This oven-baked mac and cheese recipe is a favorite among Southern Plate readers and it’s easy to see why. You need just a short list of ingredients to make this easy baked macaroni and cheese dish the whole family will love.
It’s just about a requirement that all Americans love classic baked macaroni and cheese in some form and at some time in their lives, I’m no different. Growing up, my mother made a creamy homemade mac and cheese with a sauce that was smooth as silk and permeated every particle of perfectly cooked macaroni. It was my brother’s favorite comfort food, so she usually made it every Sunday.
As a teen, we all became well acquainted with the boxed stuff, thrilling over the marvel and convenience of the powdery sauce which combined with milk to deliver the ideal after-school snack for three busy young people on the go.
After I had my own kids, however, I quickly learned why my mother seldom ate mac and cheese. My kids loved it so much that I got burned out just from stirring those countless pots of pasta.
Then a few years ago I realized something – I missed my mac and cheese. I needed to reacquaint myself with it. While my mother’s mac and cheese is to die for, I longed for a stringy, cheesy, casserole, version in my adult years. Something as far from the boxed stuff as I could get without introducing things my children would consider “weird”.
That’s when this oven-baked mac and cheese recipe was born. It’s super simple and easy to make. All you need is 5 ingredients (well six or seven if you count the salt and pepper 🙂 and after about an hour and your macaroni and cheese will be ready. Let’s begin!
- Cheddar cheese
- Plain flour
- Macaroni pasta
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simple ingredients = an amazing oven-baked mac and cheese recipe!
How to Make Oven-Baked Mac and Cheese
Cook the pasta until tender and then drain it.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then set them aside.
Spray an oven-safe bowl or dish with cooking spray. Place half of the cooked macaroni inside.
Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the top.
Then top it with half of the butter slices.
Sprinkle 1+1/2 cups of shredded cheese over the top.
Repeat the layering process again.
Pour milk over the entire macaroni and cheese casserole.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Everything I’ve ever wanted in oven-baked mac and cheese is pictured right there!
A lot of people view this as a side dish but I confess, it’s been the entire meal on more than one occasion.
At this point, my son came in and said “Ma, when is the macaroni and cheese gonna be done?”.
I showed him this and his eyes got “big as dollars” as my grandmother would say!
Oh to be a kid again :).
Store mac and cheese leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave.
- You can definitely make this oven-baked mac and cheese recipe your own. Here are some ideas:
- Add shredded chicken or cooked bacon.
- Need some vegetables? Add sautéed onion and finely chopped bell pepper.
- Add the dried herbs of your choice, such as onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika for heat.
- As I said, I totally serve this as a main dish and my family doesn’t complain! But if you serve it as a side dish, it goes great with Southern favorites like fried chicken and pulled pork.
- Need to top your Southern baked mac and cheese with a crumbly topping? Sprinkle on some panko breadcrumbs and you’re good to go!
- You can use any you like (just not pre-shredded!). I like and combined.
You may also like these recipes:
- 2 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni
- 2 1/2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- pepper to taste I use about a teaspoon
- 4 tbsp butter, thinly sliced
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese mild or sharp, your preference
- 1 cup whole milk
- Cook the pasta until tender and then drain it.2 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then set them aside.2 1/2 tbsp flour, 1 1/4 tsp salt, pepper to taste
- Spray an oven-safe bowl or dish with cooking spray. Place half of the macaroni inside. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the top and then top it with half of the butter slices. Sprinkle 1+1/2 cups of cheese over the top and repeat.4 tbsp butter, thinly sliced, 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Pour milk over the entire macaroni and cheese casserole.1 cup whole milk
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot.