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We’ve Got the Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and Cheese, Baked, Homemade, Casserole, Cheese

We’ve Got the Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? It’s a versatile dish that can be served on its own or with any number of ingredients added. It can be a side or a main dish. Kids love it, making it the perfect meal for picky eaters, and adults never seem to grow tired of it, making it the ideal recipe for serving the entire family.

If your family just can’t seem to get enough of mac and cheese, we have provided some ideas so you can use these staple ingredients in a variety of meals. Read on to find out more about the dish and how you can take it to the next level.

Baked Mac and Cheese

Although most of us make mac and cheese by stirring pasta in a cheese sauce, the traditional dish was a casserole. It was born of the many pasta and cheese casseroles that date as far back as the 14th century. The first recipe originated in Italy and included pasta and parmesan cheese that was cooked and put in the oven to bake.

©Ronmar Lacamiento / Free to use, Pexels – Original / License

In 1770, an alternate recipe would appear in the Experienced English Housekeeper cookbook. This would be the first in-print version to use cheddar cheese. Many recipes followed that included ingredients like pepper, breadcrumbs, and other sorts of cheeses.

The baked dish continued to gain momentum. When it was served at a state dinner by Thomas Jefferson, it earned a place in American history, becoming one of the country’s most popular dishes. It was published in several cookbooks using affordable ingredients that made it accessible to the middle class. From there, it became a favorite in many households in the United States.

Of course, America is not the only country that loves macaroni and cheese. It is also popular in Canada, Switzerland, Scotland, and other countries around the world. These countries incorporate their own variations, including the addition of different meats and vegetables, the use of a pastry shell, and more.

The recipe we have here is for a baked dish that stands out for its use of various cheeses and onions. It makes a delicious casserole that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Homemade Mac and Cheese

As macaroni and cheese became more popular, it was made available in packaged forms. Kraft is just one of the companies that is famous for providing a packet where all you need to do is cook the pasta and add a cheese mix to enjoy that great taste we all know and love.

And while packaged mac and cheese is convenient, there is something about homemade mac and cheese that gives it that unmistakable goodness. Homemade recipes also come with an added bonus because you can add any ingredients you would like.

Here are just some examples of the homemade mac and cheese dishes you could be making:

  • Butternut Blue Cheese: This is a baked mac and cheese dish that uses butternut squash, cheddar, and blue cheese.
  • Beer and Brat: To make this dish, replace the milk you usually use with pilsner beer. Add browned bratwurst and plenty of cheddar.
  • Truffle: This is a classic baked mac and cheese dish with a twist. Replace the cheddar with truffle cheese and add mushrooms for an elevated version of an old standard.

How to Make Healthier Mac and Cheese

When people think of mac and cheese, they don't typically think of a healthy food. Mac and cheese is often very high in fat and calories. While it does provide a good deal of protein, this benefit is off-set by the fat and calories. There are, however, ways to make mac and cheese healthier without sacrificing taste.

One is to simply use reduced- or low-fat cheeses. Many cheeses come in reduced fat varieties, particularly the more popular ones like cheddar and mozzarella. By using these cheeses in your mac and cheese recipe, you'll significantly lower the amount of fat while keeping the high levels of protein.

Another option is to include a low-fat, high-protein meat in your mac and cheese. Chicken is the obvious choice, but you can use whatever meat you'd like! Buffalo mac and cheese is a great way to incorporate chicken. The dish will really bounce to life with the addition of a meat and a spicy sauce!

If you combine chicken and low-fat cheeses together, you'll have a dish that is much healthier than its original version. While it certainly isn't a superfood, it can help you feel better about feeding it to your family. Of course, there's also nothing wrong with binging on something fatty every once in a while!

Mac and cheese is a well-liked dish, making it a great staple to serve your family. Now that you are armed with plenty of great variations, you can feel confident that every dish you bring to the table will bring a smile to their faces. Which type of mac and cheese will you be serving tonight?

If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure to check out our Roast Herbed Pork with Potatoes Recipe and our Casserole Bread Recipe.

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Macaroni and Cheese, Baked, Homemade, Casserole, Cheese

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  • Author: David Moreno
  • Total Time: 80 Minutes


If your family just can’t seem to get enough of mac and cheese, we have provided some ideas so you can use these staple ingredients in a variety of meals. Read on to find out more about the dish and how you can take it to the next level.


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • ¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces grated sharp white cheddar cheese ( 2 ¼ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons grated onion
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 8 oz. provolone cheese, cut in strips

For Topping:

  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups soft bread crumbs
  • 5 oz. parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes, or until slightly firm. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter in heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Remove pan from heat, add flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until completely combined to make a roux. Set pan over medium heat and cook roux until little bubbles form around the edges, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add milk, stirring to blend. Return pan to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Off the heat, add cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, and onion. Stir until cheese melts and sauce is smooth. If cheese doesn’t melt completely, stir gently over low heat until melted.
  4. Fold cheese sauce into cooled macaroni with a spatula. Whisk eggs with ricotta and add to bowl with macaroni. Add half and half and stir until combined.
  5. Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 inch by 13 inch ovenproof glass baking dish with vegetable spray.
  6. Place half the macaroni mixture in prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Cover with strips of provolone. Top with remaining macaroni and smooth.
  7. To make the topping: mix melted butter, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni.
  8. Cover dish with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking another 10 to 15 minutes, or until macaroni is bubbling and top is nicely browned. Serve at once. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 Minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
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