Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

This baked mac and cheese is a family favorite recipe, loved by both children and adults. It uses a combination of cheeses, layered in the dish as well as melted into a rich and creamy cheese sauce, for the ultimate in cheesy deliciousness!  Perfect for a comforting dinner or as a holiday side dish!

Looking for other comfort food dishes?  Check out my Homemade Sloppy Joes, Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Crockpot Meatloaf, and Homestyle No-Boil Mashed Potatoes!

Rich and creamy homemade baked mac and cheese, filled with multiple layers of shredded cheeses, smothered in a smooth cheese sauce, and baked until bubbly and perfect! #macandcheese #comfortfood #macaroni #cheese #sidedish #comfortfood #holidayfood


Baked mac and cheese.  It’s nearly the universal comfort food, and there are SO many variations!  In fact, I almost didn’t post this recipe, as there are SOOOO many mac and cheese recipes available, and most people already have their favorite way of making it.

Of course, there’s no “right” way or “wrong” way, so I’m here sharing the way I like to make my mac and cheese (the way my family loves it too).

Cheese sauce pouring over pasta to make homemade Mac and cheese


If you’ve never made homemade mac and cheese before, it can seem a bit daunting.  But don’t worry, we’ll break it down and take it step by step!

  • Boil the pasta, drain.
  • Make the cheese sauce by combining a fat (butter), and starch (flour), then whisking in the milk products.
  • Cook the sauce until it’s nice and thick.
  • Add in shredded cheeses, stir well.
  • Combine cheese sauce with cooked pasta.
  • Transfer half of the mac and cheese to a baking dish, sprinkle with more shredded cheese.
  • Top with the rest of the mac and cheese, top with more shredded cheese.
  • Bake and prepare to thoroughly enjoy!

Baked mac and cheese in baking dish


  • Boiling the pasta – cook the pasta less than you normally would.  I like to boil my elbow pasta for between 4 and 5 minutes.  The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, and you don’t want it to get mushy.
  • Use room temp liquids – if you can… cold liquids generally take longer to thicken than warmer ones.  I usually set my milk and half and half out while the water for the pasta is coming up to a boil.
  • The cheeses – use your favorites!  Our personal favorites are the cheddar and gruyere used in this recipe, but you can be very creative with the cheese selection here.  Mozzarella, gouda, smoked gouda, swiss, monterey jack, colby jack, colby.  There are plenty of reader comments down below the recipe that talk about the cheeses they used!
  • Shred your own – I know it’s a pain, and it’s SO tempting to use the pre-shredded cheese in the bags.  But those bags of cheese contain a starchy substance that keeps the cheese from clumping… which also prohibits it from melting as well as it should.

Bowl of creamy baked mac and cheese


  • Bacon – if you love bacon, feel free to add some crispy, crumbled bacon to the topping, or even inside the mac and cheese as well!
  • Stovetop – if you’d prefer not to bake this mac and cheese, you don’t have to! Make sure you boil your pasta until al dente (check the packaging for correct times), and you’ll only need about 3 – 3 1/2 cups of cheese total.  No need to layer the pasta and cheese, just add all the cheese to the sauce, then combine with the pasta.
  • Different Toppings – I’m a huge fan of the cheese layer on top, since it gets nice and crispy, but we also love tossing 1 cup of panko with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and using that as a topping.  1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers with 2 Tbsp of butter work amazingly well too!
  • Different Baking Times – the recipe calls for a lower baking temperature and time, but most of the time I find myself adjusting that based on my family’s tastes.  I like to bake this mac and cheese at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to get that glorious cheesy “crust”.


  • Make as directed (but do not bake), transfer to baking dish and cool completely.  Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate 1-2 days ahead.
  • Before baking, let dish sit on counter for 30 minutes.
  • Bake at recipe temperature for 25-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

As a caveat, this recipe, as with most mac and cheese recipes, loses some of it’s creaminess when made ahead.  This dish has been tested when made right away, which yields the best results.  

I would increase the amount of sauce slightly if you need to make this recipe ahead of time.

Forkful of cheesy mac and cheese


Any leftovers need to be refrigerated and covered tightly.  Mac and cheese can be stored this way for 3-4 days.

To reheat, stir in a little bit of milk or cream and microwave partially covered with plastic wrap.  Stir often as it reheats.


  • Box Grater – remember, the best mac starts with freshly shredded cheese!



Post has been updated in September 2019 with new photos and additional information.

Rich and creamy homemade baked mac and cheese, filled with multiple layers of shredded cheeses, smothered in a smooth cheese sauce, and baked until bubbly and perfect! #macandcheese #comfortfood #macaroni #cheese #sidedish #comfortfood #holidayfood

Creamy Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

This baked mac and cheese is a family favorite recipe, loved by children and adults.
4.97 from 356 votes
Print Pin comment
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 8 - 10 servings
Calories: 665
Recipe Author The Chunky Chef


  • 1 lb. dried elbow pasta
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half
  • 4 cups grated medium sharp cheddar cheese divided (measured after grating)
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese divided (measured after grating)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 3 qt baking dish (9x13").  Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente.  Drain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep from sticking.
  • While water is coming up to a boil, grate cheeses and toss together to mix, then divide into three piles.  Approximately 3 cups for the sauce, 1 1/2 cups for the inner layer, and 1 1/2 cups for the topping.
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over MED heat.  Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine.  Mixture will look like very wet sand.  Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often.  Slowly pour in about 2 cups or so of the milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until smooth.  Slowly pour in the remaining milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.
  • Continue to heat over MED heat, whisking very often, until thickened to a very thick consistency.  It should almost be the consistency of a semi thinned out condensed soup.
  • Stir in spices and 1 1/2 cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine.  Stir in another 1 1/2 cups of cheese, and stir until completely melted and smooth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine drained pasta with cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully.  Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Top with 1 1/2 cups of grated cheeses, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture.
  • Sprinkle the top with the last 1 1/2 cups of cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until cheesy is bubbly and lightly golden brown.  



Mac and Cheese can be made ahead:

  • Make as directed (but do not bake), transfer to baking dish and cool completely.  Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate 1-2 days ahead.  
  • Before baking, let dish sit on counter for 30 minutes.
  • Bake at recipe temperature for 25-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  



Replace cheese amounts with the following:
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Colby cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded



  • Prepare recipe as directed but bake at 350 or 375 F degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Broil at the end of baking for approximately 2-5 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.
Are We Friends on Pinterest?Follow me for more great recipes! The Chunky Chef!

Rich and creamy homemade baked mac and cheese, filled with multiple layers of shredded cheeses, smothered in a smooth cheese sauce, and baked until bubbly and perfect!

Family Favorite Baked Mac and Cheese | Rich and creamy baked mac and cheese, filled with multiple layers of shredded cheeses and smothered in a smooth cheese sauce for the ultimate macaroni and cheese! |


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

932 comments on “Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese”

  1. My ELA teacher gave me this recipe for Mac n Cheese (She made it for a party) . I made it for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it! Sadly, i had to use whole wheat flour instead of normal flour, but it still turned out wonderful! Both my ELA teacher and I thank you!

  2. Hi, I’m planning on making this for a graduation party coming up. I’ve made it several times in the past exactly as written and everybody loves it. To keep warm for the party could I just make it completely on the stovetop and transfer to a crockpot to keep warm and skip the baking step? Any advice on if I should spray the crockpot first? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • I’ve never tested the recipe this way, so I can’t say for certain if it will turn out as well as when baked fresh, but I think it should work well. I would probably give the crockpot insert a light spray with cooking spray just to keep any possible sticking at bay 🙂

  3. After searching and searching, trying and failing to find the perfect mac and cheese recipe, this is THE ONE. I made it for Thanksgiving this year, and it was gone less than halfway through the meal. I have finally found my cheesy pasta soul mate.

  4. I’ve made lots of mac and cheese over the years. I made this to take to Thanksgiving this year and everyone loved it! I prepared a double batch a day ahead, left it in the fridge overnight, and baked it on Thanksgiving morning. It was still nice and creamy! Would it be okay to prepare and freeze a week or two ahead?

    • I’m SO happy to hear it was a big hit on Thanksgiving! I haven’t tested freezing this recipe, but I believe other readers have successfully done so, so I think it would be just fine 🙂

  5. I was craving homemade mac and cheese the other day and came across your recipe. I used gruyere (never had this cheese before, but it is my new favourite!) and applewood smoked cheddar with smoked paprika. It was SO GOOD. My fiance brought the rest of it into work the next day and everyone is STILL asking when I am going to bring more. Delicious!!

