Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Growing up, there was always a sense of comfort and nostalgia associated with the aroma of bubbling macaroni and cheese baking in the oven. This classic old-fashioned baked macaroni and cheese recipe is a timeless favorite, featuring creamy cheese sauce, tender pasta, and a golden, crispy topping. Whether it’s a family gathering, a cozy night in, or a potluck event, this dish is sure to please everyone’s taste buds.

Courses and Cuisines: Breakfast; American cuisine.

Nutritional Information: (Per Serving)

  • Calories: 350 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 3g

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Serves: 6

Origin and Cultural Significance

Macaroni and cheese has a rich history in American cuisine, dating back to the 18th century. It gained popularity as a comfort food during the Great Depression and has since become a beloved classic across generations. While its origins are humble, its flavor and versatility have made it a staple on dining tables around the world.

Ingredients

For the Macaroni:

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni (or any pasta of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Water for boiling

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Health Benefits of Key Ingredients

  • Whole Milk: Provides calcium and protein.
  • Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese: Good source of calcium and protein, but consume in moderation due to high fat content.
  • Butter: Adds richness to the dish but use sparingly for health reasons.
old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese
old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Cook the Macaroni

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Cheese Sauce

  1. In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the all-purpose flour to create a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden.
  3. Gradually pour in the whole milk while whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
  4. Cook the sauce until thickened, then reduce the heat to low.
  5. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Step 3: Combine and Bake

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked macaroni and cheese sauce. Mix until the macaroni is well coated.
  2. Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a greased baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, melted butter, and grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the macaroni and cheese.

Step 4: Bake and Serve

  1. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.
  2. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  3. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness!

Tips and Variations

  • Add-Ins: Customize your macaroni and cheese by adding cooked bacon, diced ham, sautéed vegetables, or even lobster for a gourmet twist.
  • Spice It Up: Sprinkle some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta and breadcrumbs to make the dish gluten-free.
  • Make It Creamier: Add a splash of heavy cream or cream cheese to the cheese sauce for extra creaminess.

Essential Kitchen Tools

  • Large pot for boiling pasta
  • Saucepan for making cheese sauce
  • Baking dish
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk and spatula

Sustainability Practices

  • Choose organic and locally sourced dairy products and breadcrumbs when possible to support sustainable farming practices.
  • Use reusable baking dishes and utensils to reduce waste.

Flavor Profile and Texture

The old-fashioned baked macaroni and cheese has a creamy, cheesy texture with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. It’s savory, comforting, and indulgent, making it a favorite comfort food for many.

Occasions to Serve

  • Family dinners
  • Potluck gatherings
  • Holiday meals
  • Comforting weeknight dinners

Conclusion

Indulge in the timeless goodness of old-fashioned baked macaroni and cheese with this classic recipe. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal or a crowd-pleasing dish for gatherings, this creamy and cheesy macaroni will never disappoint. Enjoy the rich flavors and comforting warmth of homemade macaroni and cheese!

old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese

Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and cheese has a rich history in American cuisine, dating back to the 18th century. It gained popularity as a comfort food during the Great Depression and has since become a beloved classic across generations. While its origins are humble, its flavor and versatility have made it a staple on dining tables around the world.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Macaroni:

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni or any pasta of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Water for boiling

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

Step 1: Cook the Macaroni

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Cheese Sauce

  • In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the all-purpose flour to create a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Gradually pour in the whole milk while whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
  • Cook the sauce until thickened, then reduce the heat to low.
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Step 3: Combine and Bake

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked macaroni and cheese sauce. Mix until the macaroni is well coated.
  • Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a greased baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, melted butter, and grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the macaroni and cheese.

Step 4: Bake and Serve

  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.
  • Serve hot and enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness!
Keyword Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe