Skip to Content

Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Sharing is caring!

This Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe is the perfect combination of flavor and creaminess. This is the recipe to use when making that big casserole of macaroni and cheese for the Holidays. 

creamy baked macaroni and cheese in pan next to white plate

This post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclaimer here.

Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.

If you were wondering what side you should make and bring to Thanksgiving this year look no further. It’s this creamy baked macaroni and cheese recipe. As a matter of fact, don’t even wait that long to make this homemade creamy baked macaroni and cheese.

Make it now, and thank me later. If you do decide to make it, perhaps for dinner, why not try it along with these Easy Baked Chicken Wings and wash it down with this Peach Sweet Tea & Rum for that Southern feel.

This recipe comes courtesy of Elgin. Thanks, Elgin! Here’s a little back story…Two years ago, a friend of mine, Sally, had a beach getaway for her hubby, Lou, where we were all invited to stay at this lovely beach house on the outer banks.

Sally invited her friends who included hubby and me, and Lou invited his friends, which included Elgin and his wife, among other friends. The things that happened that weekend is for another post…or maybe I’ll never tell because what happens at the beach house, stays at the beach house.

Ok, back to this mac and cheese. So apparently, one night, Elgin makes this baked creamy macaroni and cheese, and everyone in the house gets some…except for me. Why not may you ask? Well, they claim I was drunk…or asleep. I don’t believe it, I think the greedies in the house didn’t want to share. hmmmpph. So I got none of this macaroni and cheese, but I heard enough about it the entire weekend to imagine how delicious it was.

creamy baked macaroni and cheese in steel bowl

Fast forward to a year later, and my friend put together another event for her hubby. This time, everyone pretty much demands that Elgin makes this baked macaroni and cheese. This time, I for sure was going to get me a plate. Get me a plate I did and I had about 4 servings that night of this macaroni and cheese.

macaroni and cheese on fork

This macaroni and cheese was so creamy and delicious, it reminded me of stovetop….but it was baked! Yall, I have had so much dry and bad-baked macaroni in my life that I usually run when I see it.

But this macaroni was so creamy and cheesy and gooey that it was love…all love! It as so good that I begged and pleaded with Elgin for the recipe. Just kidding! I asked once and he was like “sure, let me write it down,” and his wife even got the pen and paper. Seriously, if it were me, I don’t know if I’d share. hmm…thinking of hitting the delete button on this post…just kidding.

I hope you all enjoy this oooey goooey creamy baked macaroni and cheese recipe. I will go ahead and go on record and say that this is the BEST baked macaroni and cheese recipe I have ever had. No more of that dry baked macaroni and cheese…Come on over to the creamy side.

Notes on Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

  • The original recipe for this macaroni and cheese recipe comes from Patti Labelle. She is a beast in the kitchen so no surprise that it’s so good. Elgin did make modifications by doubling the cheese and substituting whipping cream for half&half.
  • I modified the recipe as well by creating a crunchy topping, increasing the heat by 25 degrees. I also subbed colbyjack/monterey cheese for just monterey.  Feel free to leave the panko topping off if you choose but I feel it’s a must in a baked macaroni and cheese recipe.
  • This recipe has 5 types of cheese. Yes, 5 different kinds of cheese. The amount of cheese will scare you at first but believe me, it’s necessary and makes this dish delicious.
  • Is this recipe healthy? Probably not…but who cares because…CHEEEEEEEESE.
  • I’d recommend keeping the cheeses the same as stated…even the Velveeta. The beauty of this is that all the cheese melts and tastes perfect. There is a science to melting cheese.

Looking for more Recipes for the Holidays??? Try these out:

Looking for more pasta recipes?

You can also use this leftover macaroni and cheese to make these Air Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls recipe. 

Click Here to Pin Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese for Later

How to store Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

Make ahead: This whole recipe can be made 1-2 days ahead of time. You can either cook and combine the macaroni and sauce, spreading it into a casserole dish. Then cover it and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking (you can preheat your oven at this time), sprinkle over the cheesy breadcrumb topping, and place into the hot oven to bake.

Alternatively, you can bake the creamy mac and cheese, then allow it to cool completely before covering it and storing it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. When ready to enjoy, place back into a warm oven to heat through for 30 minutes.

To refrigerate: Leftover mac and cheese can be stored, and covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to heat up, place the dish back into a warm oven, or into the microwave to warm through.

To freeze: Creamy baked mac and cheese freezes well, and again there are two points where you can do this. You can cook and combine the macaroni and sauce, spreading it into a casserole dish and allowing it to cool completely. Then cover the dish and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, sprinkle over the cheesy breadcrumb topping, and place into the hot oven to bake.