  6. My family loves it!  Thank you so much for sharing this recipe my family loves it so much I’m going to make it for Christmas for a bigger crowd.  I followed your recipe to a T and it’s amazing

  7. Did you take the rind of the Gruyere before grating? 

  8. Hi, would love to try your recipe!
    I noticed on your recipe, calls for
    “2 1/2 half and half”
    Of what?


    • Here in the US, half and half is a dairy product that is half whole milk and half heavy cream. It’s found in the dairy section of grocery stores. If you don’t have half and half where you live, you can replace the 2.5 cups with 1.25 cups whole milk and 1.25 cups heavy cream.

  9. So I was in charge of mac n cheese this year at thanksgiving and I just want to thank you for posting this recipe. Yes there are a million Mac and cheese recipes on the Internet but this one was a life saver. I doubled the recipe and had NO leftovers. I used a block of Gruyere, a block of white sharp, a block of American cheddar sharp, and half a block of Colby cheese. And added Panko crumbs on top them broiled it for 10 minutes. This is the perfect baked Mac n cheese. So creamy. But also has the classic texture of a baked Mac n cheese without it being dry. I definitely recommend serving it fresh. I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Again, thank you. Saving this recipe for years to come. 

  10. I get some many compliments on this recipe that it is crazy good. I will never use another recipe. I love this!

  11. I’m a Mac n Cheese lover and this is the best recipe that I have tried so far! Creamy on the inside, crispy on the out and absolutely delicious!!!! I used evaporated milk instead of regular milk but kept to the recipe besides that. This will be my go to recipe now. 

  12. I was going to use a Brie cheese when making for creaminess. Any suggestions on other cheeses to use with Brie? Thanks!

  13. I made this for Friendsgiving and WOW! I will be making this for the rest of my life, everyone has demanded it. I followed the recipe exactly and this requires no tweaks at all. It’s perfect as is. I’ve been in search of a Mac and cheese recipe and this is IT!

  14. By far one of my favorite recipes I’ve made this Thanksgiving!

  15. This is a great recipe. I made mac-and-cheese for the very first time and shared it at my family’s Thanksgiving. These are folks who have a traditional recipe and are very particular. The mac was gone in about an hour and there were so many compliments! I love that the recipe is simple and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients but is also packed with the flavor of creamy-cheesy, salty, goodness. I am grateful you decided to put this on the internet as it is now a staple recipe for my family and me. Cheers!

  16. Hi!! Thank you for this recipe!! I’m making this for a friendsgiving and I asked my boyfriend to buy the ingredients for me but he bought shredded cheese LOL. Do you know how to combat the starch? Thanks in advanced!

    • You’re welcome! No worries, I’ve made this with pre-shredded cheese before… I like to set the cheese out a good 30 minutes so it can come up to room temperature, then when you’re adding the cheese to the sauce, add it slowly and make sure you stir often to get it to melt 🙂

  17. The best Mac&cheese recipe I have ever used, total hit at thanksgiving!!! Definitely using this again for every event. Also, thank you for proving the notes for ahead of time preparations, really helped me out.

  18. I did not change a thing and it was the best Mac and cheese recipe that I’ve ever made or eaten. Thank you so much this will be a staple recipe in my home. We LOVED it! 

  19. Our family Thanksgiving menu has been exactly the same for years and years. This time, I decided to spice things up a bit and make your Mac and Cheese. The family tried it and have decided it must be included on the menu from now on. It was wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

  20. This recipe is AMAZING. I used two cups whole milk and two cups heavy whipping cream. Combo of cheeses included extra sharp cheddar, Colby and Monterey. 
    I also didn’t grate the cheese for the layers, I just thin sliced it. And broiled at the very end. 
    The audacity of two of my guests to say it was too cheesy!!! What! Too cheesy Mac n Cheese…not possible!! 
    So so good. I just ate some leftovers for breakfast. 
    Delicious. Thank you for this recipe! 

  21. Delicious! I used a combo of cheddar, harvati and Gouda since it’s what I had on hand. Made it exactly as recipe described otherwise, with a butter and panko bread crumb topping. Everyone at thanksgiving loved it! I added the dish as a late addition since we had some extra people coming for dinner. Everyone loved it and was the only dish to get completely eaten. No leftovers! Guess I’ll have to make it again. Thanks for a great recipe!  

  22. I made this today and added lobster meat and it was awesome. It makes a lot so it’s great for a crowd. I added a Ritz cracker crumb topping to half and that was good also. Thanks for the recipe.

  23. This is the only mac n cheese recipe I use since trying it. I’ve made this at least half a dozen times now and it’s awesome. I never have half and half so use a substitute of butter and milk (easily found through google). I use colby jack only because it’s what I always have on hand. It does take a bit of time, but totally worth it. Making this again today for Thanksgiving. It pretty versatile, you can add any protein…and seasons well after plating also..I like to sprinkle Frank’s red hot buffalo powder on top. That, being said, it’s a winner just as it appears.
    Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  24. We love this recipe!  It is tasty, creamy and crispy.  Everything you want in macaroni and cheese!  The only thing I added was about 2 teaspoons of dry mustard.  WONDERFULLY DELICIOUS!

  25. Of all of the mac and cheese recipes I have tried, this one is hands down the best. I use it for every holiday and all work potlucks and gave rave reviews everytime. We go with the gruyere and cheddar combo and my kids love it!

  26. I was very nervous about volunteering to make the Mac and cheese for thanksgiving this year… found this recipe on Pinterest!! Followed the super thorough instructions and I feel good about this dish! I taste tested and it’s delicious already… can’t wait to serve it to the family!! Thank you!

  27. Best mac and cheese ever! I add bacon crumbles and it is always a hit! I’ve made this recipe so many times in the past year or so, I could probably make it in my sleep!

  28. Incredible!!! The only change I made was adding some garlic powder (not paprika) and baked it with a Ritz cracker crust. Today is Thanksgiving and I cannot wait for everyone to taste it (I only sampled a bit… I promise :))

  29. This recipe is so yummy. This is the way my grandmother use to make it! I was so excited to find the recipe. I had been using a recipe that called for eggs but this will replace that recipe. Love it! Thank you for posting! Happy Thanksgiving! 

  30. I am making this for Thanksgiving and I’m very nervous! Taking it to the in-laws 😳 Wish me luck!

  31. I certainly agree that shredding your own cheese is by far the best way to go, but as long as the pre-shredded cheese is tossed in starch and NOT cellulose melting should not be an issue.

  32. I just made this last night and it’s SOO yummy! The only type of Gruyere I could find was apple smoked but it really worked out. I used the apple smoked Gruyere and mild cheddar cheese. I liked reading the comments to see what everyone else added so I thought I’d share my additions too. I added dijon, garlic powder and onion powder. I’m saving this recipe!

  33. Hi, I bought frozen lobster meat because I wanted to make lobster mac & cheese for Thanksgiving. This recipe looks really good, I was wondering if I could just put the thawed lobster in this recipe. Thanks in advance. And Happy Thankgiving.

  34. Can you use heavy cream instead of whole milk?

  35. How much cream cheese do you think I should add if I choose that as an option?

  36. Do I need to use the gruyer cheese and can I use sharp cheddar?

  37. I am making this mac and cheese recipe for the first time on Thanksgiving! Do you have to use unsalted butter??

  38. Dumb question, but could I possibly make this in a crockpot? Or make it on the stovetop as stated above and keep it in the crockpot on warm? I’m making it on Thanksgiving, and I didn’t account for other things in the oven 🤷‍♀️

    • I wouldn’t recommend fully making it in the crockpot, as crockpot mac and cheeses have to use different ingredients to keep things from separating, but I think it would be okay to make it on the stovetop and keep it warm in the crockpot like you mentioned. You might want to undercook the pasta a little bit, just so it doesn’t get mushy as it sits 🙂

  39. First time going to make this and my daughter loves all cheeses but her favorite is Smoked Gouda, now for the second cheese not sure what to use as she loves it all which cheese would compliment the smoked gouda?

