Favorite Baked Macaroni and Cheese
This classic, versatile macaroni and cheese casserole is creamy, cheesy and oh so comforting hot from the oven. Serve it as a meatless main dish or as a hearty side dish.
3 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
1/3 cup butter
1 small onion (about 1/2 cup), finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Optional Bread Crumb Topping:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish; set aside.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.
- Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and cook until onion is translucent and softened. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the milk, salt and pepper, heat to boiling and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Add cooked macaroni and Parmesan cheese to sauce, mixing well. (If mixture seems too dry, stir in a small amount of additional milk until desired consistency is reached.)
- Spoon half of macaroni mixture evenly into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with 2 cups cheddar cheese. Spoon on remaining macaroni mixture evenly and sprinkle with remaining 2 cups cheddar cheese. If using the optional bread crumb topping, combine melted butter with the bread crumbs in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the cheese.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned. Allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 12 servings.
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk and 12 ounces water can be substituted for the milk.
- Add 2 cups of cooked meat atop the first layer of macaroni mixture. A tasty use for leftover holiday ham or turkey. Kids are especially fond of the addition of seasoned, cooked and crumbled ground beef.
- Be creative and change up the flavor by using another type of cheese or a combination of cheeses such as Monterey Jack, colby-Jack, mozzarella, Swiss cheese, queso blanco, etc.
- Pastas such as penne, ziti, or conchiglioni (shell-shaped) can be used in place of the elbow macaroni.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/12 of recipe, without crumb topping): 344.6 calories; 51% calories from fat; 19.8g total fat; 59.8mg cholesterol; 485.7mg sodium; 182.3mg potassium; 25.3g carbohydrates; 0.7g fiber; 3.9g sugar; 24.6g net carbs; 15.9g protein.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/12 of recipe, with crumb topping): 379.4 calories; 51% calories from fat; 22.0g total fat; 64.9mg cholesterol; 532.3mg sodium; 191.7mg potassium; 28.6g carbohydrates; 0.9g fiber; 4.2g sugar; 27.6g net carbs; 16.5g protein.