Baked macaroni and cheese is somewhat of a Southern staple. No family with Southern roots is without a side dish of macaroni and cheese. With both my parents being from South Carolina and my sister being a chef, I’ve learned to make what most people have said has been the best-baked macaroni and cheese they’ve ever tasted. It’s so good that my husband always volunteers for me to make it – sometimes without my knowledge – for holiday parties. I know, it’s a compliment, but the way I make my macaroni and cheese takes time. I put in it a lot of different cheese, special ingredients and steps, and a lot of love. If you want to ‘wow’ your guests this holiday season or just want to perfect making baked macaroni and cheese for yourself and your family, you’ll want to try this baked macaroni and cheese recipe.
The best baked macaroni and cheese recipe

The Best Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This makes up to 6 servings.


  • 1 lb box elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 whole Egg Beaten
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 ¼ cups Whole Milk
  • 1 ¾  cups half & half (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons (heaping) dry mustard (we ground ours fresh in our Vitamix)
  • Grated Sharp Cheddar
  • Grated Mild Cheddar
  • Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt, More (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic chopped
  •  Optional Spices:
    Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Truffle oil or butter (to taste)
  • ¼ cup panko flakes
Note: My baked macaroni and cheese recipe calls for at least three different cheeses: sharp and mild
cheddar, Monterey Jack, and gruyere. However, you may add as much (or as little) cheese as you’d like.
The best baked macaroni and cheese recipe


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  1. Cook macaroni until very firm according to the instructions on the box.  Macaroni noodles should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain, run cool water over it to stop it from cooking, and drain again. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl beat the egg.
  3. In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly.  Don’t let it burn.
  4. Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth.  Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Add beaten egg, and ½ cup of half & half and whisk until combined
  6. Add 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg while the blender is on low, to avoid cooking eggs. Blend together till smooth.
  7. Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly.  Stir until smooth.
  8. Add in cheese and stir to melt.
  9. Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt as needed!
  10. Pour in drained, cooked macaroni, and stir to combine.
  11. Add more cheese and stir.
  12. Pour half of the macaroni into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and then add the remainder of the macaroni. Then top with a mixture of panko flakes, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

The best baked macaroni and cheese recipe

Should you try my baked macaroni and cheese recipe, come back and let me know what you think!