Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese

baked mac and cheese with a spoon in it in a baking dish

This is the Mac n cheese that you will be making from here on out. It tastes gourmet so both kids and adults will love it. Nothing beats creamy cheesy goodness with perfectly cooked pasta. It is one meal that will always bring you joy. It makes for a crowd-pleasing side dish at any potluck, especially next to turkey on a Thanksgiving table. Both kids and adults alike love this mac and cheese!

I have had my share of Mac and cheese, and this recipe is at the top. You get creamy, cheesy, and crunch all in one bite. What more can you ask for?

Try this easy homemade Mac and cheese for yourself! If you make any of my recipes, please tag me on Instagram and be sure to follow along with all my social media for even more content!

baked mac and cheese with a spoon in it in a baking dish
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5 from 7 votes

Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese

This is a comfort food classic and is especially enjoyed during the holidays. What is better than pasta and gooey cheese? Nothing! I use three different kinds of cheeses and start with a roux to make the sauce extra creamy. I bake it at the end with more cheese on top to develop a nice crispy crust for a contrast in texture. This is literally what dreams are made of.
Be sure to give this recipe a try and let me know what you think of it in the comments!
Happy Holidays 🙂
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese, Comfort food, Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese, Fufus Kitchen, Kid friendly meals, Mac and Cheese, macaroni and cheese, Thanksgiving side dishes
Servings: 8 people
Author: Fufu’s Kitchen


  • 16 oz Cavatappi or Elbow Pasta cooked, al dente according to package instructions
  • 3 cups Sharp Chedder grated fresh
  • 1.5 cups Gruyere grated fresh
  • 1.5 cups Smoked Gruyere or Smoked Gouda grated fresh
  • 5 tbsp Butter
  • 1/3 cup All-purpose flour
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Spicy Mustard or Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika

Panko Topping (optional but recommended)

  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs, seasoned
  • 1/2 tbsp Dried Italian Seasoning
  • Flaky salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Butter, melted


  • In a large pot, add the butter and flour. Stir until this turns into light brown color and slightly thick just like a roux.
  • To this, add the milk. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
  • Once this mixture starts boiling, start adding in the cheeses. Add a total of 4 (2 cheddar and 2 gruyere mixed).
  • Add the cheeses 1 cup at a time. Leave the remaining 2 cups layer into the pasta before baking. Stir until creamy in consistency. Add the mustard, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • To this, add the cooked pasta and mix it all together.
  • In a large baking pan (roughly 9×13) which has been buttered, add half the pasta topped with 1 cup of cheese then the remaining pasta with the rest of the cheese on top followed by the panko.
  • Bake in a 350 F oven for about 25 minutes then broil for 1a minute until the top is lightly browned. Enjoy warm!

What goes best with Mac and Cheese?

Fried Chicken (ultimate comfort meal) Check out my oven-baked crispy tenders for a healthier option without missing out on that crunch!

Meatloaf – I have a delicious turkey meatloaf recipe that you should check out!

Any sort of BBQ or Roast whether chicken or beef

Can this be made gluten-free?

Most definitely. Just use your favorite gluten-free pasta but be sure to pick up one that is tubular in shape so it holds the creamy sauce.

Can the cheese choices be switched?

Yes, while I believe this is a great blend of cheeses that makes for a delicious baked mac n cheese there can be adjustments made. Cheddar, however, is a must!

A good substitute for the cheeses can be Velveeta, Mozzarella, and/or Monterey Jack. All of these are readily available in any supermarket.

For a Vegan Mac and Cheese, check this butternut squash version out!

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  1. I’m bringing a side dish to thanksgiving dinner. I plan to make mac and cheese but wanted to change it up a bit and add some flavor. I’m thinking some bell peppers. Maybe cajan seasoning (do you suggest a certain amount) ? Also, do you think Mexican cheese blend would work with that? I’m not trying to add any shrimp or meat. Thank you!

    1. You can definitely add Cajun seasoning to change it up but I wouldn’t necessarily add any vegetables to this but that is completely up to you! enjoy 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I made these as a side on Thanksgiivng, and they were an instant hit. My sister was recently asking me when I would make again. Thank you for this recipe! Such delicios creamy goodness!!

  3. 5 stars
    Best Mac and cheese and so easy to follow did this for thanksgiving and it was all gone! ❤️Love it highly recommend my first time making it and my family loved it!

  4. 5 stars
    Hands down the best mac and cheese I’ve had 🔥 and this comes from a person who doesn’t like mac and cheese but when I tried this I fell in love and will definitely continue making this!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this for my family today! Loved that it was a dish the toddlers loved, but the adults also ate it up because of the little kick it has. Will absolutely make it again!

  6. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite macaroni and cheese recipes ever!! It’s so creamy and it reheats well, too. I add a little milk and cream when reheating it and it’s 😍

  7. Pingback: Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese – Fufu’s Kitchen – My Blog

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