Creamy Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

This baked mac and cheese is a family favorite recipe, loved by both children and adults.  My version uses a combination of cheeses for a gloriously cheesy dish!

Everyone has their favorite baked mac and cheese recipe… and this is mine.  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!

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!

Baked mac and cheese.  It’s nearly the universal comfort food, and there are SO many variations!  I have some other variations in the development stages, so expect them to come to the blog at some point 🙂  In fact, I almost didn’t post this recipe today, 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).

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Cheese sauce pouring over pasta to make homemade Mac and cheese

It all starts with pasta, cooked about a minute shy of al dente.  You don’t want to cook it all the way to al dente, since it will be baking a bit in the oven and will finish cooking there.  You can use any shape you’d like.  I kept it original here with the classic elbow shape, but I’ve done rotini, farfalle, cavatappi, etc.  Pick the shape you and your family love the most!

Macaroni and cheese recipes in baking dish

I love to use a mixture of cheeses in my baked mac and cheese… specifically a medium cheddar and Gruyere.  The sharp tang from the cheddar and the creaminess of the Gruyere are a great combination!  But you could make this with white cheddar, all mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, etc.

Even with the tang from the medium cheddar, my kids literally gobble this up!  Every time I make it, which is often, they have multiple servings and happily eat any leftovers the next day 🙂  Whenever my kids love a recipe, I consider it a winner!

Spoonful of creamy baked Mac and cheese

Now for the secret to making this baked mac and cheese SO cheesy and irresistible… the layers.  First, there’s the rich and creamy cheese sauce, made with part whole milk and part half and half, with 2 generous handfuls of grated cheese swirled and melted in.  Seriously, when you’re cooking this sauce, you might find it incredibly hard to not lick the stirring spoon!  Secondly, there’s an inner layer of grated cheese… the secret weapon.  Once you add half the pasta and cheese sauce to the baking pan, sprinkle on a generous layer of grated cheese, then top it with the remaining pasta and cheese sauce.  You could even be extra decadent and divide the pasta and cheese sauce into thirds and layer in 2 layers of the grated cheese!

Layers of cheese in this creamy Mac and cheese dish

DO YOU COVER BAKED MAC AND CHEESE IN THE OVEN

You could, but then you wouldn’t get that glorious bubbly cheesy “crust”.  I don’t know about you, but it’s my favorite part!  If you really love that crust, go ahead and broil it for several minutes after baking.

HOW TO TOP BAKED MAC AND CHEESE

  • Grated cheese (my personal favorite – and what I’ve done here in these photos)
  • Buttered panko breadcrumbs (feel free to add some herbs to this as well)
  • Bacon pieces/panko breadcrumb combo

Homemade Mac and cheese on plate

HOW LONG DO YOU BAKE MAC AND CHEESE

This recipe doesn’t bake long at all, but I’ve actually baked it longer before, and it’s still every bit as delicious!  Most baked Mac and cheese recipes call for it to be baked 15-30 minutes.  My kids aren’t huge fans of the cheesy “crust”, so I bake mine at 325, but 350 or even 375 work as well.  It’s a very forgiving dish!

Of course, you could alternately not bake this mac and cheese at all, and just combine the pasta with the cheese sauce if that’s what you prefer 🙂

I really hope you all give my family favorite mac and cheese a try… I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we do!

Ultra cheesy forkful of baked Mac and cheese

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! | http://thechunkychef.com
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4.99 from 176 votes
Creamy Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese
8 - 10 servings
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

This baked mac and cheese is a family favorite recipe, loved by children and adults. My version uses a combination of cheeses for a gloriously cheesy dish!

Calories: 665 kcal
Author: The Chunky Chef
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. dried elbow pasta
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 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
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese divided
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 3 qt baking dish (9x13").  Set aside.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.  

Recipe Video
Recipe Notes

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.  

FIVE CHEESE VARIATION:

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

FOR A CRUNCHIER TOPPING AND FIRMER CONSISTENCY:

  • 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.

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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! | http://thechunkychef.com

 

 

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484 comments on “Creamy Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese”

  1. Followed recipe exactly…except I did not have Gruyere. Substituted Velveeta (yes, Velveeta!) and combined with Cabot extra sharp white cheddar and it was phenomenal. So creamy and delicious.

  2. Amanda, thank you very much! I like this! Wonderful combination of ingredients. It look so yummy!

  3. Do I need to mix the half and half and the whole milk?

  4. Yum yum yum. Added dry mustard 

  5. Absolutely delicious!! First time for me to make a homemade mac and cheese. Easy recipe to follow.

  6. Could I freeze this after it’s made?

  7. THANK YOU AMANDA!!!  This recipe is da bomb!!!  My 17 and 13 year olds are extremely picky eaters. I have made various homemade Mac and cheese through the years which my children would look forward to and I can now say the search is over!!  

    When I now say I’m going to make mac and cheese they ask is it the recipe you have made lately?  When I say yes, they say oh that is really good mac and cheese.  No more box Mac and cheese in this family – YAY!!!!!  Thank you again!

  8. Really delicious mac and cheese. My kids loved it. This will be my number 1 recipe to go to now. Thanks 

  9. Definitely the best baked mac recipe I have made and I have tested MANY!  I made as directed but added some panko crumbs on top.  So yummy!

  10. Seriously the BEST mac & cheese I’ve ever made! I have been searching and trying to find the creamiest, super cheesy macaroni and cheese and here it is! I made a full recipe for my family of 5 as a side dish but froze half the sauce for another day. It defrosted like I never put it in the freezer and everyone couldn’t stop talking about how delicious it was!

  11. I actually have a question, I would like to make this recipe, but I’m a single person with no one living with me. Are you able to possibly give me directions for just an individual so I’m not making an over abundance that will go bad before I finish it all. Thank you so much if you are able to help me

    • Hi Jennifer 🙂 I would cut all the ingredients in half (for a main course dish) and into fourths (to serve as a side dish). Make it as directed, no change to the baking time. That way you’ll have enough for the night you make it, and 1-2 days worth of leftovers.

  12. Hello, can you use heavy whipping cream instead of half & half?

  13. Tops! All 7 of our family loved this recipe.  I especially liked that the littles ate it right up. It was perfectly creamy. The flavor was so good.

  14. Do I have to use half and half? Can I just use milk?

  15. What is half and half? Thanks.

  16. Simply perfect. Have made this several times and have had rave reviews from old and young alike. Nice job.

  17. My first time ever making mac and cheese (minus box recipes) this was the best mac and cheese I’ve ever tasted! It stole the show as a side dish and was the only thing that I had seconds of. So delicious!

  18. Best Mac & Cheese I ever made!  I made this dish for a party, and the guests were begging for more!  Wish I had made two trays. For first-time makers of this dish, it will seem like A LOT of cheese when you’re done shredding, but follow the directions exactly as written (especially when whisking the sauce) & you’ll be in Mac & Cheese heaven!  I used four, 8 oz blocks of sharp cheddar and two, 8 oz blocks if Monterey Jack. SOOOOO yummy!!

  19. I added crumbled 1 cup each of bacon, cubed ham and cubed andouille to this recipe. It worked. 

  20. I made this tonight! My family and I are calling this McComfort Food! Delicious and filling! 

  21. Tried this last night and it was a hit! This is the first recipe I’ve made that doesn’t get too dried out. Thank you! But now this begs the question, what’s the best way to reheat our leftovers and keep the creaminess??

    • I’m so glad you loved it! Mac and cheese is notorious for becoming greasy when reheated, and this is no exception. I’ve found reheating it in the oven or on the stovetop helps keep it the least greasy though.

  22. I have made this recipe a number of times for my family.  We LOVE it.  Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful delight!!!

  23. Help! Is the salt for the sauce or for the pasta?

  24. Absolutely delicious !
    I used what cheese we had on hand and it worked out perfect.
    We couldn’t get enough of it. Making it again today, so I came back for the directions again.
    Thank you so much for the recipe and all the tips.

  25. This recipe has caused unprecedented martial issues in my home! I made it once for my wife (yes, I am a man and the kitchen IS my domain… deal with it!!!) and now about once a week she comes home with a big bag of cheese, macaroni, etc. and insists that I make it for her! Fortunately, its one of the easiest things that I make and when she’s happy I’m happy! I even keep a spare in the basement freezer that she never explores which makes it even easier. I add chunks of ham to mine as well.

  26. Just made this recipe and it was, in one word…DELISH!

    VERY EASY recipe to make. I stuck with the original gruyere and cheddar mixture. My store only had smoked gruyere and I was a bit worried but it added a really nice smokey flavor that paired well with the ribs.

    Obviously this is only an occassional treat as it chock full of cheese, butter, half and half and whole milk…but for a once in awhile indulgence, I’ll definitely make it again!

  27. For once the recipe I attempted came out perfectly. This mac and cheese is the best in the whole world..I know this because my son and husband said so, and I agree. I cooked it exactly according to the directions and baked it on the 350 setting for 30 minutes and then broiled it, because we are fans of the chewy cheesy crust topping. Thank you for sharing.

  28. This is the very best Mac and Cheese! I’ve made it several times, each time varying the cheeses and some of the additions/substitutions that others have commented on. The last batch, I doubled, using mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, Velveeta, mozzarella and gruyere. Then followed the recipe exactly, using shredded cheeses for the topping. HUGE HIT for our party.
    I’ve never tried using cream cheese or Brie as one of the cheese selections. Has anyone tried those?

  29. Many thanks, Scotland don’t stock half and half in our stores. When you live in a little villiage and i mean LITTLE we dont get luxuries like yourself. I’ll try double cream with full fat milk……we have two grocery stores. TESCO and CO-OP. we don’t even do fast food. Is that full fat or semi skimmed?. Will let you know if I’m successful.

  30. OMG!!!! This is the BEST mac and cheese ever! It has the perfect consistency and so creamy. It was a big hit and absolutely no leftovers. Thank you very much!

  31. I made this recipe because there was an aged cheddar on sale at the grocery store. I could not have imagined a better use for this cheese. I also used some asiago on hand. My husband, coworkers, I absolutely loved it.

  32. I just made this (my first attempt at mac n cheese) and it turned out perfect! Thanks for sharing.

  33. I made this tonight,and it definitely was a hit! Will make it again for sure. Thank you for sharing your oh so delicious recipe! 

  34. The recipe is good but I cut everything connected to sause and topping in half (cheese, butter, milk, cream etc) – and it turned out great! Just the right amount of creamyness and cheesyness.

  35. Made this tonight. Only had American and Cheddar cheese, used Italian bread crumbs on the top but followed your instructions. I have make home made Mac and Cheese with wonderful results but this with the paprika and a bit of garlic powder….Wow!

  36. The best mac & cheese I’ve ever made.👌
    Wonderful. Made it for the first time tonight. It is a keeper! Could never find a great mac & cheese recipe till now.

  37. I made this for the first time last night. It was fantastic, and I almost want to say the leftovers are even better if that’s possible. Keeper for sure!

  38. made this for Christmas eve using sharp cheddar and swiss… it came out wonderful. Baked it right in the warming trays, it came out wonderful and didn’t dry out in the warmer either! It’s my new “go to” for Mac and cheese!
    thank you so much!!

  39. I made mine with 4 different cheddar cheeses and smoked gouda and it was absolutely the best! I went very well with my smoked brisket and baked beans!

  40. Made this Mac and cheese for Christmas- it was delish! New addition for the holidays everyone loved it. Used sharp Cheddar and Gruyere 

  41. This came out very well ,it looks delicious and I will try it again , maybe with some bacon .

  42. I made this recipe for a potluck & it was a big hit! I’m making it again today for New Year’s! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. 

  43. I’ve made this before and baked it and it’s delicious!! My husband liked it better before I baked it. Can I make this up until the baking part and hold it in a warm crock pot for a party? Will it separate after a couple hours???

  44. Best homemade Mac n cheese recipe!

  45. Loved loved loved this recipe! My family and I were out of town for Christmas and we voted on making a home made mac n cheese as a dinner side. I have made other recipes in the past and they were always just “meh”. When this one came up in the search and I saw who made it, I just knew I had to try it! I ended up reversing the cheeses (4 cups of Gruyere and 2 of Cheddar) because that’s what was had on hand and it was so fantastic! It was even better as left overs! The cheese sauce turned out perfect and was not at all greasy (probably because we switched the cheese amounts.) I served it with toppings of red onion, bacon, and avocado and again, positive reviews from a very picky foodie family!

  46. Thank you for sharing your amazing recipe! This is my new favorite mac n cheese recipe now! I did three layers and used the whole wheat elbow macaroni. I made it for our Christmas dinner and everyone loved it. I have requests to make it again. The combination of Gruyere and extra sharp cheddar is amazing. My husband is eating the leftovers now and all I hear are oooohs and ahhs.

  47. This is really helpful app if you dont want to buy mac and cheese

  48. I’m confused. The recipe ingredients calls for 1 1/2 cup of milk and 2 1/2 cups of half and half, however when I read the instructions you only mention using 2 cups total. Very confusing, what about the other 2 cups?

    • The next sentence in step 4 says to pour in the remaining milk/half and half. You add the liquid in stages so it develops into a smoother sauce.

    • She mixed the two milks. She poured in 2 cups of the mixture, mixed it into the butter and flour mixture, then she poured the rest of the milk (that would be the other 2 cups of mixed milk).

  49. This recipe will be a hit for my next vacation.

  50. Made this for Thanksgiving and family said that this was the best dish of all (over turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc..!) Then made it for Christmas and they all went on about how this needs to be at every family holiday. It’s such a hit! The only thing I added was “garlic and cheese” croutons – smashed up – on top before baking to add a bit of flavor and crunch.

  51. Best ever!!! Wrote my review but forgot to rate all the stars possible!! 

  52. As many others below I made this for Christmas dinner and it was the a HUGE HIT!!! Saving as my go to recipe from now on!! Seriously the BEST Mac n cheese I’ve ever made! 

  53. I can’t find Gruyere cheese anywhere does anyone know a good substitute?

  54. This recipe turned out so well and was super easy. Its taken me so long to find a good mac recipe and I’m so glad I made this one. I served it at a big work Christmas party and it was a huge hit.

  55. This recipe was a hit at my family’s Christmas dinner this year. Slight variations I Made due to what I had available: 1.5 cups half and half. 1.25 cups 2% milk and .5c heavy cream. Added the beau monde seasoning with the spices and topped with bacon chives and Italian bread crumbs. Best Mac and cheese I’ve ever made. Thanks!

  56. I never write reviews but this time i had to. I’ve followed other mac n cheese recipes and this is by far the BEST MOST AMAZING mac n cheese recipe ever. Very creamy, not dry at all. Great taste . I made it today for Christmas and everyone loves it! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  57. This is a great recipe. Even my finicky eating daughter enjoyed it. I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 because I think adding a layer of cheese in between the pasta mixture was too much cheese. I will, however, add this to my recipes and the next time I make this, I’ll omit the layer of cheese. 😁

  58. I made this macaroni and cheese for Christmas Eve. I followed the recipe closely, but added 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to the sauce. It was fantastic. My brothers are very picky when it comes to mac and cheese, and they both loved it. Thanks so much!

  59. Finally! My grandma made the best Mac n cheese ever. I’m 56 and have never been able to make a decent Mac n cheese until this recipe.   Made for the family on Christmas Eve and got lots of compliments and I loved it as well.   I did add a little more milk than called for and also added a little bit of Velveeta in the layers.   Will only use this recipe from now on!

