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Recipe: Baked Mac ‘n Cheese

Feisty Foodie asked me to post my recipe for the baked mac ‘n cheese I featured in this post. I grew up eating my great-grandmother’s baked mac ‘n cheese. It was the most awesome stuff. As I’ve belabored often enough on this site, I’m not the world’s best cook. But this is the one thing I make without a recipe. Please bear with me as I try to explain how to make this. I haven’t a clue as to the measurements.

Baked Mac ‘n Cheese
Recipe type: side dish
Author: Jenn of Not Exactly Bento
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 30 mins
My great grandmother baked the best macaroni and cheese. This dish is very similar to hers.
  • Elbow macaroni, 1 box, boiled in salted water
  • Sharp cheddar cheese, 2 blocks, shredded
  • Butter, 1 stick
  • Milk
  • A glass dish deep enough for 2 layers of macaroni and cheese.
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While your oven is heating, boil your macaroni in salted water to your preference.
  3. While your oven is heating and the macaroni boiling, shred the block of cheese. I don’t buy prepackaged shredded cheese for this because normally I can’t find the type of sharp cheddar I prefer pre-shredded. But feel free to use pre-shredded mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, or whatever your taste buds prefer. A small amount of shredded mozzarella mixed in gives the whole dish a bit smoother/creamier taste. It’s a nice contrast to the sharp.
  4. When the macaroni is done, drain.
  5. Grease your baking dish. I normally just use non-stick spray.
  6. Scoop boiled macaroni into your baking dish. Make sure you have a good layer of macaroni and can’t see the bottom of the dish through the macaroni.
  7. Cut slices from your stick of butter and place on top of the macaroni. I normally make two rows of butter pats across this first layer of macaroni.
  8. Next, top macaroni and butter with a thick layer of shredded cheese. You don’t want to be able to see the macaroni through the cheese too well.
  9. Scoop another layer of macaroni ontop of the cheese, then do the butter pats again.
  10. Pour some milk over the whole thing. I normally use 2 percent milk. I’d guess I use somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup of milk depending on the size of the dish I’m using. The milk will cook into the noodles and pretty much disapear from the dish. In other words, your mac ‘n cheese shouldn’t be real liquidy. So be careful how much milk you use. If you’re worried about my instructions with this step, feel free to omit the milk. Omitting the milk will make the dish drier though.
  11. Add your second and last layer of cheese on top.
  12. Place into your preheated 350 degree oven.
  13. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the top layer of cheese is completely melted. You’ll probably hear the milk bubbling and cooking too.
  14. Once the cheese is completely melted, turn your oven to broil and brown the top of the cheese to your liking.
  15. Take out of the oven once browned and set aside for about 5 – 10 minutes to allow it to cool a bit and all the flavors of the dish to settle.
  16. If anyone out there tries this, I hope you enjoy it. The biggest tip I have is that it’s all about the cheese. The cheese you choose makes or breaks this dish. I personally like Cabot Cheese. It’s the one I can find most easily around here. It also tastes much better than Kraft in my humble opinion.



  1. Yvo says:

    Ooh that sounds so yummy! I’m definitely going to try that!!! Thanks!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    Hey, I’m actually going to make this tonight. I can’t wait. I’ve had such a craving for some good cheddar. Your post doesn’t specify, but do you mean an 8 oz block of cheese, or some other amount? I’m hoping it’s the 8 oz as that’s what I’ve got. Thanks!

  3. Jenn says:

    Sarah, It is the 8 oz block of cheese I use. I hope it all comes out well for you.

  4. Susan says:

    This will be on the menu for my lot tomorrow night ;)
    I’m gonna switch it up a bit though and add some bacon into it :)
    Susan recently posted..We have bento!My Profile

    • Jenn says:

      Oh, that sounds like it is going to be awesome!

      • Susan says:

        Thumbs up, up, up for this recipe!!! It was amazing :)
        Usually mac and cheese as we know it has a dense cheese sauce which can be really heavy and unappealing. This version was light and super tasty. The only thing I will change is that I will cut back on the butter content as it was a little too oily on the bottom when cooked, apart from that ten out of ten for taste :)

        Permission to repost on my blog please?????
        Susan recently posted..A nifty little starter kit!My Profile

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