Today I’m sharing my absolute favorite food ever – baked macaroni and cheese!
I love pretty much all macaroni and cheese, it’s my go to comfort food. I always keep some of the blue box (speaking of which, this ad is hilarious) stashed in the cupboard in case I have a bad day or just can’t muster the energy to cook another meal, but this baked macaroni and cheese is the BEST.
My mom and my grandma (who we call Nanny) have been making this baked macaroni and cheese since well before I was born. I can always count on it being served at family gatherings on both sides of by family becasue after over 30 years together my dad’s side of the family now requesets my mom make baked macaroni and cheese at every gathering (and apple cake, but that’s a recipe for another time).
The recipe itself is super easy (seriously the hardest/most time consuming part is grating the cheese, but that might just be due to my personal issues with box graters…) and the entire thing only requires 7 ingredients. Now, normally I’m pretty open to buying whatever ingredients happen to look good or are on sale when I’m at the store, but that is not the case with this baked macaroni and cheese. I’ve been eating this mac and cheese with 2 specific kinds of cheese literally my entire life and I am not about to mess with the perfection that is this dish. While you are obviously free to change up the cheeses however you like I will be sticking with 1. Cracker Barrel Vermont sharp white cheddar cheese and 2. Longhorn style colby cheese. I am not kidding when I say I went to 3 different grocery stores to get said cheeses when I made this for a friend’s birthday party a few weeks ago.
The rest of the ingredients are super straight forward and also flexible, elbow macaroni, butter (salted, unsalted, or the Parkay squeeze butter in the blue bottle my mom and Nanny always use, they all work here), salt, pepper, and milk (you can use whole, 2%, 1%, or skim here – I recommend whole milk, but whatever you have will work).
After you grate the cheese and cook the macaroni you just layer everything and top it off with some milk.
Then you bake it until golden brown and bubbly!
Just look at that thick layer of cheese on top! For some reason I refused to eat that part as a child (what was wrong with me!?!?!), but now I can’t get enough of it!
This baked macaroni and cheese will always remind me of home and family dinners, it’s my ultimate comfort food forever and ever!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
My favorite baked macaroni and cheese!
- 1 lb macaroni
- 8 oz Cracker Barrel Vermont sharp white cheese (see note)
- 12 oz Longhorn style colby cheese
- 1 stick butter (see note)
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups milk (see note)
Preheat the oven to 350F and use some of the butter to grease a 9 x 13" baking dish
Cook the macaroni according to the package directions
While the macaroni cooks grate the cheese and combine both kinds of cheese in a large bowl
Evenly place half of the cooked and drained macaroni in the baking dish, top the maconi with half of the shredded cheese and then dot the cheese with pats of butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Repeat with a second layer of macaroni, cheese, butter, salt and pepper.
Pour the milk into the dish, it should come around 2/3 of way up the macaroni, for me this was 2 cups, you can add more or less if needed
Put the baking dish in the oven at 350F and bake for 50-60 minutes until the milk has been absorbed and the cheese on top is golden brown
Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before serving
- While I am sure that you could make this with any kind of cheese my family has been using the Cracker Barrel Vermont sharp white and Longhorn style colby since before I was born so that's what I always use.
- You can use either salted or unsalted butter in this recipe, my mom and grandma both use the Parkay squeezeable butter so whatever you have on hand will work.
- I use whole milk in this recipe but any kind of cow's milk will work.
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THAT is mac and cheese! my mom made it in a very similar way. she used longhorn, colby, milk. the mac and cheese was stiff with some curdled milk, but it was ‘fabulous’ . i have been searching for a recipe close to hers. my mom is gone, but i know when i was with her, this is the recipe i been looking for! thank you.