  60. Made this today for Christmas tomorrow!

  61. I made this for Thanksgiving and loved it. Have you ever tried this same recipe in a crockpot?

  62. I just made this for a party thing at my job and doubled the recipe and it was amazing. I wasn’t even sure I was doing it right because I doubled it but came out great. I subsisted the Gruyere cheese with this “Mac and cheese” blend at Stop & Shop becusss they didn’t have the Gruyere cheese and it wasn’t surprisingly good. My boss and even some co worker was saying they loved it so much .

  63. Is this to be baked covered or uncovered?

  64. I made this for my five grown up children who were home for a long Christmas weekend. It was a huge success! Easy to make with very few ingredients.

  65. I am not sure where to buy the Gruyere cheese, I have been to Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, and Natural Grocers! Can you tell me where you buy this cheese?

  66. My sister in law made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit! I just finished preparing the make-ahead version and plan to bake it in the morning and transfer to my crock pot to keep warm for a work potluck…fingers crossed!

  67. I made your recipe  as written substituting only Swiss cheese for the Guyere. I taste tested it before baking and it was fabulous. When I baked it, it still tasted great but the cheese was very stringy and not the smooth texture of the cheese sauce that I mixed into the macaroni. Is this dish normally very stringy after baking? If not, any ideas on where I went wrong. Thank you.

    • It sounds like your cheese separated a bit during the baking process. Completely melting the cheese into the milk mixture will help reduce the probability of a grainy sauce. Also, definitely grate your own cheese (not sure if you did or not), and if you’re having trouble with creaminess, try using room temperature half and half and milk, and room temperature cheeses.

  68. My wife is gluten free, I have had really good success with substituting the 1/2 cup flour and about 1 cup of half & half the past to make the cheese sauce with 8oz of cream cheese to make Alfredo in the past. Any advise for this recipe? Should I just stick to GF flour instead using an Italian knock-off solution? Thanks!

  69. what size dish would be good if i double the recipe ?? also doubling it would be ideal for 20 people correct ?😇

    • It depends if you’re serving this as a main dish, or a side dish. As a side dish, yes, doubling should be good for about 20 people. As a main dish, it will probably feed 12-15. I’ve doubled this in those really big foil pans from the grocery store (I think they’re labeled “giant lasagna pans”), but I’ve also had a reader who tripled the recipe using a roasting pan 🙂

      • well its for a party so since we have other food i figured just one serving for everyone would do, so i doubled it. it seems just about enough but we’ll see 😇 it tastes good before baking but my only problem is that im scared it’ll dry out by the morning. will it turn out fine once i bake it ?

        • You probably had your party by now😄 but I made mine the night before to bring to a party the following day. I refrigerated it with foil on top & we re-heated it the next day before the party and it was AWESOME!  Nice & creamy & not dried out. Everyone LOVED it!

  70. Can you make cheese sauce & pasta ahead and refrigerate separately to combine on day of baking?

    • That should definitely work, just make sure to heat up the sauce some before combining and baking… and stir the cheese sauce really well after it’s warmed. The sauce may separate a little bit, but should come together with a good whisking.

  71. Can you use all milk instead of half and half?

  72. So many times I see “best” in front of a recipe, I’m let down and it’s not in fact the best. But WOWZA this mac and cheese is hands down 1000% no doubt THE. BEST. Made it exactly as written and it was perfect. 2nd time I grated in 3 cloves of garlic into the milk mixture and picked a higher quality gruere cheese and it was just mind blowing! Absolutely delicious! Thank you so so so much for this amazing recipe.

  73. Would you recommend hand shredding the cheeses? Do you see any benefit over just buying already shredded? Also, just out of curiosity…why half and half vs. heavy whipping cream? Does it get any less creamy (do the noodles soak up the liquid and dry out) if you make it the night before and heat it up the day of?

    • I definitely recommend shredding your own cheeses. Pre-packaged cheeses are coated with a cellulose powder to prevent clumping in the bags, and it prevents them from melting evenly in the sauce. I’ve made this mac and cheese with all combinations of milk/half and half/heavy whipping cream, and any will work. My personal favorite is 2 cups half and half, 2 cups heavy whipping cream. Definitely rich! There is a little less creaminess if made before hand, but you could make a little extra of the sauce to counteract that if you wanted 🙂

  74. All I have to say is AMAAAAZING!!! This is by far the best Mac n cheese recipe I’ve ever made. I just made it for the family and they loved it!!! Thank you for sharing. This will be my go to recipe from now on. 

  75. Hi,
    I’m trying to figure out how to make this in a crockpot. Any advise? Or just stick to baking it? (First time hosting  big holiday and I’m freaking out! Have to cook a lot and I know I might lose my mind that day) 
    Thank you in advance for any help! 🙂

  76. Omg I love this recipe 

    However I didn’t read the serving s for my three person family 
    Help how do I store this?

  77. Has anyone ever added lobster to this recipe?

    • Lobsterman here! They’re pretty easy to add in, just boil some water (outside if you can as the process smells a bit) add “the bugs” or lobsters, and dont forget to take off the rubber bands on the claws! Unless you like the rubbery taste. Boil for 8 or 9 minutes if you’re talking an average 1.25lb lobster, until they’re bright red. Pick out the claw and tail meat, dice it into bite sized pieces and toss it in once you’ve brought together the pasta and cheese sauce.

      Good luck!

      • Thank your for the response to adding lobster. I made it for Christmas and it was a hit. I actually steamed 4 lobster tails for 8 mins. I cut them into pieces and layered the pieces in the middle of the pasta cream sauce mixture. It came out great.

  78. Hi, I have yet to try this but it looks amazing. Would adding cream cheese make this better do you think? I am not worried about calories or anything like that- I just want my Mac and cheese to stand out at my next work party! Or would you suggest adding more cheese? More half and half? Whatever will make this better in any way!! (Cheesy, gooey and tasty)

    Thanks!!

    • I’ve never made this with cream cheese, so I can’t say how that would affect the taste, but you could make it with 2 1/2 cups half and half and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream for an extra rich dish!

  79. I had never made Mac & cheese so I went in search of a receipt. This was the first I came upon and have looked no further. You had me hook line and sinker with the Gruyere cheese. I’ve made this several times and it never fails to please. I send several pans requested by my daughter each time she returns to college. “Athletes need carbs!” ((Smile)). “Got to run mom- people are waiting…”

  80. I love this mac more than I love my cousin and trump combined

  81. If I use 2lbs pasta versus 1lb as in recipe do I just double everything?

  82. Absolutely delicious! So good I made it twice in a week for different audiences,  it was a huge hit both times! I added pancetta, substituted fresh cream for the half and half and added a dollop of Dijon mustard but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Best mac n cheese ever!

  83. Can I freeze this for make ahead meals

    • Yes you can! Make the mac and cheese, but don’t bake it. Then cool completely and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake at 325 or 350 for around 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

  84. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I always prepare it in one of my cast iron Dutch ovens.

    Again thanks,
    I F

  85. This is by far the best mac and cheese recipe i have ever encountered! I mixed the bread crumbs with melted butter and spread it on top of the mac and cheese and it browned in the oven. Very creamy and yummy!

  86. I’ve tried so many Mac and Cheese recipes over the years and finally found a winner! I Followed the recipe exactly and topped with grated cheese, my family absolutely loved this and so did I! Can’t wait to add this dish to my next Holiday party!  What a talented lady, so glad I found this website and this recipe! 

  87. Amazing Mac and cheese recipe! Thank you for sharing with us!!! I give 6 out of 5!!!! That good. 
    I made it for my daughter’s school potluck, it was the most popular dish there. 

  88. This is so delicious! I double the recipe (yes, it’s a lot) for our monthly potluck. It doesn’t matter how much it is, the dish is invariably SCRAPED clean, not a noodle or cheese bit in sight. Heaven forbid, that I should bring anything else, if I do they ask where that wonderful mac and cheese is. I just gave up and I make it every month.

  89. Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! We reheated the leftovers for two additional meals and still delish! I used sharp white cheddar , gruyere, and mild cheddar. Will definitely make again!

