Baked Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

This traditional macaroni and cheese recipe is made with sharp cheddar cheese and oven baked to a bubbling golden brown for a perfect dinner entree.

Recipe makes 6 To 8 servings.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt for macaroni water
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • ½  teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Topping Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of water (3 to 4 quarts), add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bring the water to a boil.  Add approximately 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to the boiling water.  Cook the pasta to al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a separate pot.
  4. Whisk in the flour, mustard, and white pepper and stir gently until it’s free of lumps.
  5. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaves, and paprika. Simmer over low heat for ten minutes and remove the bay leaves.
  6. Add the egg to the mixture. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  8. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Helpful Tips

Use 3 to 4 quarts of water per pound of pasta. Unsalted water will reach a boil faster than salted water, so add salt to rapidly boiling water just before adding the pasta. Use about 1 teaspoon salt for each quart of water.

Adding 1 tablespoon olive oil to the cooking water keeps pasta from sticking together while cooking. Olive oil in the water also keeps the water from boiling over.