  40. Hi! Can I bake this in a cast iron skillet? Not sure if the temp, time or consistency will vary if I do. Thank you 🙂

  41. Freeze before baking if you are trying to make it ahead of time….just like a lasagna… Great results

  42. Can I substitute the half and half for condensed milk?

  43. I love love LOVE this mac and cheese recipe! I’ve been using this recipe for the past year or so and it’s always been a hit. Such a hit that people beg me to make this and get legitimately upset when I don’t. The only variations that I’ve applied here are using smoked paprika instead of regular and I use a blend of monterey and colby jack instead of gruyere. Thanks for sharing this recipe and boosting my popularity with friends and family!

  44. Do you use a specific medium sharp cheddar? I’ve looked everywhere, but can’t seem to find it. I’ve found medium cheddar cheese and several variations of sharp, but no medium sharp cheddar.

  45. I’ll be making this on Thursday for Thanksgiving and was wondering if a 16oz. block of sharp cheddar and a 8 oz. block of monterey jack will be enough cheese? Thank you!!!

  46. How much do you suggest increasing the sauce by if preparing the day before?

    • In the recipe card, if you hover over the servings number, a toggle bar will show up. Slide the bar to adjust for how many servings you’ll need, and it will automatically calculate the ingredient amounts you’ll need. I would toggle it to about 9 or 10 servings, and use those amounts for everything, except keep the pasta amount the same

  47. How can I adapt the recipe if I am using 2 boxes of elbow pasta?

  48. Is the 1/2 Tablespoon of salt for the water to boil the pasta or do you actually included that much salt with the spices? Just surprising as cheese is already so salty.

    • It’s for seasoning, not the water. I know it seems like a lot, but I find it doesn’t make things abnormally salty. You can always start with a smaller amount and taste the cheese sauce and go from there.

  49. I have made this recipe for over a year now, probably 4 or 5 times. It is ALWAYS a hit. SOOO good. <3

  50. Best Mac and cheese recipe ever! It was my second time making it and now I’ve been asked to make it for thanksgiving for my husbands family who are super particular about their Mac n cheese. Thank you!! 

  51. Do you add the 1/2 T of salt in step 6 with the pepper and paprika? Thanks

  52. Hi! Do I add the milk and half and half together? Or one first, then the other next? Is it all mixing into the flour at the same time?

  53. This was the first time I’ve made homemade mac and cheese and I followed the recipe exactly. It tastes great, but it came out from the oven swimming in oil. I tried draining some out but it didn’t help much. Even after it sat out for half an hour or so, I put some on my plate and the oil was dripping. Did I do something wrong?

    • Unfortunately, some cheeses contain more oil than others, even from brand to brand. You could try using a different brand of cheese, or skip the cheese topping all together to reduce the amount of oil.

  54. Has anyone tried adding cream cheese in this as well? I’ve made this before and it was really good but I love Mac and cheese with cream cheese in it and was thinking about trying it 

  55. Can I use 4 cups of whole milk instead?

  56. How much would you increase the sauce by if making the day before baking it?

    • In the recipe card, if you hover over the servings number, a toggle bar will show up. Slide the bar to adjust for how many servings you’ll need, and it will automatically calculate the ingredient amounts you’ll need. I would toggle it to about 9 or 10 servings, and use those amounts for everything, except keep the pasta amount the same.

  57. I don’t think I’ve ever seen ‘medium’ sharp cheddar. Is sharp cheddar acceptable?  

  58. What Can be used In place of all purpose flour

  59. Hi! Can the cheese sauce be made the day before? 

    • I haven’t tested it, but I think that would be okay… when you reheat it, make sure you whisk it pretty well so it doesn’t separate, and you may want to add a splash of milk or half and half when reheating it.

  60. Can I just used 4 cups of half and half instead of adding the whole milk?

  61. I am definitely making this recipe this year! And wow no eggs 🥚!! This is a winner for me, I’ll report back the results.


  62. how would you edit this recipe to feed 20-25 people? Making this as a side for thanksgiving and I have a lot of people coming. I just dont want my math to be off!

  63. Hi, have you tried making this in a Ninja Foodi or Instapot Duo Crisp? If so, I’d love to know of any modifications required.


  64. Could i use evaporated milk instead of half and half / milk? If so, how much?

  65. This is my absolute favorite mac & cheese recipe-I’ve made it at least five times now. It’s very decadent and I have to say: I live in Maine where lobsters are in abundance, and this recipe makes the best lobster mac & cheese out there! Bravo to you for creating it😋

  66. t.wo Vidalias chopped and cooked 8 minutes in the microwave. They come out soft, yet add to the tang of sharp cheese when mixed in the sauce

  67. I have been testing out recipes for Thanksgiving and this is the third Mac and Cheese I have made in the past week, but I am done making any others because this is hands down the best!!  It’s so creamy and delicious.  I had to broil it for a couple minutes to get it to brown, but otherwise it’s perfect. 

  68. I made this the day before (and added extra sauce like suggested) for a work cook-off and won!! 

  69. Just WOW! I haven’t made Mac and cheese in 25 years. We’ve been craving it so I found your recipe in a sea of so many others. And I am so happy I picked yours. I upped the smoked paprika and added some freeze dried shallots and this dish was ambrosia. Thank you so much. 

  70. What cheese would you recommend in place of the Gruyere? I live in a small town and my grocery store options are slim. Thanks! 

  71. This came out perfect and oh so delicious!! The BEST Mac and cheese I’ve ever had, hands down. If I would like to make ahead, can I make the cheese sauce but store it separate from the pasta? Then the next day, warm the sauce, pour it on the pasta and add the cheese? I just don’t want the pasta soaking up the sauce and losing the creaminess.

    • I’m SO happy to hear that you love this recipe as much as we do! I’ve not tested making the sauce and storing it separately like that, but I’m sure it would work well. Just make sure to whisk the sauce really well as it reheats so it doesn’t separate, and you may find you need a splash of milk to loosen it up.

  72. My family loved this recipe. Even my picky husband loved it. I used salted butter then cut the salt in half. Thank you!

  73. Is salted butter okay to use instead of unsalted butter? I noticed that I grabbed the wrong kind. Im hoping that using it won’t ruin the whole dish.

  74. Made this tonight and it was delicious. I used swiss and medium cheddar. Shredded it in my food processor and used 2 cups milk 2 cups half and half. Added a touch of garlic powder to the sauce. Fantastic recipe. I am a homemade mac n cheese fail until now!

  75. Can you double the recipe? 

    • You sure can! You’ll need a pretty large pan though. When I’ve made this for a party, I’ve purchased one of those “giant lasagna pans” (that’s what mine are labeled as anyway) from the grocery store.

  76. This was my FIRST time ever making mac and cheese. I’ve been too terrified to try for fear of messing it up. I’ve searched several recipes but this is the only one I’ve attempted. It was worth the wait!! This mac is delish and the ONLY things I did diff were: used salted butter and added garlic salt & powder. The veryyyy slight garlic taste gave this the kick it needed! Next time I will experiment with cheese but this recipe is still perfect.

  77. This was so good, very cheesy and creamy. I used sharp cheddar, Gouda and havarti. It wasn’t as creamy reheated. Maybe I need to add milk?
    Could anyone explain to me how I could make this with chicken in it please? Has anyone tried it? 

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Sadly, no mac and cheese made with real cheese is going to be as creamy when reheated. Things separate and more sauce gets absorbed into the pasta. Please see the section in the post titled Storing Mac and Cheese. There’s a part about how to reheat it. To add chicken, just 1-2 cups of shredded or diced chicken to the recipe. I would increase the amount of sauce slightly though.

  78. I just made this and my family is seriously in heaven.  I have never made homemade mac & cheese before and it was so easy.  

  79. This was absolutely delicious. I made it exactly as the recipe says, refrigerated over night and cooked the next morning to take to a church meal. I got so many compliments. This will be a go to recipe for us now.

  80. This was very easy to make and everybody loved it! I brought this to my daugher’s sorority party for dad’s weekend at University of Illinois. All the Tri-Delt’s in her senior house loved it., loved it, loved it. They were even eating it for breakfast the next day. Will definitely make again and again.

    Ginger’s Mom

  81. Hello- so excited to try this for Thanksgiving this year. I have a gluten allergy so thinking to sub the flour with either cassava flour or arrowroot flour; any suggestions?

    Also, have you ever tried to sub the milk with almond or oat milk? Any suggestions?