  90. I made this dish for Thanksgiving and it was defiantly a hit, so amazing! I do have a question though, I was wanting to make it again but not bake it. When doing that do your just mix all 6 cups of cheese into the cheese sauce or how do you handle that? Thank you in advance!!

  91. Made this for my family for Thanksgiving and they loved it! Thank you for sharing! 

  92. My entire family enjoyed this. I used “1 cup” gruyere, “1 cup” Muenster, and “4 cups” sharp cheddar. Those are in quotes because I actually used much more! Haha. I used whipping cream instead of half and half. It was just soooooo good. Thank you!

  93. I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone LOVED IT!! Will be my future go to mac and cheese recipe!! Thank you so much! <3

  94. I absolutely love this recipe but recently doubled it and made way too much.   Have you ever tried freezing it and the reheating/ baking?  

  95. This recipe was perfect! Made it for thanksgiving and everyone loved it. Thanks for the great recipe!!

  96. Was looking for homemade mac & cheese recipe and found this one. Took a chance and made this on Thanksgiving for everyone. Went with the five cheese option. Came out perfectly and everyone absolutely loved it! So amazingly creamy and smooth! Thanks for a great recipe.

  97. Because of this super Mac and cheese dish (I made it according to your recipe, finishing with a short broil for the crust) I have been forgiven for the squash dip I made last Thanksgiving. I’m going to make it for Christmas too!

  98. This recipe super rocked our thanksgiving dinner spread. I used the suggested cheese variations and I substituted paprika for smoked paprika and added just a lil cayenne for a hint of kick. My family loved it! It will continue to be my go to Mac n cheese recipe. Thanks!!

  99. Thank you for posting this recipe. Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. Came out exactly like the pictures. I used 3 different cheeses and added a little garlic powder and mustard powder to the sauce. Baked it for 15 minutes and switched to broil for another 2 minutes and it had the perfect crust on top. I’m definitely making this again soon, my kids loved it.

  100. I found this way fit me by using mid cheddar with rotini. My little sister is really in love with this. I see some try with milk comments, but what kind of milk for the best taste? Thank you by the way!

  101. please help me, i see in your recipe it says 1 1/2 cups cheeses but it does not specify how much of each. If i follow your recipe exactly how much cheddar vs gruyere am i supposed to use in the sauce and layered?

  102. Just wanted to post a “thank you” to the author. I normally follow my own recipe but decided to try this one for Turkey Day. I made 1-1/2 times the recipe for a dinner for 12 ahead of time the night before, putting a small amount in a dish in the oven to “sample” the evening before just to taste. I used mild cheddar, sharp cheddar and Gruyere cheese (lucky my local market had cave-aged Gruyere on sale for $5.00/lb!) Folks, shred your own cheese, don’t use the pre-shredded stuff. It melts better and is fresher, easy enough to do if you have a food processor with the blade.

    I really recommend you *don’t* make it the night before. The sample dish we made was so much better. Don’t get me wrong, the dish we served drew rave reviews, one guest saying it was the best mac and cheese he ever had. It was very good, just not as good as the fresh test pan we made the night before.

    Next time I will top it with bacon and sauteed onions. 2 of my guests don’t eat pork so I had to omit.

  103. I made this yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner and it was a hit! my daughter intended to take what little was left, but she forgot it on the counter.. I was going to call her and let her know, but I remembered that her phone was dead.. she text me when she got home with a crying emoji saying that she forgot it and asked if I could bring it to her tomorrow.. she lives an hour and a half away, it wouldn’t survive the trip.

  104. Wanted to try a different Mac &  cheese recipe this year, yours ROCK IT!!!!  It was great!!

  105. Super easy to make. Abmsolutely delicious!

  106. It was good but din’t have enough flavor, so we sprinkled (mashed up) garlic croutons on top, then baked it. We served it at our family Thanksgiving dinner and it was a huge hit!! Someone even yelled from across the room, “who made this delicious mac-n-cheese!”

  107. Very easy and super delicious! A hit for our Thanksgiving, thank you! Topped mine with shredded cheese as per recipe, plus buttered and herbed bread crumbs. Yum!

  108. I am sooo glad I found this recipe! Made it today for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! I will favorite for all future get togethers! I used 3 cups sharp cheddar, 1 1/2 c Gruyere and 1 1/2 c mozzarella. It was perfection! Thanks again! Hope you and your loved ones had a good Thanksgiving 😉

  109. This was delicious, easy to make and makes plenty, and also came out beautifully. I used sharp cheddar and muenster. Very please. Thankyou!

  110. Can I sub swiss for gruyere?

  111. Could I use heavy cream instead of half and half? 

  112. If i only have 2 cups of cheddar worth an 2 cups of mexican blend cheese would that still work ? If not i also have mozzarella so how would i split all 3?

  113. I the Gruyere was sold out everywhere so I substituted Gouda. Will is still taste good? 

  114. Just made this following your exact recipe with extra baking time… amazing!! Thank you for sharing, its an ansolute hit.

  115. So if I dont have the 2 day head start will it still be okay or should I just try a different recipe?.

  116. I made this today and it was AWESOME!!! Thanks for your help and Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  117. best brand of half & half to use?

  118. I am making this right now for Thanksgiving. Looks delicious. Gruyere cheese was a little pricey and hard to find, but I think it will be worth it. Always looking for a creamy macaroni and cheese recipe, so hope this makes the cut!!! Will let you know tonight!!! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

  119. Made this recipe and added a little of my own ingredients….came out excellent! Thxs.

  120. I cant find the gruyere cheese what’s a good substitute they dont even have swiss?? Help

  121. Do I use both the half/half and the whole milk?

  122. Hi! We’re serving dinner around 7 pm tonight and it’s currently 11am. If I pre-make this for dinner tonight, will the pasta absorb the sauce or will it retain its creaminess? I ask because it has happened to me in the past! 🙁

  123. What herbs would you mic with the Panko bread crumbs? 😁 making this today!

  124. I’m doubling up the recipe and accidently got 10 ounces of Gruyere (need 16) but have PLENTY extra cheddar, will that be ok to just add the extra cheddar 🤦🏼‍♀️

  125. I skipped the salt in step 6. I thought the measurement of salt was for step 2 (boiling water). Anyway to add it after the fact?

  126. Can I use evaporated milk? I was going to make another Mac and cheese recipe but came across yours and yours looks WAAAAAAAY better.

  127. Hello. I’m making this recipe for thanksgiving tomorrow and I asked my mom to get the cheeses for me. She got sharp cheddar cheese that was aged for 6 months by accident. Will that still work?

  128. This looks absolutely delicious! I am making this tonight – hopefully. I usually only buy 1% or 2% milk in our home. I realized it is saying whole milk. I have all of the other ingredients mentioned just do not have whole milk– will that make such a big difference? I wish I commented earlier haha as Thanksgiving is tomorrow and the dish is for well tomorrow’s dinner. 

  129. I just made this for the 1st time. It is sooo delicious. I didn’t have gruyere, so I subbed Munster. It’s mild and creamy and I thought it might work. It did! I am going to serve it tomorrow. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  130. Hello Chef
    I add some sort of veggie when I use this recipe…asparagus and broccoli today. Its pretty awesome! Im very excited about this recipe but even more then excited, I am comfortable with this recipe. The way you lay out the ingredients, the instructions both make sense and flow. Thank you for making something simple and easy1

  131. Amazing recipe! I tried it out (exactly per your recipe/oven) for my company’s potluck today. I am not kidding when I say everybody, and I mean anybody who tried it, ALL raved! Said it was fire, on point, amazing, delicious, and so much more! Thank you for posting this. I was ready to buy the family size deluxe boxes of Mac ‘N Cheese and call it a day until I stumbled across your recipe, and boy am I happy to have stumbled. I learned A LOT from your recipe. Never have I ever used Gruyere cheese, which is now my fav thank you, and I must say it is magical regardless of the sticker price. It was worth it. (I doubled the recipe for my potluck and am making it again for my family tomorrow. I will also be doubling the recipe for my family, but I am making two of the double recipe which is why I say Gruyere cheese is pricey.) However, I would spend it all again because it was definitely worth it. I cannot wait to make it again. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing! This will now be apart of my family’s go to recipes.

