Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and Cheese that is oozy, creamy, carbo-loaded is, to many, the quintessential comfort food. My husband loves this version of the all-time favorite American comfort food. This is a unpretentious and very simple lip-smacking dish that could either be a main dish or an appetizer dish served into individual containers.

Also check out my other favorite recipe for Macaroni and Cheese. Both of these recipes are delicious and are both are favorites in my family!

Recipe and photo are from the Noble Rot Wine Bar restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Recipe from The Sunday Oregonian, November 3, 2002. Article by Sara Perry.

Macaroni and Cheese served in a large white ceramic serving dish

Pasta Hints and Tips and Pasta, Rice, and Main Dish Recipes.

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Servings: 4 servings
  • 8 ounces macaroni pasta
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 whole allspice berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt or 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpsoe flour
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated (6 ounces)*
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), freshly grated (plus more for topping)
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (for topping)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan to keep warm.  Learn How To Cook Pasta Properly.

Making the Cheese Sauce:
  1. In a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, bay leaf, allspice, red pepper flakes, and salt.  Heat milk just to a boil; remove from heat and set aside.  Just before using in the sauce, strain out the bay leaf, allspice and pepper flakes.  

  2. In another saucepan, melt the butter over low heat; whisk in the flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Remove from heat.  Add stained milk mixture, 1 cup at a time, whisking smooth after each addition.  When all the milk has been added, return to medium-low heat and cook approximately 15 minutes or until slightly thickened, whisking frequently and scraping the bottom and sides of the pot so the sauce does not sticks.  Remove from heat.  

  3. Stir in Dijon mustard, cheddar cheese, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the hot sauce.  Add additional Tabasco sauce to taste and additional salt if needed.  

  4. NOTE: The sauce will keep, covered, for at least 5 days in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve:
  1. Combine cooked macaroni with 3/4 of the cheese sauce.  The macaroni should be soupy, as it will absorb a large amount of sauce.  If the macaroni is not soupy, ladle more sauce over the macaroni.  Note: At this point, the dish can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days at this point.

  2. To cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  3. Top the dish with breadcrumbs and additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  Place on a baking sheet and bake approximately 25 minutes (longer if refrigerated) until hot.  

  4. To give a browned and bubbly finish, place the dish under the broiler approximately 3 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.  When done, the top should be golden and the cheese should be bubbling around the sides. 

  5. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

  6. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe Notes

*  I like to use the Tillamook extra-shark cheddar cheese in this recipe.

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