Basic Macaroni and Cheese

Basic Macaroni and Cheese made from scratch is immeasurably better than anything you can buy in a store. Once you have the basic recipe down, you can add ingredients to the dish to customize it to the occasion or just to your own taste.

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Macaroni, cooked and drained, in a stockpot.
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Macaroni and Cheese sauce being stirred together in a stock pot.
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Macaroni and cheese in a blue casserole dish, unbaked.
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Baked mac and cheese in a blue casserole with spoon and blue towel.

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Basic Macaroni and Cheese

  • Prep Time: 30 m
  • Cook Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 1 h
  • Servings:


  • 1 pound dried pasta
Cheese Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried mustard powder
  • 4 cups milk room temperature
  • 3 cups grated Swiss cheese preferably Gruyère
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs preferably coarse homemade crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, heat a 2- to 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the flour and mustard powder. Stir, cooking for 2 minutes. Whisk in the room temperature (or warmed) milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Stirring regularly, bring the sauce to a boil. Once it has boiled and thickened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated cheeses, salt and pepper.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta and cheese sauce. Transfer to a casserole or baking dish. Combine the topping ingredients and spread the mixture on top of the pasta. Cook in a 350˚ F oven for 30 minutes.
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Comments (3)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    This is delicious! Just what I wanted. 😋 All I had was cheddar, and I used a couple cans of coconut milk I had on hand, but it tastes great anyway. The herb/bread crumb mix on top adds the perfect finishing touch. I might try freezing some portions for later. Thanks!

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