Or, you can finish the recipe and allow the baked mac and cheese to cool completely before covering and storing it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Again defrost overnight in the refrigerator before placing it into a warm oven to heat through until piping hot.

FAQs:

What type of cheese is good for baked mac and cheese?

As you can see from the recipe card, I use a combination of mild cheddar, Monterey jack, muenster and Velveeta cheese in my creamy mac and cheese. However, you could also use sharp cheddar, Parmesan, mozzarella, fontina, or Gruyere cheese too.

Why do you put eggs in baked macaroni and cheese?

I add eggs to give the cheese sauce a richer, creamier and smoother texture, which makes all the difference to the finished dish.

Do you cover mac and cheese while baking?

No you don’t need to cover this baked macaroni dish while baking in the oven. You want to leave the top uncovered so that the cheesy bread-crumbed topping becomes crisp and golden.

If you have tried my Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

creamy baked macaroni and cheese
Print Pin Save
4.85 from 13 votes

Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe is the only baked macaroni cheese recipe you will need. It’s the combination of different cheeses that makes this a crowd favorite. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy baked macaroni and cheese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 1117kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz mild cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz monterey jack cheese
  • 8 oz Muenster cheese
  • 8 oz velveeta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 3 quart casserole dish with 1 Tablespoon of vutter and set aside.
  • Prepare macaroni following the instructions on the box. (Add 1 Tbsp oil and 1 tsp salt to 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Cook to al dente). Drain and Set aside the noodles in a large bowl. Add remaining butter to the hot noodles in the bowl.
  • Meanwhile, shred mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, Monterey jack, and Muenster cheese. Mix shredded cheese in a bowl and remove 1 cup of cheese and set aside for the topping. Cut Velveeta cheese into small pieces and mix with the other cheese.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and heavy whipping cream. Add to macaroni and stir. Add cheese, creole seasoning, and salt and stir to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into the buttered casserole dish and spread it out.
  • Prepare the topping by adding melted butter, panko breadcrumbs, and the 1 cup of shredded cheese in a bowl. Sprinkle the toppng over the top of the macaroni.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy 🙂

Notes

This whole recipe can be made 1-2 days ahead of time. You can either cook and combine the macaroni and sauce, spreading it into a casserole dish. Then cover it and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking (you can preheat your oven at this time), sprinkle over the cheesy breadcrumb topping, and place into the hot oven to bake.

Suggested Tools for Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

3 Qt Glass Baking Dish

Nutrition

Calories: 1117kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 48g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 271mg | Sodium: 1624mg | Potassium: 425mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2871IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1055mg | Iron: 2mg
My Southern Air Fryer ECookbookFind all my Top Southern Air Fryer recipes in one place! My Southern Air Fryer ECookbook!
Subscribe to my YouTubeSubscribe to my YouTube Channel for full length recipe videos. Click the bell icon to be notified when I upload a new video.
Tried this recipe? Share on InstagramMention @Myforkinglife or tag #myforkinglife!
Although myforkinglife.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

This post was originally published on October 16, 2018. It has been updated with helpful information.

Sharing is caring!

Recipe Rating




Darlene

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Thinking about making this recipe for Thanksgiving. Can I prepare it the day before and keep it in the fridge and cook it on Thanksgiving day? Or will the wet ingredients soak up in the noodles?

Tanya

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Hi Darlene, the wet ingredients would likely soak up the noodles. I'd likely prep by shredding the cheese and cooking the noodles the day before. Then combine all the ingredients before baking the next day.

Lynn Jackson

Wednesday 27th of January 2021

Made this last night and it was amazing!!!! Had to substitute and used 1 cup whipping cream and 1 cup half & half since that's what I had in the house. Also used a cheddar/Gruyere blend for the mild cheddar. This is our new favorite mac n cheese recipe!

Leanne

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Made this last night, and in my goddess it's amazing!! Had trouble finding the Muenster so eventually got it from the deli counter, but was given smoked muenster, and I will definitely use it again, and again! That little bit of smoky flavor was perfect!

Kiki

Saturday 4th of July 2020

Wow thanks Tanya , not complicated at all like I been doing and failing a couple times . It was great !

Katelyn

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

I made this for the first Thanksgiving I ever hosted a few weeks ago now, and this macaroni and cheese was such a hit that it’s been requested I make it for Christmas! Thank you so much for sharing! It’s so good!!

Tanya

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

So glad you liked it Katelyn! It's a favorite of mine as well :)