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Baked Macaroni & Cheese

With a toddler in the house, one of the foods you can count on to be a regular at meal times is Macaroni & Cheese.

We seem to go through phases with certain foods and macaroni & cheese has certainly withstood the waves of likes and disliked food. 

Macaroni & cheese is one food that everyone loves.  You can eat it as a main dish or a side dish.  It’s kid friendly, adult friendly and homemade macaroni and cheese tastes creamy and delicious.

This homemade macaroni & cheese version doesn’t come in a blue box and certainly doesn’t have powdered anything in it.  Real ingredients for real people.  

Now if you are like us, we can’t seem to eat macaroni & cheese in our house unless it is accompanied with corn.  They compliment each other so well that we generally just mix the two together, not even bothering with keeping the two separate!

This macaroni & cheese is delicious. It’s super easy to make and can be whipped together in a pinch and tossed in the oven.

If you’ve grown tired of good ol’ blue box, whip up a batch of this. I bet you have all the ingredients in your pantry just waiting to be used!

This recipe contains Amazon affiliate links as a free service to you!

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6


  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Elbow Macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 sleeve ritz crackers, crushed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 Tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in the macaroni and cook uncovered until pasta is cooked through but firm to the bite. (about 8 minutes depending on your stove). Turn burner off, remove from heat and drain.
  4. In a separate large skillet {or dutch oven}, combine 1/4 cup of butter, and flour over medium to low heat until a thick paste is created.
  5. Slowly add all the milk to the flour paste mixture, 1/4 cup at a time stirring well to incorporate each time before adding the next 1/4 cup so that the roux stays creamy and smooth. DON'T PANIC at this stage. Your mixture will become thick and goopy first then will thin out. Just keep adding the milk 1/4 cup at a time and mixing well after each addition and you'll get a perfect roux.
  6. Add salt and cheddar cheese and stir until cheese has melted and sauce has thickened.
  7. Pour noodles into the cheese mixture, stir to combine and then pour the entire mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish. {If using dutch oven, just bake in dutch oven, no need to dirty another pan!}
  8. Mix the melted butter & crushed Ritz crackers together. Sprinkle on top of Macaroni.
  9. Bake in oven for 45 minutes until top is golden.
  10. Serve Immediately

Recipe adapted from All Recipes


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23 thoughts on “Baked Macaroni & Cheese

  1. I was just wondering if you could make this ahead of time and store in the fridge overnight then bake the next day? Obviously the crackers wouldn’t get added until before baking to prevent them from getting soggy. Thanks!

    • Hi Cecily!
      If you are making this for 12 people, I would recommend doing a double batch and baking it in two large 9×13 pans. You wont fit it into a single pan. Having said that, you should be able to put both pans in the oven at the same time and can still bake the recommended amount of time. Hope this helps!

    • Meghan,
      Thank you so much for your review. The buttery cracker crust is one of my favorite parts of this recipe! I love the flavor and texture! I’m so glad you did too!

  2. Making this tonight to go with our surf and turf valentine’s dinner! Found ‘mac and cheese’ shredded cheese and using garlic and herb ritz crackers becuase that’s what’s in the pantry… super excited to have a handmade macaroni and cheese recipe! No more blue box!

  3. Hey!

    I made this for supper tonight and my sauce turned out grainy. Could it be from the flour? What did I do wrong! Lol


    • Hi Jessica! Grainy is definitely not good! I’m guessing that when you say grainy you mean granular not grainy as in wheat flavor. If I’m right, then I suspect it’s not the flour, it’s the salt. Flour is too powdery to give a granular texture. The salt on the other hand can give it a granular texture. My guess would be that after adding in the salt you didn’t cook it long enough to allow the salt to dissolve. However, if I’m wrong and it was to grainy as in flavor grainy, then it would more likely be your pasta and the brand you went with. You shouldn’t be able to really taste the flour in the sauce as it’s a standard thickening agent in a roux type dish like this. Unless you added the liquid too quickly and your flour clumped and you were eating clumps of flour, though I suspect you would have said something about that. The only other thing I can guess as far as a grainy granular texture would be your cheese but that would be a stretch. I hope this helps bring some enlightenment to the recipe! So sorry to hear it didn’t turn out perfect but hopefully these tips help for next time!

  4. Made this for like the 10th time tonight! My boyfriend (finally) admitted that I’m the better cook after having this! Lol! Just a few tips from my experiences – I added salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder and it was very flavorful. I also used the Kraft cheddar blend with Philadelphia cream cheese in it. We drink 1%, and after 20 min of stirring the sauce just wasn’t thickening. I added about 2 tsps of corn starch, half a tsp at a time. It thickened right up and didn’t effect the taste. We’re going to add broccoli and chicken in the future, and he mentioned bacon too! Thank you for sharing, I’m going to bed full and happy! 🙂

    • Renee, You are officially a kitchen Goddess! If you can master from scratch Macaroni & Cheese, then you can master ANYTHING! Give our Coconut Chicken a try for your next meal and let’s keep your boyfriend worshiping your cooking skills!

  5. I have made this several times now and love it! The recipe is fairly quick with stuff you probably already have. Thank you for the wonderful recipe I’ll be keeping this one for sure!

    • Thank you so much Kelley for the review! We just made this last week and it turns out perfect every time! My husband always comments on how it reheats well too! You’ve just made my day with your kind comment! Thank you! I hope you’ll try a few of our other recipes too!

  6. Making this for my family tonight for the 3rd time! Will be making it again in a few weeks for a party. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

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