    • Hi Amanda 🙂 Unfortunately, I have no experience with gluten-free recipes as no one here has a gluten allergy or celiac disease, so I can’t say for certain if those substitutions would work. I’ve only made and tested the recipe as written, and have never switched out the dairy, as we don’t have any dairy issues either.

    • I make it GF all the time! I use a gluten-free flour mix (Bob’s Red MIll) and Jovial elbow noodles. Even my gluten-free hating husband will eat it! It’s delicious. I haven’t tried subbing the milk though.

  82. Absolutely delicious!  I cut the recipe in half since it’s just my husband and me. I added a touch of ground mustard and some sriracha and it was fantastic. 

  83. I made this for a girls game night & it was amazing! I didn’t use the eggs & I used heavy cream & regular milk instead of the Half n half. I also used part cream cheese/part velveeta. It was super creamy & extra cheesy & PERFECT!

  84. This was the best Mac and cheese recipe I’ve used!!! Thanks so much! Followed recipe and turned out great this is a keeper!

  85. This is very good macaroni and cheese. I thought I was making the recipe by the book but when making it realized my cheddar was mild and not sharp so that was the only change. The next time I make it I am going to make sure I have sharp cheddar and will probably add bread crumbs on top. I also want to add more spice as I like things with a little more of a bite. I completely believe in working the recipe as written the first time and then changes afterwards. To me not doing so is the same as adding salt before even tasting a dish. It might be perfect already but I would never know!!

  86. I tried this recipe and it came out good. This is so easy and delicious Thank you for sharing.

  87. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS ❤️ I used Sharp cheddar, and a Provolone/Swiss mixture, I ended up going with the Tillamook brand in the bags, I know the recipe recommends not to use the bag cheeses because they add something to help it from clumping in the bags so it may not melt well, but they were much cheaper at my local market and I have had great experiences with the Tillamook brand so I thought I’d give it a shot. It melted immediately when adding it to the sauce and turned out AMAZING! My 17 year old son is a Mac And Cheese fanatic so he was my best critic, he said it was by far the best Mac and cheese he’s ever had so I’m thrilled I found this recipe 😋 The only negative comment I noticed was a woman saying hers tasted like flour, I believe she didn’t follow the directions!! If you just look at the ingredients and toss everything together of course it will taste like flour, FOLLOW the instructions (it’s really not difficult) and you will be rewarded with an amazingly delicious Mac and cheese. I plan on using this recipe in the future from now on, no more boxed Mac and cheese in this family 😁 Thank you for posting this recipe 

  88. I added chicken and broccoli to this recipe and it’s the best Mac and cheese I ever had, thank you.

  89. My husband stalks me to make this all the time…Tastes Great!!!!Thank You!!!!

  90. could I put this in a crock pot? And put the crock in the over to get the top nice and crispy, then move crock to the crock pot base to keep it warm?

  91. Great recipe! My wife and kids loved it… I added some garlic powder, a little more black pepper, and paprika to the sauce, after I layered the last of the shredded cheese I added a few thin pieces of butter..dashed a little more garlic, baked it for 12 minutes and broiled it for 5 minutes!

  92. Amazing!!! I didn’t have time to shred all the cheese so I use the bags of Kraft triple cheddar cheese and some baby swiss. It was sooo good and creamy.

  93. I don’t usually write recipe reviews but this homemade mac and cheese recipe is EXCELLENT. Easy to make and tastes incredible! The only change I made was to use white pepper instead of black pepper. It came out of the oven looking picture-perfect! And it is so creamy and filling and delicious. Comfort food at its finest!!

  94. How much is a serving size and how many calories in a serving? I loved this Mac n cheese, but I log what I eat and I don’t know what to put!

    • I don’t measure serving sizes exactly, it’s just 1/8 to 1/10 of the dish. As for calories, those are listed in the dark grey part of the recipe card right above where it says recipe author. As I’m not a nutritionist, I don’t provide full nutritional information for my recipes (don’t want to inadvertently pass along incorrect information). Your best bet would be to copy the ingredients into your favorite online nutritional calculator.

  95. I added kielbasa, more spices, italian cheese instead of gruyere and bread crumbs on top! It was delicious and creamy!! Thank you!

  96. I added pulled pork and a ritz topping. Delicious!! Thanks for posting.

  97. The only deviation I did was add some nutmeg. It was delicious.

  98. How many does this serve??

  99. How many servings does this make?

  100. do you need to use so many different cheeses?

  101. I’m so excited to try this, can it be made with homemade pasta?? I have never tried Mac with homemade and not sure if it would be too soft

  102. Hi I wanted to ask what do you mean by 2 1/2 cups half and half in the ingredients as there is nothing written next to it and what does this mean in the instructions: Slowly pour in about 2 cups or so of the milk/half and half.

  103. Wow! So i just made this mac and cheese and let me tell you that this was to die for! 🤤 I haven’t been in the kitchen in so long, the recipe wasn’t that difficult for a 20 year old either ! 😂 So I am responsible for making mac and cheese for this year’s Thanksgiving and initially I was going to test a BUNCH of recipes, but I think I found the one seeing that my family were the taste testers and completely loved it! Even my dad was shocked! 

  104. I love to cook. I’m always looking for new recipes for my menu, which makes me always interested in my work. Today’s my lucky day, baked mac and cheese is great, just follow the instructions and everything is easy, I like that. Thanks for your sharing

  105. I have to say that I was worried thinking of all of the butter, cheeses, half & Half and whole milk going into this dish. We normally only drink 1% milk. However, if you’re looking for a creamy, cheesy, tasty homemade Mac & Cheese, this is your recipe, right here! It is definitely rich but the flavors are very nice! I did follow the recipe with the only detour being I used 1/4 tsp. of smoked paprika before I noticed that my halved recipe said to use .13 tsp. of paprika and I added a cup of shredded old cheddar to the gruyere and sharp white cheddar. Thank goodness I used my Starfrit cheese grater as it’s so much easier and faster when grating a lot of cheeses! I found it creamy and delicious and my hubby said it’s the best Mac & Cheese he’s ever had in his life!!! I definitely would recommend this recipe as long as you’re not on a low-fat diet!!!

  106. About to make this recipe, have you ever tried it with crushed ritz crackers on top? My daughter wants me to add that, bit I’m curious if it’ll dry everything else out

  107. can I omit the butter, flour and milks and use heavy whipping cream instead?

  108. I made this the night before for a family event. Doubled the recipe, used 4 different cheeses…not a speck left and EVERYONE wanted the recipe! Hands down the BEST and easiest mac and cheese ever! THANK YOU!!!

  109. Was my first time making homemade mac and cheese so I was a little nervous making it for my entire family, but it turned out sooo good! Everybody loved it. Didn’t change a thing!

  110. I’ve tried many mac and cheese recipes, but this has been by far the best so far. I absolutely love it! I’ll definitely be using this recipe again!

  111. Hello, I’m in the process of making this amazing Mac n cheese. But was wondering, can it not be baked? My daughters prefer it not. 

  112. Made it 2x-AMAZING. Suuuuuper creamy and cheesy. Delicious even without being baked. I’m sure you could cut the roux/cheese/milk in half and it would still be delicious. Give this recipe a try- you will NOT regret it. I use nutmeg and cayenne instead of paprika.

  113. I have made this several times now and each time it gets rave reviews!  This is my new go to recipe for Mac and Cheese!

  114. How many people can this recipe feed? (doing this for a school project)

  115. Recipe was DELICIOUS!
    1ST time I made it note for note. 5 STARS

    2nd time I used 2C sharp white, 2 cups gouda, 2 cups monterey jack. the creaminess was unbelievable!!!! I also added ground mustard and a dash of cayenne. I decided to cook the noodles less so that i could put it in the smoker for some time before baking. BEST decision EVER!

    Thank you SO much for taking the time to put this recipe together. An absolute hit!

  116. Do you have this recipe for the slow cooker??

  117. This is the best mac n cheese I’ve ever had. So creamy and cheesy. Big hit with the family.
    Alterations: I only had salted butter so I omitted adding any salt. Used a mix of cheddar, gouda, and gruyere. Also used penne pasta. Delicious!

  118. This looks absolutely delicious! Yummy!

  119. Tripling this recipe this month to make for our Fall Coed Baby Shower BBQ!! I’m trying to do the math for the cheeses, I’m looking at 12 cups of the cheddar and not sure which size brick that is. Costco has them in 2.5 lbs and 5lb bricks! I’ve never shredded this much cheese! Which should I get?! Same with the 6 cups of gruyere cheese I need and the store sells only 6oz bricks! HELP

  120. I just made this exactly as the recipe says and it is amazing!!  Absolutely delicious. My family loved it. So cheesy and creamy. 

