Best Mac and Cheese Casserole

Baked Mac and Cheese

This homemade Baked Mac and Cheese recipe is easy to make and simply the best! The sauce is creamy, velvety and packed with cheesy goodness.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, comfort food
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 543kcal
Author Jillian - a Food, Folks and Fun original!



  • 16 oz dry elbow macaroni
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 ¾ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 16 ounces 4 cups extra sharp cheddar, grated
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese grated


  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 ounces 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground black pepper



  • Move oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
  • Salt the cooking water, and cook the elbow pasta as per package directions to al dente, DO NOT overcook the pasta. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
    Making Mac and Cheese
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and stir constantly until the mixture darkens slightly in color, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until combined. Whisk in the onion powder, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. It will take about 3-5 minutes for the mixture to thicken.
    Making cheese sauce for mac and cheese
  • Turn the heat off and whisk in the cheddar and Parmesan cheese until the cheese has completely melted.
    Cheese sauce for mac and cheese
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Then, pour the macaroni into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
    Making Baked Mac and Cheese


  • In a small bowl stir together the bread crumbs, butter, cheddar, salt, and pepper until the breadcrumbs are evenly coated.
    Crumb topping for mac and cheese
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the macaroni.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the edges of the casserole are bubbly and the breadcrumb topping has turned golden. Move the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes before serving.
    Baked mac and cheese casserole


Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 1008mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1155IU | Calcium: 665mg | Iron: 1.2mg