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Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Updated on July 4, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Macaroni and Cheese is a comfort food. It is a vegetarian staple, too. Think about it...all of that cheesey, gooey pasta. Baked. Stovetop. Au Gratin. No matter how you look at it, macaroni and cheese is delicious. This lens is dedicated to providing readers macaroni and cheese recipes that are re-creatable at home.

All recipes are made and tested in my kitchen before they are posted onto this website. Many recipes were adapted from another food blog. That blog will be credited. All photos are linked back to the original blog. Sometimes, I don't have the opportunity to photograph my creations.

A new recipe will be posted every week.

Suggestions, comments, and love is always appreciated.

Guilt Free Macaroni and Cheese - From A Muse in My Kitchen

Eating macaroni and cheese every week will require you to purchase a larger pants size, so make this healthier version to avoid putting fat in all of the wrong places.

The Goods

4 1/2 cups (12 ounces) penne

1 (12-ounce) carton 2% low-fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking spray

3 tablespoons panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; place in a large bowl.

3. Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the cheese mixture to pasta, and stir well. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

4. Combine remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, panko, and parsley in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes.

5. Preheat broiler (do not remove dish from the oven).

6. Broil pasta 1 minute or until top browns.

Classic Macaroni and Cheese - From Sauce and Sensibility

There is nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of classic macaroni and cheese...this was the first recipe that I ever used for mac and cheese. I hope that you love it!

Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 6 to 8

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 pound macaroni

2 cups nonfat milk

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup Fontina Cheese, grated

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the pasta according to pasta directions and drain well. After the pasta is drained, drizzle the olive oil over it and toss.

Meanwhile, Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. While whisking, slowly add the milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat. Add the cheeses to the sauce and stir until smooth.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the pasta to the pan and stir to coat the pasta well with the sauce. Pour into a lightly buttered 9 x 13 inch rectangular or oval baking dish.

In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, sit in the breadcrumbs and the paprika and stir with a fork to combine. Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the pasta. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the topping is nicely browned.

Change the Shape

Thomas & Friends Pasta Shapes Whole Wheat Macaroni
Thomas & Friends Pasta Shapes Whole Wheat Macaroni

Macaroni and cheese doesn't have to feature elbow pasta. Switch it up with an exciting shape...like trains.

 

Macaroni and Cheese Preference Poll

Do you Prefer Baked or Stovetop?

See results

Gooey Macaroni and Cheese - From Taste and Tell

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 pound elbow macaroni

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour3 cups milk

3 bay leaves6 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 pound)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste1 pound Gruyere or Swiss cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Fill a large pasta pot with water. Bring the water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pasta pot.In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir together until smooth. Stir for 3 minutes. Add the milk, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Add half of the cheddar cheese and stir until it is melted. Turn off the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta and stir until the sauce is distributed evenly in the pasta. Spread half of the macaroni and cheese in the bottom of a 3-quart casserole dish and flatten into an even layer. Sprinkle half of the remaining cheddar on top, then cover with half of the Gruyere. Add the rest of the pasta, flattening into an even layer, then cover with the remaining cheddar then the remaining Gruyere.

Bake in the middle of the preheated oven until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. If desired, transfer to the top rack during the last 5 minutes to brown the top.

Serve immediately.

Stow Away Recipes

C.R. Gibson Recipe Book, Durable 3-Ring Binder, Holds 40 Recipe Cards Measuring 4" x 6", Book Measures 9" x 9.5" − Bon Appetit
C.R. Gibson Recipe Book, Durable 3-Ring Binder, Holds 40 Recipe Cards Measuring 4" x 6", Book Measures 9" x 9.5" − Bon Appetit

The bonus about this recipe book is that it has the look and feel of a real cookbook. Go the extra mile by typing out your recipes before adding them to this binder and you will have your very own custom made cookbook!

 

Carrot Macaroni and Cheese - The Bitten Word

Ingredients

-- 3/4 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

-- Zest and juice of 1 navel orange, zest removed in strips with a vegetable peeler

-- Salt

-- 3 cups penne rigate (9 ounces)

-- 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

-- 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

-- Freshly ground white pepper

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, combine the carrots with the zest and juice and 1/4 cup of water. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat until the carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes. Discard the zest. Transfer the carrots and any liquid to a blender and puree until very smooth.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

3. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the reserved water and the carrot puree and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the pasta is coated with a thickened sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in three-fourths of the cheese and cook, stirring, until very creamy, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in the tarragon and season with salt and white pepper.