  121. Love those crispy brown pieces of cheese on top!

  122. WOW!! This mac and cheese looks incredible!! My family would absolutely LOVE this!!

  123. Can’t wait to serve this again for dinner this week! It was such a hit; easily a new family favorite recipe

  124. This turned out to be the creamiest recipe I’ve tried, versus others that became curdled. Fresh grated cheese and warmed milk helped.

  125. Nothing beats an easy, cheesy, and creamy recipe like this one. I love family favorites like this and will be adding this to our menu soon.

  126. Simply delicious! A new go to for sure!

  127. I am NOT a cook and have never made baked mac & cheese, but this turned out wonderfully! I knew I’d have a lot of leftovers (meaning a lot of reheating) and I cannot stand mushy pasta, so I cooked the pasta for a couple of minutes less and it was perfect. I also added in 1/2 tsp ground mustard. Thank you for this great recipe!

  128. I don’t see on the recipe where you use the whole milk. I would assume that it is in sep 4. Thanks

  129. Would the amount of cheese be equivalent to a 32 ounce block of sharp cheddar and a 16 ounce block of gruyere before grating?

    • That might be a tad too much cheese, as the cups are measured after grating. That being said, this is a very forgiving recipe!

      • Not to be super nitpicky but I think mentioning that up in the ingredients list would be really helpful. I went to the grocery store and bought a ridiculous amount of cheese. I even skipped out on the gruyere which I really wanted because the cost of it was so high for 16 oz. I ended up getting a few different others. As I sat there staring at the blocks and adding up the dollars I wondered if there was a chance that it was being measured post shred versus pre shred, but I figured since you mentioned using blocks of cheese that you were referring to pre shred weight, where an 8 oz block would have been a cup and a 32 oz block would have been 4.

        I think it still turned out fine or at least it will when I try it out tomorrow. Finished assembling at 2 a.m. for a potluck tomorrow around noon. I made extra sauce and reserved just over a cups worth to pour on top before baking.

  130. I would like to add broccoli to this. How would I do that? Just put some raw florets in before baking?

  131. How many days in advance can you make this recipe with it still being good? Is three days in advance still okay? Thanks!

  132. Hi, how many cups of cheese would you need if you used shredded instead of grated? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • It would be the same amount 🙂

    • I bought the pre-shredded cheese once and I found that it doesn’t even melt and the leftover “cheese” never went moldy, after sitting in the fridge for about a month (because I suspected it wasn’t real cheese). I’ve since read that it is a fake cheese…

      “As a test case for this article, I compared a block of cheddar cheese with a bag of pre-shredded cheddar from the same company. The shredded cheese contained — in addition to the ingredients also listed on the block of cheese — potato starch, powdered cellulose, and natamycin.

      Potato starch is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s sold commercially for use as a thickener, and has desiccating and anti-clumping properties that help keep cheese shreds separate. Cellulose pops up in the ingredient lists of a lot of pre-packaged foods. The tasteless, ultra-fine powder is derived from wood pulp (really), and can be used to add dietary fiber, as a thickener, as a stabilizer, to improve mouthfeel or to prevent caking. In the case of shredded cheese, the two are often used in combination with one another because while cellulose is more effective, it also creates a visually unappealing coating. Potato starch is translucent, so cutting the cellulose with it allows manufacturers to use more without losing the color and look of their cheese.

      Natamycin is an anti-mold agent that is typically suspended in solution to a concentration of five to 10 parts per million, then sprayed on cheese shreds to coat them as thoroughly as possible. It’s tasteless, non-toxic, and naturally occurring, and has been used in commercial food production for a long time. It’s also non-water-soluble, so it can’t enter the human digestive tract. That means it doesn’t count as an antibiotic, although it is sometimes prescribed by doctors to treat eye infections.”

  133. Absolutely delicious. I used whipping cream instead of whole milk and seasoned my cheese sauce with Sazon. Thank you!


  135. Love this recipe!!! I’ve made in 2 years in a row for my kid’s birthday party and kids and adults love it! I’ve used gluten free pasta and I’ve substituted some 1% milk when i dont have enough of the whole milk/ cream and it comes out great every time!

  136. I am planning on making this for a Church gathering. First, if you make it ahead and refrigerate it, is it dry? I have tried that with another recipe, and the noodles absorbed the liquids and were huge, and the mac & cheese was dry. Second, if I make this recipe, and then a half of recipe more, will it still fit into the 9×13 pan? I need to make it for 15-18. Thanks

    • Hi Karen, to answer your second question, I don’t think it would fit into a 9×13. I would pick up a deep dish lasagna pan (the disposable ones) and use that, as I’ve doubled it in one of those before, so I know a 1.5x recipe would fit. To your first question, with any pasta recipe with a sauce, it will be drier when made ahead, just because the pasta will absorb the sauce. You could try to counteract that by making the sauce a little thinner than usual, so there will be more liquid, but whenever making mac and cheese ahead of time, you do lose some of that ultra creaminess.

  137. I’m making this for my family tomorrow. Can I make the sauce, cook the macaroni, put it all in the pan together and then cook it in the oven once I get to the event? Is that possible or should I just cook it tonight and warm it up tomorrow? 

  138. WOWZA! I made this for my family last week, it was delicious! I was testing out some new Mac and Cheese recipes for the holidays since I hadn’t quite found the perfect one. This will be my go to recipe from now on! 😉 Thank you for sharing! Yay!

  139. I added ground beef. It was amazing. Thank you for this great recipe!!

  140. Where did you buy your cheeses?

  141. Can you freeze this recipe and bake from frozen / thawed? I’m trying to make a bunch of frozen meals ahead before baby comes.

  142. oh my goodness so delicious!!!i used sharp cheddar, gouda, muenster, and colby ! yummmmmm

  143. Wow wow wow! This Mac N Cheese was amazing. I’ve always had trouble with sauces thickening and the cheeses fully melting but not this one. Absolutely delicious. We had some leftover pulled pork that we added and it kicked it up another notch, which we didn’t think was possible. I will definitely be storing this recipe away to make again. Thanks for posting for all to enjoy! 

  144. Amazing! The whole family devoured it! I used mild cheddar and marble jack. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  145. Delicious! I modified by using only sharp cheddar and added granulated garlic, otherwise followed the directions to the letter. Dreamy creamy baked shells and cheese. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe!

  146. What difference would it make if i do not add the all purpose flour? 

  147. This was the best macaroni and cheese that I’ve ever made, the plus Factor it was quite easy. I have a 16 year old son who is so picky with everything… one of his favorite things to eat is macaroni & cheese, trust me I have tried too many. No success, but this one when I took it out the oven along with other things that I cooked with it, he went straight for the mac & cheese left everything else alone👀 let’s just put it like this I had to ask him to please think of other people who had to eat. 3 Plates Full. Nailed it😋😍 5 Stars. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe sincerely Regina

  148. FABULOUS!!! BEST EVER and i have tried many combinations. Love the mix of cheeses… so creamy and delicious. I finally found the perfect mac and cheese recipe.

  149. Yummy and easy! I made it ahead and baked it for 35 minutes. Everyone loved it!

  150. This is the best Mac&cheese…. EVER! Brought it ad a side dish to a party & it was everyone’s favorite!

  151. Best Mac and cheese recipe ever!  I love substituting different cheeses. Easy and forgiving. 

  152. Mine turned out amazing! I used sharp cheddar, grueyer, and gouda…because I love gouda. Consistency was perfect! Keeping this one. 

  153. How many servings does this recipe provide?

  154. I used 1/4 cup less of flour, and it still tasted like a floury mess. 

  155. Made this today for my son’s Knights of Columbus picnic. My son said it was awesome & he heard rave reviews. This is definitely a keeper😊

  156. Can I use 1lb of any type of noodle? I ended up buying Cavatappi noodles bc my grocery store was out of almost all pasta!

  157. I love this! I used 2 boxes of chickpea pasta shells and the Costco Mexican mix of grated cheese. No one wanted to wait for it to bake, so ate it immediately. We were hungry and impatient. Still great!

  158. This has become our family favorite. Often requested for birthday dinner. I use mozz cheese instead or gruyere. Love it. Great heated up.

