Mac and Cheese

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Kosher salt

Vegetable oil

1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi

1 quart milk

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)

8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)

1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
  4. Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
Let's Get Cooking!

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1007 Reviews


I've been making this Mac recipe for years. Initially, I thought it was ok, but I didn't realize I was making a major mistake: using pre shredded cheese in the bag! I didn't understand why it wasn't creamy and at times dry. It wasn't until one day I grated block high quality cheeses that I realized my mistake. Clearly this is my mistake and not Ina's! Pre shredded cheese contains cellulose (powdered wood pulp) which completely dries out any dish. I now refuse to buy shredded cheese.<div>My family loves this recipe since I started grating real cheese. Totally worth the extra work. I usually exclude the nutmeg, exclude the 1 tbsp salt and use panko crumbs. The cheese provides plenty of salt to the Mac. I salt the water boiling the pasta. I enjoy it with tomatoes on top, bc I love roasted tomatoes.</div><div>We love the crunchy top and sides. The best!</div>

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