Best Ever Mac & Cheese Recipe
Best Ever Mac & Cheese Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Best Ever Mac & Cheese Recipe

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To make this amazing mac, I make a sauce loaded with three different cheeses to toss with the noodles. When baked, it's ooey, gooey and cheesy good. And don't get me started on the crunchy topping! —Beth Jacobson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 10 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 10 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 4 slices hearty white bread (4 ounces), torn into large pieces
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed and divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) cubed process cheese (Velveeta)
  • 1 block (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 block (8 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Nutritional Facts

1 cups: 762 calories, 43g fat (25g saturated fat), 134mg cholesterol, 1138mg sodium, 61g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 3g fiber), 32g protein.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a stockpot or Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain and return to pan. Pulse bread, 2 tablespoons butter, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until coarsely ground.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt remaining butter. Add onions and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add ground mustard and cayenne; stir until blended. Stir in flour until smooth, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in Velveeta. Slowly add remaining cheeses a handful at a time, stirring until cheese is melted. Add Worcestershire and remaining salt and pepper. Pour over pasta; toss to coat.
  3. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top of casserole. Bake until topping is golden brown and sauce is bubbly, 10-12 minutes. Yield: 12 servings.

Twist up the Topping: Swap any (or all) of the following for the bread crumb topping:
2 cups coarsely crushed pork rinds
2 cups coarsely crushed potato chips
2 cups coarsely crushed Ritz Crackers
Originally published as Best Ever Mac & Cheese in 2017

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NH-rescue User ID: 4255840 258922
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2016

"Everybody loved this recipe, which is definitely a step up from box mac & cheese!

We omitted the bread crumb topping and substituted more cheddar plus other soft cheeses for the Velveeta. It will probably taste different every time we make it, but as long as we like the cheeses we use, it will taste good."

pajamaangel User ID: 1603339 257729
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2016

"I made this exactly as written except I omitted the topping. I didn't have any gluten free crackers on hand at the time. I liked how creamy the mac and cheese was, but I thought the onion was a little over-powering and we couldn't taste the cheese. It was a bit disappointing."

Michelle1187 User ID: 8889575 257526
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2016

"I made this for the first time as a Thanksgiving side and everybody loved it! I'm typically not a big fan of mac & cheese but, for this I make an exception. I followed the recipe word for word except for ONE thing. Instead of using sharp cheddar I used New York Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese that I bought from my local Vons/Safeway/Pavilions. Everyone loved it, great and easy recipe. One last thing, don't forget the Worcestershire Sauce!"

robbrd User ID: 1292786 255564
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2016

"I'm on the hunt for a mac n' cheese recipe that everyone in the house likes. I made this to accompany dinner tonight. Overall it was okay. It would have been better if I remembered to stir in the last ingredient (worcestershire sauce)! That would have enhanced the flavor as ours was definitely lacking something. We will have to try it again and see if it becomes a winner in our home, right now it is 2nd place."

sugarcrystal User ID: 5836839 254752
Reviewed Sep. 28, 2016

"I just received the latest issue of TOH, & this recipe caught my eye. I especially love the topping ideas-most in-particular the pork rinds! How fun! This will be on my Thanksgiving table this year."

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