Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

A Timeless Comfort Dish

There’s something undeniably comforting about a dish of creamy, bubbling mac and cheese emerging from the oven. Its golden-brown crust promises a savory delight, a nostalgic trip down memory lane where every forkful evokes feelings of home, warmth, and simple pleasures. For many, mac and cheese is not just a dish; it’s a cherished memory, a symbol of family gatherings, and a testament to the magic of simple ingredients coming together.

Elevating a Classic

While the classic mac and cheese is a staple in many households, this Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese recipe takes it to a whole new level. Infused with the sharpness of cheddar and the richness of Parmesan, every bite offers a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The addition of a crispy breadcrumb topping adds an unexpected crunch, contrasting beautifully with the velvety cheese sauce beneath.

Perfect for Any Occasion

Whether you’re hosting a casual family dinner, a potluck with friends, or seeking solace in a bowl of heartwarming goodness, this dish is sure to impress. It’s versatile enough to stand alone or complement a variety of main courses. So, gather your ingredients, preheat that oven, and prepare to indulge in one of the finest comfort foods ever created.


  • 8 oz (about 2 cups) elbow macaroni or your choice of pasta
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (for topping)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (for topping)


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

Cook Pasta: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain well.

Make the Cheese Sauce: In a separate pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour until the mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk so that no lumps form, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Add Cheese: Add 1 3/4 cups of the cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Combine Pasta and Cheese Sauce: Add the drained pasta to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir to coat.

Transfer to Baking Dish: Transfer the mac and cheese to a lightly greased baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Bread Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the mac and cheese.

Bake: Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Serve: Let the mac and cheese sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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