  159. Wow! That was so amazing!!

  160. This was the best Mac and Cheese I’ve ever made! My kids ate every bit of it over a 6 or 7 day period! There are only 3 of us so that says a lot for your recipe! I didn’t use gruyere because it was too expensive! I substituted Havarti!

  161. Hi there 🙂

    Not sure if this has been already asked so apologies in advance – I live in the UK and although I have measuring cups, do you know the rough metric measurements so I know how much to buy at shops etc?


  162. I’m making this for about fifty people this weekend, but when I did my test run, I was pretty disappointed because it wasn’t cheesy enough?? Does four cups mean four cups grated or 32 oz of cheese? I just want it to be perfect and maybe it’s my misunderstanding?? Please help

  163. I made this tonight with Sharpe cheddar and swiss gruyere baked for 20 mins @ 375 degrees. Broiled for 5 mins…made a nice crunchy top.
    Can’t say enough but this mac and cheese is the BOMB.

  164. I just made this for dinner tonight. But where I’m going to not have a broiler. Can I cook it broil the top and reheat it later in the oven?

  165. Hi (: I am planning on trying out this recipe tonight, it looks to be the best one I have found so far. However, my siblings are picky about “stinky” cheeses like Gruyere (but they like parmesan). Any suggestions on replacements for the gruyere? Thank you! 

    • You can use swiss as a replacement. As stated in other reviews…it’s a very forgiving recipe so using different cheeses doesn’t really mess it up. I do cook it much longer than stated…usually about 40 minutes. I find that 15 minutes isn’t nearly enough time. My family loves it!

  166. Can I freeze this recipe? It sounds amazing and I cannot wait to make!

    • I’ve never attempted to freeze this recipe, so I can’t say for certain that it’ll work out well.

    • I do meal prep and because I had made this before and it was amazing, I thought I’d see if would be good out of the freezer.

      I prepared it and baked it. Then I portioned it out into meal prep containers and froze them.

      Grab one out of the freezer, place a damp paper towel over it and microwave on high for 3 minutes, remove the paper towel, stir,  then heat on high for another 3 minutes and it’s perfect.

  167. This is an excellent mac and cheese, the only thing I did differently was to add 1tbs of Worcestershire sauce 1/2 tsp dried mustard and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder for some extra flavor and some panko crumbs. It came out delicious. The only mac and cheese honestly I ever found better was Lecellier Lobster Macaroni & Cheese with Mascarpone at Disney world which btw I can’t find a recipe for 🙁 ,but as far as classics go this is by far one of the best I have tried.

  168. Great!! I am ditching my current Mac and Cheese recipe for this one! This is SSOSOSOSOSOOOO yummy!

  169. Made this yesterday and it was a hit. It was very easy to make. I love the layering aspect of the recipe. My very fit and skinny friend had four huge servings! It was a hit all around!

  170. Wow is that cheesy…. i did the 5 cheese variation with the highest quality cheeses i could buy locally. It is so cheesy. I think the flavor of the gruyere is a bit overpowering, I kinda wish I replaced it with some other cheese, dunno what i would trade it out for, it does add a complexity so I dunno if it could be replaced.

  171. Could I use rice flour instead of regular flour?

  172. Can I bake this in a 13×9 foil dish?? if so, how long do I bake for and do I keep it at the same temperature? thanks!!

  173. OMG!!! I loved this recipe!! Thank you! I didn’t have Gruyere cheese so I used Gouda cheese instead, added bacon and green onions (and a few other spices- Jamaican style)… It came out great! My family and friends enjoyed it thoroughly. I have been instructed to make more often!! lol

  174. Best recipe. My Husband loved it.Thank you for sharing😊

  175. Hey there, do you think I could substitute Gruyere Cheese for Velveeta cheese? Couldn’t find it. (I can’t wait to try this recipe btw!)

  176. If I am making this the night before should I undercook the noodles a bit?

  177. What’s half&half?

  178. This was a crowd pleasing Mac and cheese. The only thing I changed was to place buttered breadcrumbs on top and baked! I followed instructions (to the letter, I usually don’t) and it was easy.  A little time consuming shredding the cheese but well worth the time. I fed 10 people and sent everyone home with leftovers! 

  179. Thank you for sharing this recipe 

  180. I am an experienced cook and I have made many Mac and cheese recipes. This is by far the easiest and best tasting Mac and cheese recipe I have ever made. The two cheeses were perfect. l won’t make another recipe, this is the best.

  181. Best Mac & Cheese EVER! I doubled the recipe so it would feed 5 for a lazy Sunday lunch. It was so rich, so cheesy and just so good! I did use the seasonings and I think this just added another dimension to the flavour. Thanks for another great recipe!

  182. OUTSTANDING! Will be a “go-to” forever!

  183. I’m looking for a mac and cheese recipe for my daughter’s birthday picnic. Would this hold up if it sat for 30 minutes before serving?

  184. Substituted mozzarella for gruyere, it is the best mac n cheese I’ve made at home!

  185. I followed the step of your recepi and it came out so good. Since my household is not a big fan of cheese and diary products, I only used four cups of medium cheddar cheese (no gruyere cheese), less butter, less flour, 2 cups of half-and-half and whole milk.

    I served steamed broccoli and grilled breast chicken as side dishes. Everybody love it. 🙂 I follow more for other recepi. Thanks, Chunky Chef.

  186. is it milk AND half&half or milk OR half&half??

  187. Loved the cheese combo. Very tasty. I will add a little pepper jack cheese or cayenne pepper for a little spunk next time but lots of folks prefer no ‘spunk’ and this is tasty without delivering the spunk

  188. Can you add truffle oil to this? If so, do you know how much?

  189. Recipe was good (did the 5 cheese version). Tonight we are replacing the pasta with riced cauliflower for a low carb version. It is just as good. 

    • WAIT! Riced Cauliflower… ok how does that work? How much cauliflower did you use and did you have to adjust the recipe? I would love to try this with cauliflower.

      • I didn’t really measure just used almost a large bag of frozen cauliflower that I thawed in the microwave and squeezed out the excess water. Did not adjust anything 

  190. I NEVER comment on recipes, but this is THE MF (sorry, but expletives are necessary!) BEST mac and cheese I’ve ever had let alone made. I just found this recipe by accident and now I’ve sent it to all my friends who trust me. Follow this recipe to the letter and you won’t be sorry.

  191. First attempt at homemade Macaroni and Cheese, and made it for 4th of July, and it could not have turned out better. It was favorite of the whole meal for most. I had to use a different combination of cheeses because I couldn’t find Gruyere, but it was really a hit. It takes much longer than the box I grew up eating, but it was worth the work! Thank you for the post.

  192. It was good used Gouda and cheddar (not a good mix) the pasta was boiled for 8mins then baked at 350 for 15min

  193. Amazing recipe, family loves it and won`t eat any one else`s lol

  194. Absolutely trying this tonight…question though, if I wanted to add bacon 🥓 should I mix it into the cheese sauce or just put it on the top? Also, after I cook the bacon should it “rest” before hand or just throw it in greasy?

    • I would cook the bacon and let it sit on a paper towel lined plate so it soaks up the excess grease, and you can mix it in with the cheese sauce if you want. I usually add about half to the sauce, and half on top.

  195. How many servings does this recipe make?

  196. If I wanna double the recipe, should I double the ingredients and time?

  197. If I choose to add Panko breadcrumbs, do I add them after adding the last layer of shredded cheese on top or do I use the breadcrumbs as a substitute for the last layer of cheese? 

  198. Hands down the best mac n cheese recipe I’ve come across! This is now my go to recipe!

  199. Loved it it was so amazing

  200. This may sound silly (forgive me) but can you actually buy half and half at the supermarket ? This is my first time making this dish and Ive never heard of half and half before 🙂

  201. I made this today and it was absolutely DELICIOUS! Definitely my favorite dish! Plus, it actually takes a bit less time than I imagined, so it’s perfect!
    Here are the slight alterations I chose to do, however to don’t have to do them for the Mac and cheese to be delicious!
    -don’t put olive oil on the pasta. You don’t need it
    -you don’t need to salt the water for the pasta
    -putting bread crumbs on the top is delicious for a good crunch!

  202. This recipe looks delicious!  I am definitely going to try it. I have several types of cheese in my fridge including ‘swiss’ cheese.  Would you recommend adding Swiss cheese to the recipe?



