Home » Recipes » Homemade Cheesy Mac and Cheese

Homemade Cheesy Mac and Cheese

This post may contain affiliate links, please see our policy for details.

How to make homemade cheesy mac and cheese that the whole family will love.

Like most kids, our girls loved mac and cheese growing up. Boxed, frozen, cheese from a can…you name it, they would eat it.

My idea of a healthy meal didn’t include boxed mac and cheese so I started making homemade.

Over the years I perfected my recipe and it’s become our family’s favorite side dish, especially during the holidays.

homemade cheesy mac and cheese on white dish with fork

It’s also great as a main dish, for Meatless Mondays, with my spinach strawberry salad with poppy seed dressing on the side.

sliced white cheese and milk in saucepan on stove

My little secret for this recipe is the extra sharp (or seriously sharp) cheese…lots of it.

melted cheese and milk on cooked elbow noodles

As with most of my recipes, I don’t put a lot of “stuff” in my macaroni and cheese.

There’s just noodles, cheese and a little bit of milk (plus a sprinkle of bread crumbs).

After all, it is called “mac and cheese”, not “mac and cheese and a lot of other ingredients”. 

bread crumbs on macaroni and cheese before it goes in the oven

Just a few side notes:

  • To keep the noodles from getting mushy I take them off the stove and drain them when they are just starting to get soft. Very al dente. 
  • The great thing about mac and cheese is that it’s adaptable to different tastes. I like mine to be crispy and very “done” so I bake it a little longer (about 60 minutes total). If you want a creamier mac and cheese you can take it out of the oven after 40 minutes. 

Do you know what I like best about this dish? It’s not only good the first day but it’s even better heated up the second day.

Just add a little bit of milk (not too much), put the lid on and put it in a 350º oven for 20 minutes.

Give it a good stir once the cheese starts to melt and put it back in without the lid for 5-10 more minutes. Yum!

baked homemade cheesy mac and cheese in baking dish with wooden spoon next to it

Our girls love it so much that they still make it, in their own homes, and it gets rave reviews.

They also request it for every holiday and when they come home to visit.

Clearly it’s a family favorite!

More pasta recipes

Yield: 6 servings

Homemade Cheesy Mac and Cheese

Homemade Cheesy Mac and Cheese

Homemade cheesy mac and cheese with lots of extra sharp cheese

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 seconds
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes 45 seconds


  • 16 oz. elbow noodles
  • 8 oz. Extra Sharp (or Seriously Sharp) Cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp. butter (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. Bread Crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease 2 quart baking dish
  3. Boil water for noodles
  4. Cook noodles
  5. Cut cheese into thin slices
  6. Add cheese to saucepan with milk and 1 tbsp. butter (optional) over cook medium heat. Stir often.
  7. Drain noodles, pour into baking dish
  8. Once cheese is completely melted, pour over noodles in baking dish
  9. Stir noodles and cheese well
  10. Sprinkle on 1 tbsp. bread crumbs
  11. Cover and cook for 30 minutes
  12. Remove from oven, stir well, sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs and return to oven without lid
  13. Cook 15 to 30 minutes (depends on how done you like your mac and cheese)

Nutrition Information:


6 people

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425

Did you make this recipe?

Mention chatfieldcourt

the cooking housewives graphic
The Cooking Housewives are all about Thanksgiving this month. Mainly side dishes. A great turkey dinner is nothing without lots of yummy side dishes. Am I right?

collage of 13 Thanksgiving recipes and large graphic