Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr 5 min
20 min
45 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

Pairs Well With

Rich, buttery white wine

  • Find easy pairings for your favorite recipes, Bobby's perfect picks and party ideas.
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    2122 Reviews
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    It was perfect! I made it for Easter and everyone loved it! No changes needed.
    After seeing that this was the most downloaded recipe, I had to try it. The recipe is close to what I have (moms recipe) with the exception of the egg and paprika. I added the onions with the butter then sprinkled the flour afters a couple minutes of cooking. Next time I would use more pasta as I thought the cheese sauce ratio was too much for my liking.
    YUUMM...I made it exactly as recipe except I used smoked paprika and didn't add the topping and I think it's the best I've ever had...I think the onion and smoked paprika put it over the top
    Good recipe, I use 16 oz of cheese and a bit more mustard powder and paprika.
    This recipe is my #1 request EVERY Thanksgiving! Adults and Kids LOVE IT. I have always followed the recipe to T never making any adjustments. My mother always taught me to follow a recipe exactly the way it says to the first time and make adjustments next time. I have to admit, I will be altering the milk for half milk and half cream next time I make this recipe. The recipe will be creamy the first day but leftovers (if there is any) will be dry. I was advised that substituting half cream will make the recipe creamier. Alton does mention to use GOOD quality cheese. I normally use Tillamook Sharp and Medium Cheddar (I use half each). I have also used Kraft Sharp Cheddar and Kraft Medium Cheddar and Costco brand cheddar and they turned out great. Never had a complaint about the cheese. Tillamook does seem a little more creamier though. First timers, I recommend watching the video first. Practice makes perfect!! :-)
    great recipe and easy but i added my own few twists on it.i used sharp chedder cheese,jack,a little mozzerla and some parmesan cheese. I mixed them all together and its was more then what it called for but it was cheesey. I used onion powder instead of an onion also added some siracha hot sauce and threw in some bacon!!!! yummy
    The best thing about this recipe is the versatility. As written, it's quite mild. You can add seasonings as you like, to get different flavors. It's not health food, but I'm happier serving it to my kids than the box stuff that's so easy to grab off the shelf.
    Fantastic! I am an inexperienced cook, but still found this easy enough. I substituted onion powder for the onion (1/2 tbsp) with no problem. I discovered not to use French's instead of the dry mustard, because it turns out tasting vinegar-y. And I learned how to "temper" an egg. People keep calling this "grown-up" mac and cheese, but my 8 year old absolutely loved it. I did too!
    Really, really good. I didn't add the onion, as my kids would have scoffed at those, and I also used a few other mild cheeses, about four ounces, along with 8 ounces of the cheddar. I baked the dish for about 45 minutes to get a nice golden panko crust before serving. This is a keeper. Four stars because I loved it, as did my whole family, but I wasn't blown away. Probably the best mac and cheese I've ever had though.
    This is the 3rd of Mr Browns recipies I have tried and once again HUGE success. Followed by the numbers and it turned out photo shoot ready ( though I forgot to take one this time around) and it tasted just as fantastic as I could have hoped for. I am 51 and restarting home cooking after a few years absence and this site and people like Mr Brown, make it fun and easy to get back into it again. Thank You.
    Best Mac and Cheese!!! Reduced 3 cups of milk to 1 &1/2 and added 1 can of cheddar soup! Delicious!
    I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out pretty bland (I even used extra sharp cheddar cheese). The texture was great though, I just have to figure out how to make it cheesier.
    This is a yummy recipe....I used 8oz of Tillamook sharp chedder and 8 oz of Tillamook smoked cheddar and it turned out great! I recommend it very much. It is straight forward all American mac n cheese, no frills......
    This was pretty good. I had tried other mac and cheese recipes and though they had good flavor they didn't have much of a cheese flavor. I used cracker barrel extra sharp cheddar for this. I thought the end result was a little runnier then I would have liked. Perhaps it could have used a litte more macaroni. The sauce was good. Could easily be adapted if you like you mac and cheese a little spicer.