  132. Awesome recipe! There are a lot of steps involved, but if i can make it, anyone can! Made it for July 4th for the first time and it was a hit. Everyone is asking for this on Thanksgiving tomorrow!

  133. Just put this together and keeping it in the fridge until Thanksgiving tomorrow! I gave it a taste before covering it and OMG!!! So delicious and it’s not even baked yet! Can’t wsit!!!

  134. Can i use colby cheese instead of the gruyere cheese??

  135. Can you use mozzarella cheese instead of the Gruyere cheese because I couldn’t find Gruyere anywhere. 

  136. What can I substitute for the half and half? Only have milk on hand .

  137. When adding bacon to the top of macaroni and cheese with the bread crumbs..am I adding cooked bacon or will the bacon cook as the Mac and cheese Cooks for 30 minutes

  138. I want to make this today for thanksgiving but I do t have half & half. I do have whole milk and buttermilk on hand as well as cream cheese. Can I make this recipe work with that?

  139. Would it be a sin if I added half a can of cheddar soup? I’m looking for extra sauce and creaminess has anyone tried?

  140. This recipe looks Delicious! Making it tomorrow for Thanksgiving. One question, Does the milk and half & half need to be warm when adding it to the roux or can it be cold?

  141. Your baked mac and cheese’s version so wonderful!! I made it on Sunday! And my family ate it many times in one day without any complaints!! I was so happy! Thank you so much!!
    Looking forward to seeing another wonderful version of food from you
    Have a nice day!

  142. Hi this looks great was wondering if I could make this with just cheddar cheese.

  143. Hi! I like American cheese. Think I could do it with American and cheddar? This looks fabulous!!

  144. I am going to make this on Thursday. So excited. My issue is that so only have one 9×13 pan..and that’s reserved for the green bean casserole. My question is is it okay to make in a foil pan? If so, do I need to adjust the cook time?

  145. Has anyone added extra pasta or is the saucyness enough? Looks very saucy so I was wondering if anyone has added more pasta leaving same ingredients…

  146. Could you tell me what I could substitute the Gruyere cheese with? I wanted to use it but I cannot find it at any store nearby  
    and I’m running out of time. 

  147. Do you grate the guryere

  148. Can you add egg to this dish????? Growing up, I’ve always seen people add an egg to the mixture.

    • Typically mac and cheese recipes that use egg to bind all the ingredients together don’t use the flour and butter. This recipe uses a roux (butter fat and flour mixed together) to thicken the sauce and bind the ingredients together. So I can’t say for sure if adding an egg would negatively impact the recipe or not, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

  149. can I make this in a crock pot?

  150. I have made this recipe baked as directed to do but I want to take it to a carry in for work & I work in a factory where bringing a crock pot is more ideal. Could I put this in a crock pot on low or keep warm & it be okay?

    • I haven’t personally tested it, so I can’t say for certain, but I *think* that would be okay. You might want to scroll through the comments and see if any other readers have successfully done it.

    • I just made this recipe this morning for a work potluck and I made it in a crockpot. However, I made it slightly differently in order to keep the oven-baked goodness. The stoneware from your crockpot may be oven-safe (Crock Pot brand ones are), though they aren’t broiler-safe. So, I made the recipe like normal, then poured it into the crockpot stoneware and placed that in the oven for about 20-25min @350degrees. Then, when I pulled it out of the oven I placed it into the heating base and took it in to work. Once at work, I plugged it in and left it on Low for a while, then reverted to Warm. Based on comments from coworkers it was a success! The last few times I’ve made mac&cheese, I’ve done it this way to reserve the crunchiness, but still have it in a functional, travel container which can keep it warm. It’s become my go-to method these days, particularly if it’s not for a meal at home.

  151. Hello,
    Can you replace the half & half with heavy. whipping cream? Thank you

  152. I love this recipe! I make this all the time, it is my absolute favorite! I have a question though… I am looking to make this to bring to a family thanksgiving dinner and as you know oven space is precious. Would I be able to make this and layer it with all of its cheesy goodness in a crockpot? Put it on low for maybe a couple of hours? What are your thoughts? Thanks so much for an amazing recipe! 🙂

    • So glad you love it!! I’ve never tested the recipe that way, but I think it would work out well 🙂

    • While I’ve not yet attempted this recipe (though I plan to tomorrow), with other baked mac&cheese recipes, I’ve used a Crockpot as well.
      However, I’ve done a variation from your suggestion. The stoneware portion of your crockpot “should” be oven-safe (Crock Pot brand says theirs are, maybe research to be 100% sure). I’ve made the recipe and just poured it into the crockpot stoneware then placed it into the oven for the desired length of time.
      Then, once it’s out of the oven, the stoneware can be dropped right into the heating base and you can turn it to warm or low to keep it warm and gooey for as long as you need. This has helped me out for potlucks and family gatherings where I wanted the baked texture but wanted to be able to keep it warm for a time as well.

  153. Hi! I’m planning on using this recipe because of all the raving reviews for a potluck and saw it feeds about 8-10 people. Any recommendations on ingredients to feed around 15?

  154. What can i substitute all purpose flour with to make it gluten free? Thank you!

  155. Do u add the milk and half and half together in the pan? 

  156. I read the secret to creamy macaroni and cheese is to cook in stovetop and not to bake it. Can I use your recipe but cook on stovetop. I dislike a crunchy top and a casserole like consistency. Thanks so much!

    • This doesn’t really have a casserole consistency, since there’s no egg to bind it together, but it does have that crunchy topping… so you can just make the cheese sauce and combine it with cooked pasta and serve 🙂

  157. Recipe seems simple to follow, but I’m curious as to why flour is added?

  158. One last question, will using self rising flour make a difference? Or should I go buy all purpose? Thanks

  159. Hello. This recipe appears delicious and the desired “creaminess” I cannot find with others. I intend to make this as a side for thanksgiving. A quick question. I make another mac and cheese with a smoked cheddar and smoked paprika as I like the smokiness taste. Will this flow well with the Gruyere cheese? I’d plan to use 2 cups smoked cheddar, 2 cups sharp cheddar, and the 2 cups of Gruyere. One more thing – if I top with some Panko bread crumbs should I bake them with the dish or add them after baking? Thanks a lot!

  160. Love this recipe! I made it for Thanksgiving last year and this year my in-laws told me they couldn’t WAIT for my Mac n’ cheese again. Eekk! So glad I found the recipe again, I’ve tried many but I will stick with this one from here on out! Thank you for sharing!

  161. Does it matter what kind of Gruyere cheese you buy?

  162. Thanks for the tips! I think I’ll try just broiling it next time. I plan to make it for thanksgiving because it was a delicious and an easy recipe to follow. The kids loved it last time despite it being on the dry side, so it’s still a winner in our house either way!

  163. How many doors this recipe feed

  164. What are the herbs you used ? I noticed green in the pic what is that ? Cilantro, parsley, or ? 

  165. So delicious!! I used an apple smoked gruyere as a “secret” layer. It came out great and everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  166. I have tried EVERY mac n cheese recipe out there to try and find the right amount of gooey cheesiness and pasta heaven. I even tried NYT recipe that used cottage cheese and mustard, etc. But THIS recipe has been our favorite find and we will not use another recipe again. My children loved it. And they are picky teenagers. (One is even in culinary school). I made it last Thanksgiving and all the guests loved it. The gruyere and half and half are the magic to this dish. The gruyere can be a bit stinky but it is oh so yummy! Thank you, thank you for this recipe!