4. Transfer the pasta to a medium baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Acorn Squash Macaroni and Cheese - From A Chow Life

1 lb. rigatoni (penne, or elbows)

1 lb acorn squash

4 cups lowfat organic milk

6 tblsp. flour

5 tblsp. unsalted butter

1 tsp. smoked paprika

kosher salt, sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

8 oz. aged white cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the acorn squash into 2 halves. Remove the seeds and membrane. Divide 1 tablespoon of the butter and set inside each cavity. Rub the cavities with a spot of sea salt and place into the oven to roast for about 45 minutes or until tender.

Remove the squash from the oven. Set aside to cool. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook at a rolling boil until just tender. Drain. Rinse. Set aside.

Chop the squash into bite size pieces being careful to avoid any skin.

Bring the milk to just a boil in a heavy saucepan. Set aside.

Melt the butter in another pan. Add the flour and whisk over low heat for about 5 minutes. Do not brown. Remove from the heat.

Add the butter mixture to the milk and whisk well to get rid of lumps. Add 1/2 tsp of paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Return to heat. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until it’s smooth and it thickens, about 5 minutes.

Add milk mixture to the pasta and coat. Mix in squash pieces as well. Pour into a 9 x 12 baking dish. Spread the grated cheese over the top of the pasta mixture. Sprinkle the top with the remaining paprika.

Bake for 25 minutes. Then, place the dish under the broiler (about 4 inches away from heat) and cook for another 3-4 minutes until slightly golden.

Serve warm.

Delectable Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese - From Evil Shenanigans

8oz macaroni, or any smallish tube shaped pasta

1 tablespoon butter

6 oz evaporated milk

6 oz freshly grated cheddar cheese

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper

Hot sauce, to taste

Salt and pepper

Boil the pasta according to package directions, but reduce the cooking time by one minute. Drain and pour back into the cooking pot.

Over medium-low heat, add the butter and stir until melted.

Mix the egg, milk, and spices and pour over the pasta. Stir until it begins to thicken, about three to five minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat then add the cheese in four installments, making sure the first is melted completely before adding the next.

Baked Mac and Cheese How To

Macaroni and Cheese....Mmmm Mmmm Good - From Ezra Pound Cake

Adapted from Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock’s “The Gift of Southern Cooking”

Serves 10

1 3/4 CUPS (8 OUNCES) ELBOW MACARONI

SALT

1 1/4 CUPS (5 OUNCES) EXTRA-SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE CUT INTO 1/2-INCH CUBES

2 TABLESPOONS PLUS 1 TEASPOON ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR

1 1/2 TEASPOONS SALT

1 1/2 TEASPOONS DRY MUSTARD

1/4 TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

1/8 TEASPOON CAYENNE PEPPER

1/4 TEASPOON FRESHLY GRATED NUTMEG

2/3 CUP SOUR CREAM

2 EGGS, LIGHTLY BEATEN

1/3 CUP GRATED ONION, LOOSELY PACKED

1 1/2 CUPS HALF-AND-HALF

1 1/2 CUPS HEAVY CREAM

1 TEASPOON WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

1 2/3 CUPS (6 OUNCES) GRATED EXTRA-SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE

Prep:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain, and transfer to the baking dish.

Mix in the cubed cheddar cheese.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Add the sour cream, followed by the eggs, and whisk to blend.

Stir in the onion, half-and-half, cream and Worcestershire sauce.

Pour this custard over the macaroni and cubed cheese, and stir to blend.

Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the surface of the custard.

Bake until the custard is set around the edges of the dish but still a bit loose in the center, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and cool for 10 minutes.

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese - From Seven Spoons

Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese - From Eats Well with Others

Baked Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 3, adapted from Bittman's How To Cook Everything or How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

1 1/4 cups almond milk (or regular milk...up to you)

1 bay leaf

1/2 lb pasta

1 1/2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 tbsp flour

1/4 lb grated white sharp cheddar

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

salt and black pepper to taste

1 lb zucchini

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Grate the cheddar and zucchini. Using a paper towel, try to wring as much water out of the zucchini as possible.

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

3. Cook the milk with the bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When small bubbles appear along the sides, remove it from the heat and let it stand.