  203. Haven’t made this yet, but planning on it. I was wondering if I’m using a glass baking dish, would I lower the temperature or keep it at 325? Thanks!

  204. Can you use shredded cheese instead of grated?

  205. This is wonderful. I will definitely make it again.

  206. Can you cook this in crock pot?

  207. Excellent creamy and oh, so cheesy of a dish!
    My family loved it. I know I will be making this again and again.

  208. I love how you use gif for the photos, interesting to see. I like to have baked mac and cheese on rainy night. Will give this recipe a try with bacon topping. Thanks so much.

  209. I’ve mad crock pot Mac & Cheese, I’ve made baked Mac & Cheese… every time they just came out okay… this recipe though, I loved this! This is what I was looking for in a Mac & Cheese dish. Even my little one loved it. The only change I made was was the Guyere cheese. I couldn’t find it in our stores so I substituted it with smoked Gouda and it was amazing! This is definitely my go to baked Mac recipe from now on! Delicious!

    • I’ve seen several people say they couldn’t find Gruyere. I know that Krogers has the biggest selection of cheese. Try there if you haven’t yet. 😊

      • Hi, I searched multiple stores and eventually found it buried right near the DELI with other fancy cheeses, not in the actual cheese section🙃
        Hope that helps someone!

  210. This is the first time I’ve ever made mac & cheese and I’m so glad I came across this recipe. It was fabulous! I used cheddar cheese, mozzarella & smoked Gouda with some Old Bay seasoning. Yummerzzz!!!!

  211. I forgot to pick up half and half at the store today. Would using all whole milk still work without changing the consistency or flavor? 

  212. Followed the recipe exactly. I was a little worried that it would be too soupy, but it bakes up creamy and perfect, not soupy at all. My husband and I both agree that it was the best mac and cheese we’ve ever had. This is also a perfect dish to bring to parties, potlucks, etc. Absolutely amazing!

  213. A really delicious Mac and cheese recipe! I think layering the noodles and cheese is the key. Genius! I had to change it up with the cheese because I didn’t have all of the ones from the recipe. I used 12 oz cheddar, 8 oz Monterey Jack, 4 oz queso fresco and 4 oz cream cheese. I melted the cream cheese into the butter mixture. I also put a little cayenne pepper in with the spices. I made this for a family party and it was a big hit. I will definitely make this again! Thank you!

  214. Amazing. 5 stars

  215. Made it today, the 4 year old I had lunch with gave it a thumbs up and said “This is good, I don’t want to eat kid macaroni and cheese anymore. Only this kind!” She ended up eating her bowl then half her Nana’s. I was too lazy to weight the cheese so I think I may have used about a cup too much Cheddar. But it was DELICIOUS and I’ll still manage to choke the rest down.


  216. I have tried many mac and cheese recipes and this one hit the mark. The entire family loved it. My roux was runny; therefore I added more flour (approx. 1-2 T) to thicken it up and cooked it until it turned a golden brown color. I used mild cheddar, Gruyere, and Colby-jack cheese. I also added dry mustard, onion and garlic powder. Next time will try the Habanero cheddar as mentioned in another reply below.

  217. Sooooo amazing!! I used Gouda in stead of the Gruyere and it turned out phenomenal! Thank you so much! 

    • I loooove Gouda cheese and was wanting to use that instead so I’m glad I found your comment saying it turned out awesome! Did you still use the medium sharp cheddar as well?

  218. My family LOVED this recipe! This will now be my “go to” macaroni and cheese recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

  219. Super good, for anyone who wants to keep the richness of the Gruyere, but add some kick. Boar’s Head makes an amazing Chipotle smoked Gouda. The spice and bit of smokiness is really good in Mac & Cheese. Note, there’s NOTHING wrong with this recipe. I’d eat it as written multiple times a week. If you like heat another good swap’s Habenero Cheddar. Depending on where you live it might not be easy to find, but it’s gooooodness. Going to go shopping tonight to get the stuff to make it with Habanero Cheddar and Chipotle smoked Gouda.

  220. Added Cotija! Delish.

  221. Made this for Easter 2019. Going to make it again for Memorial Day BBQ. It is heaven on earth!

  222. The color looks so yummy. I like cheese, so will try this recipe soon. Thanks for the post.

  223. My daughter just made this for the first time and said it was the best homemade macaroni and cheese she has ever made!

  224. I loved the recipe. I made this for my high school Culinary Arts class. I made the 5 cheese variation and baked it at 350 F for 20 minutes and it was so tasty. I never have even thought of the idea of layering the mac and cheese like lasagna and it proved to be a success!

  225. Can this be frozen then baked a week later?

  226. Hello, I recently made this and it turned out great. Be FOREWARNED it is riiiiiicccccchhhhh! I did modify the mixture more to what my family is used to for Macaroni and Cheese.

    So what did I do?
    – Omitted buttering the dish. There is no need given the amount of fat in the dish.
    – Omitted 1/2 cup of half and half (oh don’t worry, I bring the fat back).
    – Omitted the Paprika
    – Omitted the added salt. Again between the salt in the pasta water and the salt naturally in the cheese, you do not need extra salt. Your choice on that though.

    So what did I add?
    – Added 1/2 cup of sour cream to replace the 1/2 cup of half and half removed.
    – Added 1/2 tsp. of dried mustard (Colemans).
    – Added 1/2 tsp. of onion powder.
    – Added 1/2 cup of Parmesan, divided. I put 1/4 cup in the cheese sauce mixture and 1/4 cup was sprinkled on the top as the last step before baking.

    Other changes:
    – Used 1 eight ounce block each of Extra Sharp Cheddar, COJACK, and Swiss cheeses.
    – Made it Gluten Free by using Bob’s Red MIll One 4 One flour and Barilla’s GF Elbows. Both of which worked well. The Barilla only has 12 oz of pasta vice a pound of conventional pasta, but it works perfectly fine.

  227. This is absolutely delicious and rich. Such a comfort food. I added chunks of ham to mine.
    Thank you.

  228. Yum! Simply Yum!! 

  229. I have made this for a year now and my friends call it comfort “crack!!  Also use Cougar Gold and it’s amaaazing!   Thank you chunky ached for this fantastic fool proof recipe! 

  230. So so so good!! Thank you! I added an entire head of steamed cauliflower and that was delish too! 

  231. Do you have any suggestions in regards to using fresh pasta and not boiling it first? I understand make the sauce a little thinner but what would the cooking time be then?

  232. Can this be made ahead of time? I want to have it ready to just throw in the oven. 

  233. do you have to use unsalted butter

  234. I haven’t made this recipe yet. if I were add artichoke hearts (frozen), could I still add them and refrigerate for a day?

  235. Delicious!

  236. Could this be easily made in a crock pot? I want to bring it to a sports recognition dinner.

  237. Family loves this recipe and requests it often!  I have tried so many other mac n cheese recipes and they always ended in disappointment.  

  238. This sounds and looks delicious !!!!!!! Im going to make it for dinner tomrrow and i cant wait !

  239. Hands down, this is the best mac n cheese dish ever!!!! I did change it up a little. I chopped up some bacon, onion, and garlic, sauteed all that and added it after the sauce was done. I also added two teaspoons of dry mustard and four teaspoons of truffle oil to the sauce before adding the cheese and then a little bit grated nutmeg. Delicious!!! So cheesy with the layered cheeses. I also warmed up the milk and half and half just to room temperature before adding it to the rue. So good and easy to make. Will always use this recipe when making mac n cheese.

  240. Love this recipe! We make it every holiday now that we’ve found it a few years ago!

    Is there a 2-4 serving size recipe?

    • I’m so glad you love this recipe! For that serving size, I would halve all the ingredients, and bake it in an 8×8 pan for the same amount of time and at the same temperature 🙂

  241. I made this again for Easter dinner yesterday. I did the 5 cheese version, although I subbed out the Gruyere for a sharp cheddar as it was way less expensive. I toasted up some panko breadcrumbs in a skillet with butter and added during the last 10 minutes of baking. Everyone (and I mean everyone) raved about how good it was, and I must agree. I pride myself on making a great mac and cheese, and due to the cost I only make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This was the best one yet and will be my recipe to follow moving forward. I think the half and half makes it. Either way, it’s fantastic. I wish I had some leftovers to enjoy, but everyone took some home with them so 🙁 Thank you for a great recipe.