  167. How many people will this recipe feed?

  168. This is the Mac andCheese recipe I have waited for my whole life. It is the bomb.com Thanks for shar8ng.

  169. Can I make this in the Crock-Pot?

  170. Have made this dish twice now for work events and it’s always a hit! 

  171. Was trying different recipes for my husbands office party and this was by far the best! Easy to make AND delicious! Took the trial run over to the in-laws and they took some for the next day! Now I’ve been told to bring it to Thanksgiving too!

  172. Have you ever assembled this dish a day prior and baked day-of? Would like to try for Thanksgiving but there’s SO much going on that day – I’d hate for it to dry out before we eat it so was curious what you thought about that – thank you!

  173. What could I have done wrong? It started out pretty moist but not as moist as the picture. Now that it has been sitting for an hour all the moistness is gone 🙁
    I used fresh grated gruyere but pre-grated cheddar. Could that be it?
    Tastes wonderful though!

    • Most mac and cheese recipes that use “real” cheese and not velveeta or other cheese products will lose the creaminess the longer they sit out without being heated. You could always use a little more liquid and make the sauce a tad looser, but any dish that sits out for an hour will be different than when freshly baked, unfortunately.

  174. Can I make this and then put it in a slow cooker for a work party? I don’t want it to get dry. Thanks!

  175. I made this recently for my grandson’s birthday celebration and my son said it was the best he had ever had. My husband has requested it for dinner again tomorrow.

    I used a combination of sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and parmesan cheeses, as that is what I had on hand. I grated the cheeses – – – did not buy packaged. I think this makes a big difference.

    I also added 1 tsp. garlic powder and 1/2 tsp. onion powder to the spices and used a bit less milk than the original recipe. It came out creamy and perfect!

  176. This recipe was awesome! I opted for a mixture of cheddar and jack cheese because I was worried my daughter wouldn’t like the gruyere and I’m cheap haha. I’ve tried my hand at homemade mac and cheese a couple of times and just haven’t been impressed. This is THE one. You’ve definitely ruined the boxed stuff lol, thanks!

  177. Everyone LOVES this!!! BEST MAC RECIPE-By FAR!

    • GRUYERE  is in fact pretty expensive, but I’m guessing it’s the star of the recipe. I have already made the recipe twice.  Thank  you!

  178. can you cook this in a crock pot?

  179. I’m making this for a family gathering, and so I doubled the ingredients. However the gruyere was expensive so I purchased mozzarella to sub for 2 cups of the gruyere. So total it would be 8 cups medium cheddar, 2 cups gruyere, and 2 cups mozarella. Will this work? After getting home I’m beginning to second guess it.

  180. This was so delicious! Best mac and cheese recipe that I’ve tried. I have to save some for my son. Can I freeze it and let him have it next week?

    • I’m so glad you love it! Yes, you can freeze this mac and cheese. Just let it cool completely, and place in an airtight container in the freezer. Let thaw in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours, then let sit on the counter for bit to come to room temperature. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and hot throughout.

  181. I have made mac and cheese the same way for 40 years. Mine called for eggs. Used the last egg for dessert. Found your recipe looking for no egg recipe. Just took it out of the oven and had to try it. I will ALWAYS use this recipe
    Outstanding!
    .

  182. After reading lots of the reviews, this recipe seems to be the best ever.
    The only problem I have is that where I live we usually use grams to measure the ingredients. Do you by any chance have them in grams? I know I could find a way to convert but it might not be the same.
    Thank you!

    • Here we don’t use grams, so I haven’t measured them out that way. This is a pretty forgiving recipe, so if you convert them, if it’s close, it’ll still work well 🙂

      • Thank you for your prompt reply. How can prepare half and half? I have checked online: is it just a mix of milk and creme fraiche? Ill have to check in our stores if we have that kind here.
        Thanks again!

    • I’m an American living in Canada and I have to convert between Imperial and metric measurements for nearly everything in life – not just food. Several years ago I stumbled upon a conversion website that will always be bookmarked in all of my wifi devices. Here it is: http://www.onlineconversion.com/

  183. This looks so yummy and I want to make it right now. I really like to add finely diced onion and a little pepper jack to my Mac and cheese recipes but I don’t think 15 or even 20 minutes in the oven is enough to time for the onions to cook through. Any suggestions? 

  184. Could you add Chorizo to this and would you need to do anything differently?

  185. I want to make this for our Christmas party. I would need to make 4 batches, so you think I could put it in a roaster???

  186. A truly wonderful recipe! A family favorite!

  187. I never write reviews but I just had to for this one because my entire family loved this, and I have one insanely picky eater. For my husband and I’s half, I topped it with crushed kettle brand jalapeño chips and it was delish! I baked at 350 for about 18 min. If you’re looking for a great Mac n cheese recipe that everyone will like, stop searching and make this one! 

  188. Really good! First mac and cheese recipe that I have ever bookmarked! I made it exactly like the recipe says, I added panko and butter to the top. Next time, I will personalize it! Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

  189. Can you use rotini pasta for this recipe?

  190. I just made this for dinner, it was a big hit with my boys. I made it with smoked gruyere (because that was the only thing I could get my hands on) and sharp cheddar, but it was so good. I’m planning on making it for Thanksgiving. Thank you for the recipe I cannot wait to make it again.

  191. Amazing the whole family loved it!

  192. First of all… THIS RECIPE WAS SOOOOO GOOD!!!! Omgoodness. My kids loved it, my mom loved it, and I loved it! This will be the only way I make Mac and Cheese from now on. I was totally not a Mac and Cheese eater because usually it’s dry and not cheesy… but this one was GREEEEAAAAATTTT! 

  193. For how many serving is this recipe?. Thanks..😊

  194. Can I just use the bags of already shredded cheese? Or does the block cheese being shredded taste better? I’m going to try this recipe, and hopefully make & take it to thanksgiving for my family! 

    • Hi Bev, you can use pre-shredded cheese, but personally I don’t recommend it. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with cellulose to keep it from clumping together, and that can make the cheese not melt as well into the cheese sauce, unfortunately.

  195. Im about to make this, and I can’t wait, but will it work if I use 4 c mozzarella, 2c mix of mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan cheese? Thanks for the help… and for the recipe 😉

  196. I am a mac & cheese addict. This is by far the best that I’ve made or had. When cooking the cheese sauce, it could look like something has gone wrong when the cheese starts to melt and pull together like a sticky glob. Not to worry! Keep cooking and stirring on low heat (I added milk and 1/2 & 1/2 as I needed). until it is smooth and creamy! This recipe totally filled a 9×13 dish. I am happy that I placed my dish on a sheet pan lined with foil because it definitely ran over (mostly oil from the cheeses). Of course, that made it less fattening & greasy too! I also added about a tablespoon of smoked paprika and used gouda as one of my cheeses for that smokey taste. The top was crusty, inside very moist & cheesy. It sliced instead of being runny and it was soooo good! I found my love, this is it for Me!

  197. I can’t wait to make this in a couple of weeks! Hooray for a gorgeous recipe with glorious reviews! 🙂 I wondered if you’ve scaled this to feed groups at all? I’m serving this as a side dish for a group of 25 (relatively heavy eaters) and I’m trying to decide if I could double or triple it and bake in a large hotel pan, or if I should make single batches of the recipe and bake each in its own pan? Thank you!!!

    • Hi Natalie 🙂 I haven’t tested the recipe out that way, but I think it would work just fine to make a large batch and cook in the hotel pan. You may have to cook it a bit longer, so just check for it to be hot and bubbly throughout and broil it until it’s as crispy as you want on top 🙂

  198. You should try it bbq’d!!! Smokey flavor is added bonus and is super unique!!!

  199. Wow! Just WOW! This makes the best cheese sauce base for homemade mac & cheese I’ve ever had. We layered some fresh cooked crab and used Panko bread crumbs for the topping 😋.
    We didn’t have half & half or heavy cream and I didn’t want to make a drive into town just to get some so we used almond milk (unsweetened) instead, a little extra flour and it still made a beautifully smooth roux for the cheeses we added (cheddar, jack and cougar gold – a locally made hard white sharp cheddar).

