The combination of sharp cheddar cheese and Velveeta make this creamy baked mac and cheese a true family favorite! Baked with a crumbly topping on a homemade cheese sauce with elbow macaroni, this delicious side dish is baked for only 30 minutes!
Baked Mac and Cheese
It’s here! It’s here! After many comments asking me how to bake the same great creaminess and delicious flavor from my slow cooker mac and cheese into a baked version – I have finally mastered it.
- Creamy. It’s super creamy. You know how some mac and cheese recipes produce something that’s super dry – add them to the oven and whoa – yuck. This one maintains it’s super creamy texture through baking.
- Baked in 30 minutes. After creating the sauce, it’s done in 30 minutes. Yes, only baked for 30 minutes!
- Easy to make. This recipe starts with a base of flour and butter (a roux). The melted Velveeta and sharp cheddar cheese melt into the milks to produce a creamy homemade sauce. Super simple to pull together.
Best Ingredients To Use
Velveeta. Yep, it’s in here. That same great creamy cheese is combined with sharp cheddar to give that depth of cheesy flavor you’ve been looking for.
Evaporated milk. It’s from the original recipe and I kept it here. Again, flavor is everything.
Italian Bread Crumbs. This one’s a new addition, but if you love that crumbly topping on baked mac and cheese – then you’re going to love how Italian bread crumbs create a crispy buttery bite.
How to Make Bake Mac and Cheese
There are three key parts to mac and cheese, the roux, the sauce you make from that and the crunchy topping you put on top.
- Roux. The base of this sauce is a roux. Don’t let that intimidate you! A roux is a simple combination of flour and melted butter over heat. When milk is stirred in and you let it simmer while stirring, it thickens to the perfect consistency before adding the cheeses.
- Sauce. Add the cheese. Stir over low heat until melted. Pour the cheese over the macaroni and stir until combined. Combine with cooked elbow macaroni.
- Topping. Take the remaining butter and melt it. Stir in the bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the cheesy sauce in a 9×13 inch baking pan.
This one took a few tries because I wanted to have the same exact outcome of creaminess, but baking a recipe can be a bit different. I think I’ve found it and I am so excited to share it with you today! I just know you’re going to love it. I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to figure this one out. Enjoy!
No. Let the crumbly topping crisp up over the creamy macaroni and cheese. You do not need to cover it because you’re only baking for 30 minutes.
The elbow macaroni will continue to soak up the cheese sauce as it cools. This leads to less creamy mac and cheese. To enjoy the creaminess, serve immediately. While the sauce will thicken as it cools, it still maintains the same great flavor!
Use a combination of evaporated milk and 2% milk. A higher fat milk means a more creamy result.
The cheese will be bubbling around the edges and the crumbly topping will be a light brown then it is finished baking.
Leftovers: Store the leftover macaroni and cheese in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer: This recipe freezes well! While the macaroni and cheese wont’ be as creamy, it maintains it’s same great flavor. Reheat by microwaving on 50% power until hot.
Make Ahead: If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, I suggest making the cheese sauce and then refrigerating it until ready to combine with the cooked pasta. Reheat over the stove on low stirring constantly. Add the al dente elbow macaroni and follow directions as shared.
What to serve with baked mac and cheese
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
- 16 oz elbow macaroni
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter divided
- 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Cups milk
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 Cups Velveeta
- 3/4 Cup Italian bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
- In a large stockpot, boil water. Add elbow macaroni and cook until al dente following package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a medium stockpot melt 4 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Add the salt, milk and evaporated milk and bring to a simmer. Let simmer stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Turn off the heat.
- Return the drained elbow macaroni to the empty large stockpot. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and stir until combined.
- Pour the mac and cheese into a 9x13 greased pan. Take the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter and melt it. Stir in the bread crumbs into the melted butter. Sprinkle over the mac and cheese.
- Bake in a 350˚ F oven for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.