Chef John's Macaroni and Cheese

363 Reviews 24 Pics
  • Prep

    10 m
  • Cook

    45 m
  • Ready In

    55 m
Chef John
Recipe by  Chef John

“This easy-to-make old-school macaroni and cheese has a perfectly crispy crust.”

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 6 servings

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam and bubble, stir in the flour; cook on medium heat until flour just begins to turn pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne pepper, and white pepper; cook and stir another minute, then whisk in 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk and whisk again. Bring the sauce just to a simmer.
  4. Stir in nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat off, then add 2 1/4 cups of Cheddar cheese; stir until melted and combined. Add Dijon mustard.
  5. Transfer the macaroni into a casserole dish, then pour in the cheese sauce; stir to thoroughly combine sauce with pasta. Mix panko bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter in a small bowl, and sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese on top.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese topping are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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Reviews (363)

Rate This Recipe
Sarah Jo
241

Sarah Jo

I made this for the boys before I went to work last night. I did not try this myself but based on the message I got at my break--they absolutely loved it. To be honest, there were no leftovers for me! They thought the crust was the best part. Note to self: double the crust ingredients next time.

Michelle
192

Michelle

Oh boy! I finally found the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had. I followed the recipe exactly, except I used only 12 oz. of macaroni, to make it more cheesy. It was a perfect ratio. I used 2% milk, and it worked great - creamy and satisfying. I don't know which I liked better, the crust or the filling, they were both delicious. You have to try this recipe! Thanks, Chef John!

Chris
128

Chris

Lordy, all anyone wanted was the crust. New rule, take what's UNDER the crust, too. This was the closest to my mom's, and all kidding aside, a terrific success.

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Nutrition

Amount Per Serving (6 total)

  • Calories
  • 695 cal
  • 35%
  • Fat
  • 32.3 g
  • 50%
  • Carbs
  • 72.8 g
  • 23%
  • Protein
  • 29.4 g
  • 59%
  • Cholesterol
  • 95 mg
  • 32%
  • Sodium
  • 928 mg
  • 37%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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