, when the recipe calls for milk can I use skim milk? Thank you in advance. I plan on making this tonight.

  235. I made this last night and loved it! I am always on the lookout for a good mac and cheese recipe and this one fit the bill…definitely a keeper. I used the soup and fyi, since the pasta came in a 16oz package I used all 16oz instead of just 12oz and there was plenty of sauce. And I do love a lot of cheesy sauce. Yummy!

  236. This was so good! My seven year old had seconds. It’s just the two of us so I put it in two small casserole dishes and put one in the freezer for next week.

  237. I wish there was a way to print it without using 9 pages

    • Below the second photo, you will see a pink bar with the recipe title on it. On the right hand side there is a “print recipe” button. It will print on a single page.

  238. I have to make this gluten free so I will buy gluten free macaroni and use corn starch instead of flour. I know this will be delicious. Bisquick makes a gluten free flour, could I use that instead of corn starch. If the corn starch would work how much should I put in to thicken the sauce? Thanks for your help.

    • While I haven’t tried it, 1 part cornstarch replaces 3 parts flour so in this case you would need about 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to replace the flour. The method would be different in that you would need to mix the cornstarch directly into the cold milk before adding it to the pan (and not into the butter beforehand).

      Please let us know how it works out for you!

      • I cook gluten free, and what I use is a good all-purpose gluten free flour that does not have xanthan gum in it. I do this for gravies also because corn starch breaks down if the dish is not all eaten right away.

  239. Hi, this recipe sounds amazing! I don’t think we have the cheddar soup over here in the UK, so would I need to sub something in its place or add extra milk/cream or would I just leave the soup out completely? Thank you

  240. Should I use fresh “grated” parmesan or fresh “shredded” parmesan?

  241. OMG this recipe was so easy to follow!!! Kids and hubby loved it and went back for seconds!! Will become a regular at our place!!!

  242. Thank you for leaving off the bread crumbs. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve hated crumb toppings on mac-n-cheese. I know a lot of people like it, but it’s nice to see photos without it. I would also leave out the soup. Plenty of goodness in the cheese sauce you make.

    • I’ll bet the soup really adds a special taste. I have a friend who stirs crushed soda crackers throughout the mac and cheese. I have always liked it, and it was such a different addition.

    • I prefer not to use canned soups. Hopefully, leaving it out will not take away from the final result.

      • You need the soup. I made it without and it wasn’t the same as when my friend made it for thanksgiving. It was more dry than it should have been and I don’t like using canned soups either, but from now on I will use the soup in this!

      • You could use a can of condensed cheddar cheese. Sams club sells Rico condensed cheddar cheese and in the ethnic dept of supermarkets you can find smaller cans of it.

  243. When you say light cream, does that mean whipping cream?? I lack in the cooking dept!

  244. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!! The cream of cheddar soup gives it the perfect creamy consistency! Sooooo good!!

  245. This is an amazing Mac and Cheese recipe. We made it last night and loved it!! This is now my go to recipe and so quick to make!

  246. This mac and cheese looks luscious and creamy. The cream of cheddar soup is such a great addition and provides that extra creaminess and richness.

    • Turned out great! Might add some bacon pieces next time too

      • I like the way you think Kristina! That sounds really great!

        • I add bacon to my Mac & Cheese quite often, it is REALLY good. I do add a small amount of the grease from cooking the bacon too, it increases the bacon flavor, you just have to be sure to mix it in well. If you try it you’ll be surprised at how it adds that extra special flavor to Mac & Cheese.

      • …or tuna ….or chicken….. just sayin’….

        • When I make tuna and noodle casserole, I always crush WISE Potato Chips and sprinkle on top of the casserole. I don’t know what it is about the WISE Potato Chips; but they add a nice salty flavor to the tuna and noodle casserole. Even my picky daughter-in-laws like it.

    • Can this recipe be made a day ahead and still be as delicious? Thinking of making this the day before thanksgiving just to cut down on things we have to make the day of!

      • Yes, I’ve made this recipe ahead of time. I’d suggest you ensure your pasta is very al dente and taking it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to ensure it is heated through.

      • Hi Kacey!! How did it turn out a day later? How much longer did you cook it for?

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