Crusty Macaroni & Cheese

Try this macaroni and cheese recipe using only basic ingredients for a foolproof dish.

Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 12 ounces American cheese or cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1 pound elbow pasta, boiled in salted water until just tender, drained, and rinsed under cold water
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper (optional)
  • Salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk.


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Use one tablespoon butter to thickly grease a 9-by- 13-inch baking dish. Combine grated cheeses and set aside two heaping cups for topping.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, cheeses, ground pepper (if using) and salt to taste.
  3. Place in prepared pan and evenly pour milk over surface. Sprinkle reserved cheese on the top layer of cheeses with remaining butter and bake, uncovered, 45 minutes.
  4. Raise heat to 400 degrees and bake 15 to 20 minutes more, until crusty on top and bottom.