    Thought it was needed more table salt when served and it was slightly bland. I'd add another cheese such as Gruyere ( with the cheddar) 
    the next time but would definitely try it again with my own twist on it.
    Wonderful, easy and delicious recipe. I serve it to my teenage son's friends and they eat it up.
    Love this recipe! I have been making mine with these ingredients for years but the mustard and paprika always became lumpy when added to the rue in the end. So I love Alton's tip for adding the mustard power in the beginning! This is a big crowd-pleaser expecially if you mix pepper jack cheese into the mix of chedder.
    Love this recipe. Truth be told, every time I one believes I'm capable of cooking such a tasty dish. Thanks Alton!
    it was delicious. made it for the past two years for christmas and y family loves it! its always a request.
    I wish there was an option for more than 5 stars, because this mac recipe deserves it. The mac is so comforting, so delicious, it's my go-to mac 'n cheese recipe for now and forever. Making the cheese sauce first with the nice bite from the dry mustard is crucial, and makes this mac 'n cheese what it is. I like to add a few shakes of texas pete and a little sprinkle of garlic, but that's just me. Seriously, see how many bites you eat while pouring it into the casserole dish. So wrong yet oh so right.
    This recipe is smooth, tasty, and the Panko crumbs add a great crunch to the dish. My family also loved it. I will definitely be adding it to my best recipes.
    Really great recipe and so much better than the fake cheese box stuff. I could eat the whole entire dish.
    This is my favorite Mac and cheese recipe! It's a little more sophisticated than most, so if you're looking for something that tastes like it came in a box for the love of god just buy the pre packaged stuff. It's great as is or can be spruced up with a little chipotle or green chilies. YUM.
    The video execution of the recipe adds the spices and onion at the roux stage (butter and flour). If you follow the recipe exactly as written (milk added at the same time as onions, paprika, and bay leaf), the onion flavor becomes a bit too pungent. My husband has made this recipe dozens of times from the video, and it is popular with every dinner party we ever served it at or took it to. I followed the written recipe and discovered the recipe's mistake after it was too late. If you use the video version of the recipe, this is a five-star mac and cheese recipe.
    I have made this 4 times now and once again I am making it for dinner tonight. Everyone that has tried it, loves it. I think each time I make it, it comes out a little bit different. So you have to play with it a little to make it to your liking. 1st time it was a little dry. 2nd time a little more cheesy, 3rd time a little bit creamier, 4th time a little tastier. I used the recipe as a guide and have added different cheeses, especially the shredded bagged cheese that is mixed and I have used sharp and medium cheddar blocks. I added a little more salt the last time. So if your looking to make this I say go for it.
    Made this recipe last night for an girl scout event. I made two separate dishes, one as is and one, i replaced cheddar cheese with 7 oz of feta cheese and 5 oz of shredded parmesan cheese. The feta stole the show among parents. Kids loved the chedder (of course). The video helped a bunch and the recipe cooked as it said. Thanks!
    I made this recipe for New Year's Day for my niece's birthday to accompany the ham dinner. Watching the video was a plus as the sauce didn't thicken in 10 minutes as written in the recipe and required a bit more time on the stove top to get the same consistency in the video. I doubled the recipe and it fit perfectly in a 9x13 pan. The kids loved this recipe - even those who prefer mac & cheese from the box. I'll defnitely make this again.
    While the consistency was good and I liked the panko topping, it was lacking taste. I had always heard a great mac & cheese should include more than one cheese, and I have to agree. The search continues.
    Delicious! I made this as a side for Christmas dinner and everyone raved (even my mother who claims to despise mac and cheese. The only modifications I made was to use whole grain protein pasta and more shredded cheese ( I am a cheese fanatic)! Also, my sister gets mad at me if I do not shred the cheese myself, so I did that as well.
    Great for crowds. I triple the recipe for a bunch of people, add a bit more mustard and gets polished off every time. Easy to make the day ahead and then you can toss it in the oven.
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    Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen