Best Ever Macaroni & Cheese

Best Ever Macaroni & Cheese

This favorite macaroni and cheese recipe is baked until bubbling for a soothing and satisfying supper.

20 min. prep time
6 servings
26526 Ratings



1 (7-ounce) box (2 cups) uncooked dried elbow macaroni


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 (3/4-ounce) slices Land O Lakes® Deli American, quartered


1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Heat oven to 350°F.

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in 3-quart saucepan until sizzling; stir in flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 1 minute or until smooth and bubbly. Add half & half and salt. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Reduce heat to low; stir in cheese. Cook 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Add cooked macaroni; mix well.Spoon into ungreased 2-quart casserole.

Stir together all topping ingredients in bowl; sprinkle over top of macaroni mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through and golden brown.

Recipe Tip

For a added flavor, stir in 3 ounces cubed cream cheese and 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard into the sauce.

Nutrition Facts (1 serving)

Calories: 500

Fat: 32g

Cholesterol: 90mg

Sodium: 880mg

Carbohydrates: 37g

Dietary Fiber: 2g

Protein: 15g

Recipe #13196©2004Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Recipe Comments & Reviews

Dumb question....when do you add the cheese?
Test Kitchen Comment


Hi Kathy, the cheese is added after the sauce is thickened (with the noodles). Hope this helps!
Posted October 29, 2014
excellent and easy. budget friendly.
made this with cream cheese and a mix of other cheeses - best ever!
I love this recipe! It was probably the best mac n cheese ive ever eaten. I did use regular white american cheese and panko bread crumbs and added the cream cheese. i also put a little sugar in the sauce to make it a tad sweeter. Also, i added an extra layer of panko so it has that crispy taste to it! All in all, great recipe and very easy to make! Thanks!
I made this recipe when we had company over and everyone really enjoyed it. Someone said that it tasted like Bob Evans Mac and Cheese. I thought it was great, too.
Easy, very creamy. Perfect for the kids.
I would rate a 1 star - if you are not a cook you will love this! Its okay - step above a box and the. Land O Lakes Deli cheese is processed. You can use any combo of cheeses into a rue with salt n pepper and make it wonderful.
My son (21!) always asks me to make this for him! He loves it! I do use Italian breadcrumbs just to chane it up a little. AWESOME!
I made this using the recipe tip for cream cheese and dijon mustard. Soooooo perfect for a rainy Sunday!
I'm 49 years old and have never made homemade macaroni and cheese. I have tasted many, many versions of homemade mac and cheese and restaurant mac and cheese through the years and never thought any of them were superior to the boxed version. Well, my hubby adores mac and cheese (even the bad versions), so I felt it was my duty to try my own. He said this one got a 10 out of 10. He said it was the BEST he had ever tasted and requested it 4 nights in a row! It even beat his memories of his grandma's mac and cheese. Now there's a HUGE compliment. Here's the biggest shock of all, however: I LOVED it, too! I was totally surprised! Here were the changes I made. (1) I used 2% milk. (2) I used shredded cheese, 1 c. of cheddar and 1 c. of monterey jack. (3) I used crushed Ritz crackers instead of breadcrumbs. (4) I added 1/4 tsp. pepper. (5) I used shell macaroni. The dish came out very creamy and delicious - a tremendous hit. Hubby said it was perfect and wants no further tweaking!
This has become our familiy's favorite dish. Dijon-style mustard and cream cheese is a great add in to make this a special dish.
I have a Land O Lake cookbook and the original recipe in it calls for 8 oz of cream cheese, 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 tbl of country dijon mustard. There is no 1/2 and 1/2 used in it. I make it all the time and the famly loves it!!! I usually use a sharp cheddar just because it adds some zing! I also have tried swiss cheese with regular dijon or a splash of white wine and dry mustard. It is a great base to start with and experiment.
I was a bit confused when the directions said to "stir in the cooked macaroni and cheese" to the basic white sauce. Most mac n'cheese recipes suggest stirring in the cheese and adding the pasta last. This is what I did. In any event the dish turned out very, very well. I was pleased with the result as was the group at the church potluck. "All's well that..." Thank you for the quality of the ingredients and the recipe.
This was very easy to make. I made a few modifications. First I added the mustard and cream cheese mentioned by a few others. I also used about 6.5 oz of sharp cheddar and 1.5 of American cheese. Finally, I did not have any dried bread crumbs so I sprinkled Parmesan cheese and top. This turned out very creamy with a slightly crispy crust. It was very tasty!
I made this with 16 oz Mezzi Rigatoni looks like rigatoni cut in half, fat free half and half, the Dijon-style mustard not dry and cream cheese, Panko bread crumbs, but no parsley. Yummy. Might add just a little more Dijon mustard next time. My son and husband didn't even add ketchup as they usually do to the box mac and cheese.
I think it is too bland. I tried using sharp cheddar cheese but that doesn't do it so I will add the dry mustard and cream cheese and maybe worcestershire sauce as other folks have done to 'zip' it up!
It's not that it was terrible or anything it just wasn't creamy like I think Mac & Cheese should be. I'm still looking for that perfect Mac & Cheese Recipe!
The entire family loves this. I use dry mustard in the sauce and a tsp of Worcestershire sauce to give it a "kick." Panko bread crumbs are especially easy. Since my son returned from a year in England and grew to love pub food, we sometimes add sauteed leeks both parts and/or cubed ham.
This is the best homemade mac & cheese I have ever made. I did tweak the recipe a bit, though. I added pepper to taste, l tsp of dry mustard, 4 oz cream cheese, and 1 c. of mozzarella. I have tried many mac & cheese recipes and they never had any flavor. This one is different.
I made this for my family and they absolutely loved it! My daughter who normally loves the boxed mac & cheese totally loved this!
Not sure why, but I just did not love it. I think it was the breadcrumbs. It was edible, but not my favorite. I will keep looking.
Stir the cheese into the cream before mixing with the hot
noodles for the all-over orange look. YUM.
This was so good and creamy. This is the best mac n cheese recipe I've found so far. I've made a lot of mac n cheese recipes because it is a house favorite and they have all fallen flat. I added the cream cheese and dijon suggested. I also used mild cheddar but will be trying sharp next time for more flavor. I like tasting my cheese.
I love this recipe! It was easy and delicious. It is great on its own but I also add cooked, pureed squash to it and it was a wonderful fall lunch.
This is sooooooooo good! Very creamy, & rich. A far cry from the stuff in the box. A wonderful "guest" dish.
real good ,I will do it again. For a gourmet flavor, stir in 3 ounces cubed cream cheese and 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard with the milk. That is one of my favorite side dish.

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