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Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese: It's officially fall so bring on the ultimate comfort food -- creamy, cheesy, classic baked macaroni and cheese with a crunchy topping |

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

  • Author: Sam | Ahead of Thyme
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian


It's officially fall so bring on the ultimate comfort food: creamy, cheesy, classic baked macaroni and cheese with a crunchy topping.


Breadcrumb Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Macaroni and Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 + 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 + 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 + 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated


Breadcrumb Topping:

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium heat.
  2. Add the panko breadcrumbs and garlic. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown.
  3. Transfer into a small bowl and mix in the paprika and salt. Set aside.

Macaroni and Cheese:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
  4. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes until roux is light and golden.
  5. Gradually add in the milk, whisking constantly to incorporate. The sauce will thicken and clump in the beginning but once you add in more milk, it will smoothen out again.
  6. Add in the cheddar, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and reduce heat to low. Add in the mustard powder and stir until cheese has melted.
  7. Add in the macaroni and stir together to fully coat with the cheese sauce.
  8. Transfer the macaroni into a 8” by 8” casserole dish.
  9. Sprinkle the breadcrumb topping evenly on top of the macaroni.
  10. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked macaroni and cheese, baked mac and cheese, mac and cheese with crumb topping, how to make mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs