What’s for dinner?: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

If you’ve been a slave to that blue box of mac and cheese, you owe it to yourself and your family to whip up a vat of homemade mac and cheese once in a blue moon.  I keep changing up the cheese, depending on what I have lying around, and it never tastes the same twice, which I find part of the thrill. You should by all means toss in other interesting cheeses that you have around, like goat cheese, Fontina, Manchego, even that leftover hunk of  brie (remove all rinds you wouldn’t want to see floating around your mac and cheese).

What’s for dinner?: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

How To Make What’s for dinner?: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

The best and quickest dinner idea, this Homemade Macaroni and Cheesy is the creamiest meal you can serve on the table! Feel as the thick roux melts in your mouth and the crisp panko bread covered in cheddar cheese adds a wonderful texture to the dish!

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 1 hr 10 mins


For the Topping:

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, extra-sharp or Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated

For the Pasta and Sauce:

  • 1 ½ lb ziti, penne, or any short pasta
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 ½ cups 2% milk, or whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 cups cheese, coarsely grated, firm, flavorful
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Butter a 4-quart shallow baking dish or use two smaller baking dishes.


  1. Melt the butter and stir in the panko breadcrumbs and cheddar cheese until well combined. Set aside.


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water, and cook according to package instruction. Stop cooking a minute or two before it should be done to be al dente.

  3. Before draining the pasta, scoop out 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside.


  1. In a 5-quart heavy saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat and whisk in the flour and red pepper flakes.

  2. Stir for about 4 minutes, until blond in color, and gradually whisk in the milk.

  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the sauce to simmer, whisking frequently.

  4. Lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

  5. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cream, grated cheese, Parmesan, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper, until everything is smooth. Taste for seasoning.
  6. Add the 1 cup of pasta water to the mixture and stir to combine.

  7. Place the pasta onto the baking dish.

  8. Pour the sauce over the pasta.

  9. Sprinkle the panko topping evenly over it.

  10. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden and bubbling.

  11. Serve this Homemade Macaroni and Cheese oozing in creamy goodness!


  • Sugar: 10g
  • :
  • Calcium: 869mg
  • Calories: 954kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 81g
  • Cholesterol: 159mg
  • Fat: 52g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Iron: 3mg
  • Potassium: 478mg
  • Protein: 40g
  • Saturated Fat: 32g
  • Sodium: 1228mg
  • Vitamin A: 1679IU
  • Vitamin C: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
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