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Making a Classic Macaroni and Cheese Recipe:

Updated: Nov 3, 2023


  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) elbow macaroni

  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 1/2 cups milk

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (optional for topping)

  • 1 pinch paprika (optional for garnish)

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the Macaroni:

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

    • Add the macaroni and cook according to the package instructions until all dente. This typically takes about 7-8 minutes.

    • Drain the cooked macaroni and set it aside.

  1. Prepare the Cheese Sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup of butter.

    • Stir in the flour to create a roux. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes until it turns a light, golden brown color.

    • Slowly whisk in the milk, making sure to eliminate any lumps.

    • Continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens, usually about 5-7 minutes.

    • Add 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese and all of the grated Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth—season with salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Combine the Macaroni and Cheese Sauce:

    • Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and mix until the macaroni is well coated with the cheese sauce.

  1. Baking Option (Optional):

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

    • If you prefer baked macaroni and cheese, transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a greased baking dish.

    • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top.

    • If you like a crunchy topping, mix the 2 tablespoons of butter with the bread crumbs and sprinkle them over the cheese.

    • Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

  1. Serve:

    • If you didn't bake it, your stovetop macaroni and cheese is ready to serve as is. You can sprinkle a pinch of paprika on top for garnish if desired.

  1. Enjoy:

    • Serve your macaroni and cheese hot, and enjoy this classic comfort food!

Feel free to customize your macaroni and cheese by adding ingredients like cooked bacon, sautéed onions, or breadcrumbs on top before baking to give it a personal twist.

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