Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2286 Ratings
Recipe courtesy ofAlton Brown

Total: 1 hr 5 min Prep: 20 min Cook: 45 min

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Level: Easy



  • 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.

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2286 Ratings

Stephanie K.
Best Mac and cheese ever. I've made this so many times I've lost count. I omit the onion and sometimes the powdered mustard. And I usually don't do the breadcrumbs. Sometimes if I run out if bay leaf or paprika I don't use them either and still turns out fine . For the people who got a brown or burnt sauce, you need to stir it a lot and don't walk away. Also, be patient, after you add the milk I let it simmer and keep stirring for a bit longer than stated. It will help make it thicker and creamier. If it gets too thick you can add a bit of milk. And I also don't use the cheese on top at the end. I just add a bit more to the recipe in the beginning. Hope this helps .   See All Reviews Post Review

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