4. Cook the pasta to the point where it's almost done but not quite. Drain it, rinse it quickly with cold water, and put it in a bowl.

5. Melt 1 1/2 tbsp butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture browns. Remove the bay leaves from the milk and add 1/4 cup milk to the flour/butter mixture. Whisk until smooth and then gradually add in the rest of the milk, whisking the whole time. Whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in the cheddar and remove from the heat.

6. Pour the sauce over the noodles. Mix in the zucchini and parmesan, along with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into an 8x8 inch baking pan. Top with bread crumbs. Bake until bubbling or the top is browned, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Feta Macaroni and Cheese with Spinach - From The Family Kitchen

Spinach and Feta Macaroni and Cheese

5 cups fresh spinach

1 lemon, juiced

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup flour

3 1/2 cups milk

kosher salt to taste

1 teaspoon oregano

1 1/2 cups cheddar, shredded

3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

1 pound macaroni-style pasta or cut spaghetti, cooked to al dente

Toss lemon juice and spinach. Heat in microwave or over stove in a small saucepan just until it starts to wilt. Set aside. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and continue cooking for 3 minutes until lightly browned. Slowly whisk in milk and add in salt and oregano. Begin adding cheddar in small amounts, stirring until melted between each addition. When all the cheese is melted stir in the feta. Mix in cooked macaroni and spinach. Serve immediately sprinkled with extra feta if desired.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Mac and Cheese with Four Cheeses!!! - From Necessary Indulgences

Ingredients:

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

½ cup grated fontina cheese

½ cup grated gruyere cheese

1 ½ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 pound elbow macaroni

1/4 cup panko

7 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups half and half

1 garlic clove, at least

Salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half and half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from the heat, season with the salt, pepper and ½ cup grated parmesan. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and macaroni. Cook until the macaroni is very al dente (almost cooked through… it will cook more in the oven).

Drain and return the macaroni to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the garlic and stir to combine. (IMPORTANT and worth it!)

Add the bechamel sauce and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Grease a 3-quart baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl combine ½ cup parmesan, cheddar, fontina and gruyere cheeses. Toss to combine.

Place one-third of the macaroni in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with one-third of the mixed cheeses. Top with another third of the macaroni and another third of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture.

In a small bowl combine panko with some grated parmesan. Sprinkle this over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese is bubbly and hot and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Macaroni and Cheese with Secret Greens - From Making Life Delicious

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided

1 medium onion chopped (about 1 cup)

3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups 2% milk

2 1/2 cups grated aged (at least a year) Gouda cheese, divided (about 10 oz.)

1 cup gruyere, grated (about 4 oz)

1 cup raclette, cut into small pieces (it’s too soft to grate) (about 4 oz)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems and center ribs removed

12 ounces elbow macaroni

1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish or something roughly that size. I like to use this oval dish which holds the same amount as a 13 X 9, but is pretty.

Next, grate all of your cheeses because it’s best to get this tedious step out of the way. Really soft cheeses (like raclette) you can just chop or slice.

When making 99% of all Mac & Cheese recipes, you start by making a roux. It’s one of those intimidating French cooking terms. A roux is a thickening agent made by cooking together fat and flour. The roux will make your Mac and Cheese creamy and luscious instead of just cheese melted around pasta.

To make the roux, melt 3 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion.

Sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, then flour. Cook, stirring constantly 1 minute. The flour will absorb the butter and will form something akin to a paste. Then, gradually whisk in milk.

Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture begins to boil and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Add 1 cup grated gouda, half of the gruyere and all of the raclette.

Stir until cheeses melt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in cayenne and nutmeg. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer chard to plate to cool. Reserve pot with water. Look how the chard turned the water a vibrant red color! Squeeze all the water from chard. I use a dishtowel and twist. 1 1/2 pounds of cooked chard doesn’t take up much space after you cook it and squeeze out the water. Chop finely.

Return water in pot to boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Remember that the macaroni will cook more in the oven as it soaks up some liquid from the sauce. Drain the macaroni and stir it into the warm cheese sauce. As you can see, the red water didn’t change the color of the pasta.

Spread half of this macaroni in sauce in the 13 X 9 pan (or whatever you are using). Smooth the top. Next layer 1 cup of the aged gouda cheese and the rest of the gruyere. Then sprinkle a layer of the chard.