    • I am trying to figure out how this is “such an expensive dish”? Prime Rib is expensive, hence why I make it on Christmas only. Dairy products are overly expensive, the noodles are 3 bucks for a box, maybe 10-15 bucks on cheese,and Panko breadcrumbs are 2 or 3 bucks for a can of them.

      Sharp Cheddar–I’ve used this before, and it ruins the taste (IMHO) and as described in the recipe above. If you think Gruyere is too expensive, try gouda.

  242. I neec to make mac n cheese muffins as an app for a party. Would this recipe work?

  243. Made this for our Easter Dinner. Made it exactly as stated except i was concerned that the cheeses were not strong enough. I like cheeses that bite back. I happened to find a new product at the market yesterday. They were sheets of Parmesan cheese that can be used as wraps for deli meat, instead of using bread, I put those in between the layers and on top, can you say awesome.  Because it was. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe and i have tried many.  

  244. These look absolutely delicious! You have amazing food photography too :] Thank You So Much for this awesome sharing!

  245. This is amazing! We did sharp cheddar, gruyere, and gouda and it was to die for! Everyone asked for the recipe. Made a double batch and it froze very well.

  246. Just took this out of the oven. Easter Sunday side dish. Snuck a taste. Yum.

  247. I made this last month and used a mixture of cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan and Colby. It was absolutely delicious and also reheats well for any leftovers. I’ve now agreed to make this for Easter Sunday dinner and was wondering if you have any idea on average number of servings? I need enough for about 25.

  248. The most unbelievably decadent Mac and cheese ever. We prefer with only a really good old sharp cheddar and your option for a crisper and firmer crust. Fantastic recipe! Thank you 🙂

  249. Would I be able to freeze this recipe? And if so how long should I leave the casserole out on the counter and how long should I bake for?

    • I haven’t specifically tested freezing this recipe, as freezing dairy can sometimes be a problem. But if you try it, I would thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, and then leave it on the counter for 20 minutes or so before baking as directed by the make-ahead directions in the recipe.

  250. I have made this probably five times now. Definitely a keeper. The first time I made it I had to swap the Gruyere because I could not find it in my local supermarket so I got jarlsberg instead. We all love this recipe. This is now my ‘go to’ mac and cheese recipe

  251. Adding ground mustard to this is the only tweak I’ve found that makes the already fantastic recipe better. If you want to give it a try, I recommend a half to a full teaspoon to give it just a little extra flavor. By far my favorite recipe for anyone who says they’re a mac and cheese connoisseur.

  252. This was amazing! So creamy and delicious.

  253. I have just made it. Really good recipe, favorite of all I have tried, it will be my recipe now.

  254. I used 3/4 cup flour/butter and 1 3/4 cup extra skim milk and only 1 cup of light cream. No one knew the difference

  255. I adapted your wonderful recipe a bit but wanted to say that added the shredded cheese btwn the layers of the pasta & cheese mix is genius! I added pepper jack to the mix for a kick and added breadcrumbs do the top for crunch.

  256. Perfect from the first time and the kids loved it.

  257. Hi,

    Can i leave the mac n cheese in the oven after baking coz i need to fetch my kids from sch. Will that cause the cheese to dry up or should i just take it out and let it cool? Which is better?

    Thank u!

  258. Hello! I was just curious about the water amount in the third step please when it says while watsr is coming to a boil. Thanks!

  259. Used what I had on hand which was cheddar cheese. Delicious. Will make again with both cheeses. Thanks 

  260. Great recipe for a delicious dish. Thank you for sharing and continue to do it more

  261. We decided to take this and sub out the cheddar for pepperjack, added some parmesan into the topping cheese layer and we also added bacon (one person made the sauce while the other cooked fresh bacon). We also broiled the dish at the end for 5 minutes.

    This recipe is enough to feed 6 people for sure! Or more if you serve it with something else as a side. We grilled some chicken in a castiron skillet, slice it, and put it on top of our mac n cheese.



  263. Delicious! I didn’t have the cheeses listed, so used what I had on hand—mozzarella, white cheddar, smoked Gouda, and the Mexican cheese blend. Followed the directions exactly and topped with cheese and the Italian Panko butter crumbs. I will definitely make again! Thank You!

  264. Fantastic recipe. Thank you! 

  265. Do I mix the pasta and the cheese together 

  266. My son made this in his homeschool co-op so we tried it tonight for dinner. I used 2% milk instead of whole and canned evaporated milk instead of half & half. For the cheese I used sharp cheddar, mozarella and smoked gruyere. I think next time I will leave out the gruyere because it was a little strong to me. Also we used shells instead of elbow macaroni – per my son’s request – that’s what they used in his class. Very good recipe & makes a large dish – enough to share- which is what I am going to do! I’m sure my parents will like it too!

    • I did this once with smoked gouda and honestly wasn’t a huge fan. Go with a regular gruyere next time instead of a smoked one and I think you’ll love the difference!

  267. Amanda, this looks wonderful! I’ll try it today. Thank you for sharing!

  268. Oh My Goodness. This recipe was so good!!!

    I was unsure about this recipe because both my husband and my son do not like Swiss (Gruyere Cheese). I will also say that the combination of Swiss and Cheddar seemed “off” to me, but the reviews were so positive I decided to try it. Personally, I get tired of always catering to the “unimaginative palates” of my spouse and son. If my son had his way, we would eat boxed Velveeta Mac and Cheese 5 nights a week, My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

    That said, this was a real risk. I decided if they really hated it, I could freeze it and use it for a “shut in meal” or take it to a Bible study group dinner.

    I made the recipe almost exactly as posted. The only difference being that I had less than 1 cup of mild cheddar/Mexican blend that I wanted to use up that I included into the sharp cheddar mix. After otherwise making the recipe as directed, I added leftover diced ham.

    All I can say, was it was good the first night, but even better the second day. My husband works second shift which means that whatever I make for dinner tonight, he eats the next night. Both my husband and my son requested the leftovers.

  269. OMGEEEE!  This is the best mac and cheese i’ve had!  Made it about 2 months ago and making it tonight to have with meatloaf! Everyone raved about it! I’ve not used Gruyere cheese before and my store had a hickory smoked one.  Thanks for this recipe!  It’s a keeper in my book now!

  270. I have searched high and low for “the” Mac n Cheese recipe.  This is it!!  Love it, my whole family loves it.  I topped with seasoned panko breadcrumbs for a little crunch.  

  271. Amanda, thank you! I made this exactly as recipe states and it was delicious. It has wonderful flavors.

  272. Can I use only half and half? If so, how much should I use?

  273. Hey there! This recipe looks awesome but can it be baked with bread crumbs on top?

  274. Could you tell me what 2 1/2 cups of half and half is please. 

    • Half and half is a dairy product here in the US which is part cream, part milk. It’s found in the dairy aisle. If you can’t find it, you could simply substitute with 1 1/4 cups cream and 1 1/4 cups milk.

      • is that double or single cream that i was use for the substitution?

      • I am having my son’s high school graduation party this Saturday evening and wanted to add a homemade Mac and cheese dish for the kids that are coming and this dish sounds great. I would probably make 3 dishes ahead of time and bake them the day of the party on Saturday. Do you think I could bake them in the disposable aluminum 9×13 pans. We will have a party of 50-70 people here for his party so I want everything disposable as much as possible 😊

  275. My daughter loved this recipe so much that she requested me to make this for her wedding. There will be 50-60 guests. Can I double recipe and use a larger baking dish? Any suggestions would be so helpful. Has the slow cooker recipe been created yet?

    • I’ve not tested this recipe on that scale, so I can’t say anything for certain, unfortunately. I would assume it could be done by baking it in a larger dish, it just might take a little bit longer. The slow cooker mac and cheese will be an entirely different recipe, as you’d have to add specific ingredients to help make it smooth and creamy in a slow cooker setting.

  276. This is so tasty 😋 😋😋 I made 2 batches and ate it all by my self in like 2 hours Yum 😋 like I’m only 300 pounds but boy this is tasty my wife chyanne left me because I ate it all when she said not to eat all of it. But very great and easy recipe if you want your wife to leave you.

  277. This was an amazing mac and cheese recipe! We loved the cheese in the sauce and layers! The half and half made it extra creamy. May add the buttered panko next time but this is perfect as it is! Mac and cheese is my favorite food!

  278. I want to learn how to do it.