Go Back
+ servings
Baked mac and cheese with a serving spoon lifting up a portion.

Baked Mac and Cheese

This baked mac and cheese is a blend of tender noodles in a rich and creamy cheese sauce, topped off with more cheese and baked to perfection. The ultimate macaroni and cheese recipe that always gets rave reviews!
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 485kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 4 cups milk I use whole milk
  • 1 pound corkscrew pasta uncooked, such as cavatappi or cellentani
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 cups cheddar cheese shredded, divided use
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • cooking spray


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 3-4 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour, then whisk until combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the water and whisk until smooth and just thickened. 
  • Add the milk and whisk until combined. 
  • Stir in the pasta, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and pepper, then bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.
  • Turn the heat to low, then stir in 4 cups of cheddar cheese and the mozzarella. Keep stirring until the sauce is smooth. 
  • Spread the pasta mixture into an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheddar cheese over the top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and pasta is bubbling. Serve immediately.



Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 663mg | Potassium: 293mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 920IU | Calcium: 585mg | Iron: 1.2mg