Top with remaining macaroni mixture and smooth the top.

All that’s left is to make the crunchy topping. Melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the panko breadcrumbs and the last 1/2 cup of gouda, a pinch of kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper. Toss until well combined and spread on the top of the macaroni.

Bake until breadcrumbs are golden and edges are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let it stand for at least ten minutes before serving.

Macaroni And Cheese
Macaroni And Cheese

This cookbook will give you over fifty recipes for macaroni and cheese. It is a well-designed, well-penned book that any pasta lover should have on his/her shelf.

 

Funky Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese - From Neo Homesteading

-2 1/2 cups dry measure elbow macaroni noodles

cheese sauce:

4 tablespoons of butter (if you happen to "accidentally" add more its ok)

4 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk, (whole milk or 2%)

12 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese (about 2-3 cups shredded)

1 1/2 tablespoons limburger cheese spread

2 ounces blue cheese (1/4 cup)

1 teaspoon hot sauce or a good pinch of cayenne pepper

1 egg

topping:

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon italian seasoning

1 cup panko bread crumbs,

(-sourdough or rye bread crumbs also work great with these rich white macaroni and cheese dishes)

*Optional- truffle oil drizzle about 1-2 teaspoons

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Butter or spray a medium sized baking dish. (about 2qt or 8" square)

Cook noodles as directed on manufacturers label to "al dente".

For the cheese sauce:

Over medium heat in a medium sized pan/skillet melt the butter. Combine flour and whisk together to remove all of the lumps. Cook 2-3 minutes stirring to prevent burning. Slowly whisk milk into the mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low and whisk in the cheeses a little at a time. If your sauce is too thick add a little more milk or water to thin it out. You don't want a "gluey" texture because it will be baking for a while and you don't want dry macaroni and cheese. Temper the egg into the mixture by beating your egg in a bowl, slowly drizzle about 1/2 cup of the white sauce into the egg whisking constantly. Slowly whisk this mixture back into the cheese sauce.

Toss the macaroni noodles with the cheese sauce and pour into your prepared baking dish. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over top of the macaroni and cheese. Evenly drizzle truffle oil on top if desired.

Bake 45 minutes to an hour or until the crumbs are golden brown. You can also bake this at a higher temperature for much less time about 350 degrees for 15-20 however I've found it stays creamier at a lower temperature.

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 3-1/2-Quart Oval Wide French Oven, Cherry
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 3-1/2-Quart Oval Wide French Oven, Cherry

Baked macaroni and cheese is only as good as the bake-ware that it is cooked in. This was a lesson that I learned two years ago. The difference between cooking in glass and cooking in enameled ceramic is two completely different macaroni and cheese dishes. The ceramic holds in moisture and results in a crispy topping.

If you cannot afford this pricey piece, invest in any ceramic baking dishes.

 

Monterey Jack Macaroni and Cheese - From Heat Oven to 350

Simple Stovetop Mac and Cheese

14 oz elbow pasta

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

1/4 tsp salt

4 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

4 oz shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (I use Cabot extra sharp white cheddar. If you use a mild cheddar you might need to add more to get the same taste.)

Shredded cheddar (optional)

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

2. While water is coming to a boil, in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk together. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly (very slowly at first so that you don't get lumps) add milk, whisking well after each addition until the milk is incorporated. Cook and stir mixture until it thickens, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Remove milk mixture from heat and stir in cheeses until melted.

4. Drain pasta and toss with cheese sauce. Season to taste with additional salt, if needed. Serve with additional cheddar cheese on top. (If desired; Sauce with be slightly thin at first and thicken after standing for a minute or two.)

Ranch Mac and Cheese

1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni

1 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby cheese

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the milk, butter, dressing mix and seasonings; heat through. Stir in Monterey Jack and Colby cheeses until melted. Stir in sour cream.

Drain macaroni; stir into cheese sauce with the crackers. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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    • zee-macmillan profile image

      zee-macmillan 4 years ago

      Add some white wine with your cheese sauce, HUGE difference!

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for the recipes. Acorn squash macaroni and cheese looks really delicious.

    • iheartcheese profile image

      iheartcheese 5 years ago

      Thank you for your lens! Mac n cheese is so versatile! Everyone has their own favorite type, I love crumbling blue cheese into the mix! Thanks for your lens!