homemade macaroni and cheese with serving spoon in dish square

How to Make Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

5 from 10 reviews

Homemade macaroni and cheese is cozy, warm, and comforting.  Your family, both kids and grownups alike, will adore this creamy, cheesy mac ‘n cheese recipe.

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 1x


  • 1 lb dry elbow macaroni pasta
  • 6 TB regular butter
  • 5 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 4 1/2 (18 oz) cups freshly grated sharp white cheddar
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 oz) freshly grated Pecorino Romano


  1. Heat oven to 375F with rack in middle position. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Fill large pot with salted water.  Bring to boil, add macaroni and cook 2 minutes fewer than the package states for al dente.  You want the pasta a bit undercooked, as it will continue to cook in oven. Transfer cooked macaroni to colander, rinse well with cool water, and set aside to drain.
  3. In saucepan, heat milk until hot and set aside (watch that it doesn’t spill over.)  In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. When butter starts bubbling, add flour and cook 1-2 minutes, constantly stirring.
  4. Add hot milk into flour-butter mixture, whisking constantly.  Continue cooking/whisking on medium heat until mixture bubbles and becomes thick, about 10 min.
  5. Turn heat off.  Stir in garlic and onion powder, nutmeg, black pepper, and dry mustard.  Add 3 cups of the white cheddar and 1 cup of the Pecorino Romano.  Mix thoroughly until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth and creamy.
  6. Add cooked macaroni into cheese sauce and stir to combine well.  Pour mixture into greased casserole dish, distributing evenly.  Sprinkle top with remaining 1 1/2 cups white cheddar and 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano. Bake until top is golden brown, about 30 min.  If needed, set under broiler for just a minute or two until browned to your liking.  Let cool 5 minutes and serve.


For bread crumbs:  Cube 6 slices of good quality (crust removed) bread into small pieces.  Place in bowl and mix with 2 TB melted butter. Scatter breadcrumbs over top of casserole right before baking. 

Yields about 12 servings as a side dish.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 450
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 373.7 mg
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.6 g
  • Protein: 20.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 66.5 mg
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Macaroni and Cheese, Mac and Cheese