Baked macaroni and cheese has long reigned as the quintessential comfort food. It’s the perfect dish for a family dinner or potluck picnic, and will bring a smile to any face after a long day. This recipe uses award-winning Cabot cheddar cheese and a crunchy breadcrumb topping for a richer, more satisfying flavor than you would get from a name-brand boxed package. With just a hint of zingy spice, this mouthwatering dish will have everyone in the family asking for a second helping. Be sure to leave us a review to let us know how much your family enjoyed the meal and to share any tips for making the dish with added flair. Your feedback can help other families share in the rich goodness that this macaroni dish has to offer. For an equally delicious, low-fat mac and cheese alternative, check out our Light Mac & Cheese recipe!
The added dashes of Tabasco sauce will give the baked macaroni and cheese a slight kick, which perfectly complements the rich creaminess of the melted butter and Cabot Sharp Cheddar, Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, Cabot 2 Year Cheddar, or Cabot Smoky Bacon Cheddar. Try using our Cabot Smoky Bacon Cheddar for a little smoky, bacon-y goodness that is absolutely irresistible. The crunchy, buttery breadcrumb topping is the perfect way to finish off the dish and your family will come flocking as soon as it’s out of the oven. This dish is easy to make and will be well worth the time when everyone raves about the meal.
If your family loves satisfying, home-cooked comfort food, be sure to give this baked macaroni and cheese recipe a whirl! Cabot is dedicated to making the world’s best dairy products on family farms, and our high-quality cheddar cheese sets this dish apart. Once your family has wiped their plates clean, be sure to head back over and share your thoughts with us!
Butter or nonstick cooking spray
2¼ cups uncooked small elbow macaroni
3 cups milk
5 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter
3 slices firm white or whole wheat bread, pulsed into crumbs in processor or blender
3 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Several dashes Tabasco Sauce
16 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, Cabot 2 Year Cheddar, or Cabot Smoky Bacon Cheddar, grated (about 4 cups), divided
Get the ingredients you need at a convenient nearby location.
PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Butter 9-by-13-inch or other shallow baking dish or coat with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
STIR macaroni into large pot of boiling salted water; cook for 5 minutes after water returns to boil, or until outside is cooked but center is still firm. Immediately drain in colander and rinse under cold water; set aside.In saucepan over medium-high heat or in microwave on high power for 20 second intervals, heat milk to just below simmer.
MELT butter over medium-low heat. Pour 2 tablespoons of butter into bowl, add breadcrumbs and blend together thoroughly; set aside.
REDUCE heat to low, add flour to butter remaining in saucepan and whisk over heat for 2 minutes, being careful not to let it color. Add milk in small amounts at first, whisking until smooth after each addition; continue stirring until sauce thickens and comes to simmer. Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes.
REMOVE from heat and whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, Tabasco and half of cheese. Stir in drained pasta.
SPREAD one-third of pasta mixture over bottom of prepared baking dish. Scatter one-third of remaining cheese on top. Spoon another one-third of pasta on top and add another one-third of cheese. Top with remaining pasta. Mix remaining cheese into breadcrumbs and scatter evenly over top.
BAKE uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden on top and bubbling throughout. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
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No need to use any other recipe. This is a classic. Perfectly delicious every time!
This is the way I make mac and cheese. CABOT cheese is a must. Sometimes I use a combination of two varieties of cheddar and a smaller portion of pepper jack. Either way, it’s the best mac and cheese ever!
Beyond my expectations and this is the BEST
A big hit. Any advice for making in advance and freezing?
**You can either freeze this dish before cooking, or freeze leftovers and reheat in the oven or microwave.
This is by far the BEST mac & cheese I have ever had an a hit with my family!! Sometimes I add a bit of pepper Jack cheese an that's also awesome.
Really good. Definitely will do again but without the bread crumbs since my husband did not care for the crunch.
Delicious ! I'm always asked for the recipe. Although our family doesn't like nutmeg, so I leave it out, you can't beat this recipe !
Best mac and cheese recipe!!
This is great! Will it double well or should I make two separate batches??
*Yes, doubling this recipe will work.
I get requests to make this all the time from both family and friends. Who wants the toxic artificial stuff from a box when you can get real comfort food like this.
My 12 year old daughter made this macaroni and cheese and it is amazing. The best I have ever had. She used crackers instead of bread crumbs.
just made this for the first time and it was a big hit! my 8 year old said it’s the best he’s ever had (and he’s had a lot!!!) thank you!
Left out the nutmeg and Tabasco. It’s amazing by itself. Super easy minus grating all the cheese. I actually put this on thick sliced toasted bread and it was awesome.
Made this for the family! LOVE IT!
Awesome recipe creamiest mac n cheese we every made!
Made this wonderful Mac & Cheese this afternoon for an early dinner. It smelled so good I had to try it, well I wanted to eat the entire 13×9 dish full right then and there. Well, I didn't and my husband was glad I didn't. He loved it too and wanted to eat it all :-). I will always use this recipe when I make Mac & Cheese. Cabot cheese is the BEST !!!!!!!!!!!!
SUPER YUMMY and worth the effort. I made a half-batch and used the Cabot Special Reserve Super-aged cheddar – SO GOOD!
A bit of prep work involved but worth it–my son helped make it and just asked to have it again a 2nd time. We added real bacon bits, chopped onion and green pepper skipped nutmeg and added some red pepper flakes too. Delish dish
Best mac & cheese I’ve ever had! Obviously not healthy in any way, but it’s always a hit at parties and pot lucks.
Best Recipe EVER!
I use sliced fresh tomatoes on top
my step kids loved this- huge hit.