This easy Baked Mac and Cheese recipe is so creamy and cheesy. Plus, the delicious bread crumb topping makes this Southern mac and cheese simply amazing! This is the perfect side to any meal you serve, rather it is for a holiday dinner or weeknight meal.

Close up image of Baked Mac and cheese in a pan with a serving on a wooden spoon.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe:

This baked mac and cheese recipe does not disappoint! I love mac and cheese and happen to think every meal is better with it.

It has so much cheesy goodness and it is blended together perfectly for a great side dish. However, if I must confess, I could eat this for dinner by itself. It is seriously that good!

If you are looking for the best baked mac and cheese, give this a try. Our family loves it and it is super easy to make. Skip those store bought mixes and make this instead.

Close up image of baked mac and cheese in a 9x13 pan.

Can I make this recipe on the stove top?

If you would prefer to make this on your stove top, you can! We have a stove top version if you want to try this easy homemade macaroni and cheese recipe.

You will cook your pasta according to package and then add the remaining of the ingredients. Occasionally we will do this option if my oven is full of with baking items. Either way, it is very tasty.

Close up image of Ingredients for Baked Mac and Cheese. Pasta, butter, flour, milk, heavy cream, cheddar cheese, cream cheese salt and pepper, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese garlic salt.

Ingredients for baked mac and cheese:

For the Mac & Cheese:

  • Elbow Pasta
  • Unsalted Butter
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Milk
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Cream Cheese, softened at room temperature
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the Bread Crumb Topping:

  • Planko Bread Crumbs – Or Ritz Crackers
  • Butter, melted
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Garlic Salt
Close up image of baked mac and cheese in a pan with a serving on a wooden spoon.

How to make mac and cheese:

  • First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9X13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook the elbow pasta al dente which is about 1 minute less than the time listed on the package.  Drain and rinse with cool water.
  • Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for 1 minute.  Then gradually whisk in the milk and heavy whipping cream. Whisk until smooth.
Close up image of the milk and flour being whisked in a iron skillet.
  • Continue to whisk as you slowly pour these in.  Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened (2-4 minutes).
  • Remove the pan from the heat.  Then stir in the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir until all these ingredients are combined and cheese has melted.
  • Then stir in the pasta until the pasta is completely covered in the cheese mixture.
  • Mix the bread crumb topping ingredients together in a small ball.

How long to bake Mac and Cheese?

Place the pasta in the prepared baking dish, top with the bread crumb mixture and bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese on the top has melted and is slightly golden.

Close up image of Baked Mac and cheese in the process of topping being put on.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Close up image of a pan of baked mac and cheese with a serving on a wooden spoon.

Variations of Man and Cheese:

  • You can try other blends of cheese. Try colby jack, colby, mild cheddar, pepper jack or anything you prefer. If you can, shred your own cheese. It is so much better for you and taste better than the already shredded package cheese.
  • The panko topping is amazing but if you are out, try using crackers. We have used crushed Ritz and it turned out fabulous.
  • Use any type of pasta you have on hand. Penne, bowtie or any type will work.
  • Puree cauliflower to sneak into the sauce if you want to get some veggies in.
  • Toss in leftover Rotisserie chicken or even tuna to make this like a casserole.
  • You can also add in some onion powder to the mix.
  • Add some bacon on top. If we have some bacon cooked, we like to crumble it up and put it on top or even mix in before baking.
  • Make sure to cook the pasta less than you normally would. The pasta will continue to cook while baking.
Close up image of Baked Mac and Cheese on a white plate with two forks.

Making Mac and Cheese ahead of time:

If you need to make this ahead of time, it will keep in the fridge 1-2 days until you are ready to actually bake it. This is a  big help during holidays or for busy weeks.

Just make the mac and cheese as directed and cover and place in the fridge. I have made this 2 days in advance and placed in the fridge until ready to bake. I love how convenient it is to make ahead of time.

Close up image of a 9x13 pan of baked mac and cheese.

A good baking dish is a must!

There are several baking dishes on sale here. We used a 9×13 baking dish and worked perfectly. The ones with the lid are really handy if you are taking this dish somewhere.

I often use the disposable pans for when I am taking the mac and cheese to a potluck or gathering.  I like not having to worry about the pan.This recipe is always a hit!

Close up image of Baked Mac and Cheese on a plate.

Try freezing this easy recipe. 

Macaroni and Cheese freezes great! Cook like normal and place in a foil 13×9 baking pan to freeze.

When you are ready to eat it, allow it to thaw, and just bake as normal. You will love having an extra pan of this in the freezer.

Everyone will enjoy this delicious baked mac and cheese!

This baked mac n cheese is one of our favorite comfort foods. The cheese sauce is so creamy and the bread crumbs make it extra yummy.

Shredding cheese only takes a few extra minutes and I think it tastes better. Pre shredded cheese does not melt the same as when you shred it yourself.

You will be able to taste the difference in this homemade mac and cheese. It will become your favorite mac and cheese recipe.

Close up image of Baked Mac and Cheese on a white plate.

Print this recipe for baked macaroni and cheese below:

Baked mac and cheese

4.74 from 15 votes
This easy Baked mac and cheese recipe is so creamy and cheesy. The delicious bread crumb topping makes this Southern mac and cheese amazing! 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 9
Cuisine American
Course Side Dish
Calories 916
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • For the Mac & Cheese:
  • 1 lb. Elbow Pasta
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • For the Bread Crumb Topping:
  • 1 1/2 cup Planko Bread Crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp Butter melted
  • 1/2 Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9X13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook the elbow pasta 1 minute less than the time listed on the package.  Drain and rinse with cool water.
  • Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for 1 minute.  Then gradually whisk in the milk and heavy whipping cream.  Continue to whisk as you slowly pour these in.  Continue to heat over medium heat, whisking consistently until the mixture has thickened (2-4 minutes).
  • Remove the pan from the heat.  Then stir in the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir until all these ingredients are combined and cheese has melted.
  • Then stir in the pasta until the pasta is completely covered in the cheese mixture.
  • Mix the bread crumb topping ingredients together in a small ball.
  • Place the pasta in the baking pan, top with the bread crumb mixture and bake uncovered for 15 minutes until the cheese on the top has melted and is slightly golden.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 916kcal, Carbohydrates 61g, Protein 26g, Fat 63g, Saturated Fat 38g, Cholesterol 198mg, Sodium 1129mg, Potassium 332mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 6g, Vitamin A 2158IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 515mg, Iron 2mg

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This easy Baked mac and cheese recipe is so creamy and cheesy. The delicious bread crumb topping makes this Southern mac and cheese casserole amazing! Learn how to make the best home made creamy mac and cheese recipe with cream cheese and with bread crumbs. #eatingonadime #bakedmacandcheese #recipeeasyovens #RecipeCreamy #noeggs #EasyHomemade #comfortfoods #Thanksgiving #BestOven #heavycream #oven #homemade #simple
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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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  1. How much butter for the bread crumb toppings and how much for the Mac n cheese? Just says a 1/² cup in the list but no amounts for each.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious & easy ingredients!! It was a hit with my whole family! Thank you so much for sharing ?

  3. It’s 1/2 cup of butter for the Mac and Cheese and 4 Tbsp Butter for the Topping. The ingredients are listed in 2 separate sections in the recipe card.