  200. If you use Hoffman’s super sharp it will prevent the grainy effect … its a processed cheese like American or a velveeta but for some reason their cheese doesn’t taste fake or processed whatsoever. I didn’t even realize the first couple times I used it that it was a process cheese, it’s literally that hard to tell.  They sell it at Walmart in 8 oz blocks but it’s normally located by the deli and not in the in the regular cheese section.  

  201. How do you keep the sauce from getting grainy? Is there any specific brand of cheese I should use?

    • Hi Megan 🙂 It sounds like your cheese separated during the cooking process. Completely melting the cheese into the milk mixture will help reduce the probability of a grainy sauce. I’ve used a number of different cheeses, and while I love a good sharp cheddar, it’s notorious for not melting as evenly. Perhaps try a mild cheddar, or even swap out part of the cheddar for American or Velveeta. Those cheeses have added emulsifiers that help keep a sauce together.

  202. This was a great recipe! I noticed calories was 635 I believe. What is the serving size? 1 cup? 

  203. Can you not add half&half? Because i have no idea what that is and we dont really have that

    • Half and half is found in the dairy section by the milk and cream in grocery stores here in the US. Alternatively you could use a mixture of milk and heavy cream (just make sure it comes to a total of 4 cups)

  204. Hello, I used your recipe but I added 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese; I put it in after the milk/half and half. It melted nicely. My sister and I could not stop eating it. This is the best recipe for Mac & cheese I have ever made. I have already sent it to all the women in my family (28). Thank you for sharing.

  205. dear gilda would like your mac @ cheese recipe that your daughter liked, shown on the program ( the more you know ) I think my children would like it

  206. This is the best Mac and cheese recipe I’ve tried yet! I used sharp cheddar and Swiss cheese in mine. Delicious!

  207. Recipe is the best I have made…Thank you!!

  208. I’ve made Mac and Cheese in the past but this was by far the beat recepie I’ve ever gotten my hands on!! Everybody was more into the Mac then the main dish! I would give it 10 stars if I could!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

  209. This is the BEST Mac n cheese recipe by far! Thank you for sharing it! 👏

  210. I made this with Medium White Cheddar, Gouda & Guyrye!! Oh so amazing !!! Thanks for the great recipe 😉

  211. Love it!

  212. Would Habenero Monterey Jack work (in addition to Sharp Cheddar)?  

  213. Made this special for kid going off to college tomorrow. It was a big hit, thanks.

  214. Hello! I’m making this for a potluck today… I know you give the make ahead directions, I’m just wondering about how well it stays.  After being refridgerated, will the oils separate like they would for leftovers?? And after sitting, will the cheese sauce be pooling in the bottom?? 

  215. Forgot to mention- I only had sharp cheddar and I also used cavatappi pasta (my fave!). 

  216. Umm, this recipe is bomb. I served this to a group of hungry church people at a bible study. I served barbecue brisket and had hot cinnamon apples and this amazing Mac and cheese. People went crazy. Do you know how to get a group of baptists to be quiet? You put an awesome homemade Mac and cheese plate in front of them. I sent everybody the link to this page, so if the internet breaks, it’s because of them. 💗

  217. Trying this recipe tonight! I have never used gruyere cheese so I’m hoping everyone is a fan! Thinking of adding some mozz too! 

    I read through the reviews and I can’t seem to understand how people don’t know what half and half is… 🤦🏻‍♀️

  218. Thanks for the recipe, I enjoy making this and splitting into two ‘batches’ so I can have it again in a few day. I usually reheat the leftovers in a frying pan on high heat to get some extra crispy parts.

    I typically do not like recipe websites because of all the garbage before the actual recipe, but yours was actually good information to have! Thanks for sharing!

  219. I’ve only ever had mac and cheese from a box, which I’ve always hated. I wish I had found some gruyere cheese but I just used provolone and sharp cheddar. This tasted so amazing, I probably just lost 5 years off my lifespan but I’d make it again and add bread crumbs on top. 

  220. These directions are not specific enough!!! I’m winging it right now. I don’t know how much of which cheese to add to the sauce and the proportion I need for the topping!!! 😖😖😖

  221. Thank you very much for this recipe!! My family loves it and I will be making it today, again!! After making only once before it officially became my go to Mac and Cheese recipe!! And I truly enjoy all of what your post has to say. Not just the recipe! 😉 Thank you again! 💐😊

  222. I really think for many readers you would be much more effective if you kept to the recipe. We are not interested in all the rest, including your personal life.

    • This is my website, which I run… so I will include anything I would like. Throughout the post, I also include tips for the recipe itself and kindly provide a “jump to recipe” button for every single post. If you can’t spend a few seconds to scroll to the free recipe, then perhaps you should buy a cookbook.

    • how rude

    • Many ARE interested to glean cooking tips from the author’s experiences with the recipe.  

      Didn’t your mother ever tell you…if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.

      Thank you, ChunkyChef, for elaborating!  Still in the middle of making it!

    • Oh, my…OH, MY!  Just put it together, ready to take and bake at a friend’s house!  Our 10-year-old daughter snuck a bite of pasta (actually, I snuck it; she had permission)…the look on her face…she was SPEECHLESS, which is very unusual for our “chatty-kathy” daughter…

    • WTF are you talking about? I read the whole post and everything she wrote had something to do with the food. You sound really bitter and sad

    • MM, do not presume that you speak for the mass audience here. the topic is the recipe and comments or questions on making.  Btw, it’s delicious. 

    • Well that was a rude comment. I always read through a whole post because often there are anecdotes that help me understand the recipe better. This mac & cheese is THE BEST EVER! I roasted up all the veggies from my garden, used. cheddar, gruyere and some provolone that was hanging around in the fridge…added panko bread crumbs mixed with the cheese on top…mmm, perfection! Thanks for sharing.

  223. My family is small. I made this incredible recipe and they loved it, however, now I need to figure out how to reheat the left overs without getting a greasy mess. Suggestions please….

    • Unfortunately, reheating the butter and cheese tends to separate the oils from the fat. Are you microwaving the leftovers? I’ve found I can get it less oily by either reheating it in the oven at 300 or 325 until hot and bubbly or slowly over low heat in a skillet or saucepan.

  224. I don’t know what 2 1/2 cups of half and half is. 

  225. Amazing!!!!! This is the BEST homemade Mac n cheese recipe I’ve ever made! 5 stars well deserved. 

  226. Hello Amanda,
    I was looking for this cheese and mac recipe.
    I will try this next week.
    Many thanks for the recipe 🙂
    jeneva

  227. Too many choices here. If i knew how to make it i wouldn’t need a recipe!! You can use this or that cheese, use handfuls??? , or not! Confusing. Sort of guesswork to follow. I don’t recommend this site at all.

    • Hi Jannette… did you even scroll down to read the actual recipe? The post itself does not give out the exact recipe, as that is contained in the recipe card towards the end of the post. The full recipe lists exact measurements. Sorry you don’t recommend the site, but millions of people have made, and loved, this mac and cheese, so my advice would be to actually read the recipe.

  228. Very good, i added a 1/4 teaspoon of mustard powder cuz i like that extral lil tang in my my n cheese, but a great recipe either way.

  229. For anyone who likes things a little spicy, I highly recommend adding just a bit of cayenne or Tabasco to this recipe. The addition elevated this already great dish for me.

  230. Just made this today and it was amazing!!

  231. I heard putting an egg in my Mac and cheese recipe but when do I put it in?? Thankyou

    • Typically that would be for a different kind of mac and cheese (one where you don’t use the melted butter + flour to thicken the liquid), but if you want to try, I would add a beaten egg when you’re combining the pasta with the cheese sauce. You might want to bake it a little longer too.

  232. Hi! So I enjoyed this recipe but the hubs and our daughter did not like the flavor of the Gruyere…what’s a good substitute for it? Thank you! 

  233. Can I freeze this

    • I’ve never done it, so I can’t say for certain, but I would think that it could be. Stir the cheese sauce with the pasta, transfer to a baking dish, cool completely, then cover with foil and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

    • Absolutely you can freeze mac and cheese. Don’t bake it.  Cover the surface with waxed or parchment paper, then wrap tightly with aluminum foil.  Remove the paper when baking (unless it’s parchment) bake frozen for about 40 minutes at 350, remove cover and bake another 15 minutes.  It’ll turn out fantastic.  I make several and freeze in 8 X 8 disposible pans and have them for nights I just don’t feel like cooking.  🙂

  234. Made this at our last BBQ. It was a hit. Making it again today for a BBQ. Thank you for posting.

  235. Super, super creamy and just lovely. I used Gluten-free flour and elbows & it came out perfect. Very easy to make. 

  236. Made this last night and it was fantastic. Everyone loved it. This will be my new go to recipe for mac n cheese!

  237. Delicious! Best recipe ever! Do not skip the Gruyere cheese, even though it is expensive. . This recipe makes enough to feed 6 at least. They will rave about this!

  238. Pingback: 13+ of the Best Mac and Cheese Recipes on the Planet

  239. Can this be done in a crock pot..taking it to a potluck..so no oven..what would the timing be?
    Thanks

  240. This is amazing! Didn’t have half and half so I used cream cheese and used almost a whole bag of cheddar cheese. It still turned out really good 

  241. Made this last night – a huge hit!!

  242. Hi. This looks nice. But what does ‘half and half’ mean?

    • Hi Meri, half and half is a dairy product, found in near the milk and heavy cream in grocery stores. It’s a mixture of milk and heavy cream, so it’s thicker than milk, but not as thick as cream.

  243. Made this dish for Easter two weeks ago and the family just requested to have it again. It’s so creamy
    and great with any meal. Simple and easy, I used Smokey Gouda and sharp white cheddar and Gruyere.

  244. This recipe was awesome. I made it yesterday & served with a spiral ham-great companions.Mac&Cheese was perfect, so creamy. The top on dish was just as you said it would be, a nice cheesy crust- beautiful. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  245. I made this dish yesterday for Easter and it was a hit!! I have never tried using the Gruyere cheese…it added A LOT of great flavor! Thank you for sharing, this is definitely a keeper for us 🙂

  246. Love this recipe!! have made it a couple times, but am curious about topping with breadcrumbs, how much should I put on?

  247. This looks fabulous! I will be making this this weekend for Easter! Do you think I could make this ahead of time the night before (without baking) and then bake it on Sunday? Thank you!

  248. I wanted to make this so bad but I cannot eat grains so I made a compromise. I used tapioca in place of flour and gluten free macaroni. I know it is not going to be as good but it was forgiving and excellent. That being said I made the sauce exactly the same. If you don’t have a gluten problem make as instructed and be in heaven.

  249. hello I am a student from Singapore I an choosing ur dish to cook for school I am very interested on cooking ur dish can’t wait to cook your dish

    I hope it turn well just to ask how do u really cook the dish

  250. OK. Very possibility THE BEST… BEST mac n cheese I’ve ever had, my 12 year old daughter shares the same opinion!! Cheese is a little pricey but worth it. I only had smoked paprika not regular and it was still amazing… Made this 3 days ago and have thought about it everyday since… Yup, just that good =)

    Thank you for the recipe

  251. How do I adjust the recipe to serve 16 people?

  252. I made this mac and cheese for a Christmas get together back in December and have made it 2 more times since then. It is absolutely delicious. My mom who is picky about mac and cheese loves it too!!! I was looking for a mac and cheese recipe that had Gruyere in it. Its one of my favorite cheeses!!! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!!

  253. I love this recipe! I made it for family Christmas and received multiple compliments! We love it so much were incorporating it into our engagement party and wedding reception menus!

  254. It seems like a lot of flour?! Is that correct? Does it change taste?

    • I assure you it’s the correct amount 🙂 A roux is typically equal parts fat (in this case butter), and flour. We make this at least once a month and it doesn’t taste like flour, I promise 🙂

  255. Pingback: Baked Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese - The Chunky Chef

  256. Girlfriend…I was so excited to try this that I put on the pasta before checking I had all of the ingredients. How about I didn’t have any milk? Plenty of heavy cream! 🙂 So next, I didn’t know about the slidy recipe sizer thingy and just halved everything in the listing (just me and the hubs 🙂 ) I used oneZll post a pic on instagram for your viewing pleasure 🙂 Girl…I licked the spatula and decided to write you immediately! It. Is. AMAZING!!!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  257. Pingback: Healthier homemade Mac and Cheese Recipes - Detox Your Life

  258. Hi I am a bit confused with the ingredients.
    1 1/2 cups whole milk
    2 1/2 cups half and half (is this also milk?)
    Must is be 4 cups of milk in total

    • Hi Suzette 🙂 Half and half is a dairy product that’s essentially half heavy cream and half milk. You can find it next to the milk and heavy cream in grocery stores. But yes, 4 cups of liquid total.

  259. Pingback: 25 Most Pinned Christmas Recipes for the Perfect Dinner

  260. I made this for the first time today and will be saving the recipe for future use! To quote my husband, “this mac and cheese is excellent”.

  261. Can you use evaporated milk in place of the other milks.

  262. Best Mac and cheese I have ever made! I switch up the cheeses every time I make it. I used this recipe for thanksgiving and my guest and I were very pleased!

  263. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it for thanksgiving and had a lot of thankful friends and family. My bro in law from Georgia commented it was one of the best he had. It’s a winner. I made it early in the day and baked it just before serving. I topped it with panko and butter and it was heavenly.

  264. I am so excited to make this today but as another had posted…I can’t find Gruyere! Could I substitute with Havarti?? If so, would it be the same amount?

  265. OMG!!!! The best Mac and Cheese recipe ever created. My daughter (17) absolutely loved this recipe.

  266. Oh. My. God. I just made this to bring to my office’s Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow and I have never tasted a better mac & cheese in my life. This recipe is AMAZING.

  267. I forgot to buy half and half 🙁 will just using milk work?

  268. Do you think I could make this a day before then keep in on the fridge overnight and just bake in the morning? Wanting to make for thanksgiving but trying to have less to do on thanksgiving day

    • Hi Christina 🙂 Yes, you can absolutely do that! I would make it up (without baking), then cover and refrigerate overnight. Set it out on the counter about 30 minutes before you want to bake it, and it may take a little longer to get bubbly and hot, but should bake just fine 🙂

  269. I made the recipe just like it is listed, and my kids LOVED it. One of them declared please make this more often…haha! Yum!

  270. I grew up with a less expensive version and is probably why I haven’t had a stroke yet. Your version looks incredible but I doubt I will make or eat it any time soon because of the sodium and fat content, not to mention how so much fat will narrow a person’s arteries. But it DOES look like heaven on a plate.

    It was fun to look at the pictures, I could almost taste it. Thank you for letting me look.

    • Hi Ginna 🙂 I’m glad you think it looks good… although I’ve never known a person to eat Mac and cheese as low-fat diet food. It’s comfort food, not something to eat for dinner every night. You can always feel free to change it up to make it low-fat, but I can’t guarantee those results, as we live out life by the “everything in moderation” motto.

  271. I want to make this for Thanksgiving can you make this a day ahead and then reward it?

    • Hi Carla 🙂 I’ve never baked it ahead of time, but I’ve made it up the night before and put the unbaked dish in the refrigerator overnight, then baked it the next day before serving. It works wonderfully! Just set the dish out on the counter about 30 minutes before you bake it, so it can warm up a little 🙂

  272. Hi! This recipe looks amazing. Can I add a can of tuna and some frozen green beans at some point? How would you incorporate them? Thanks!