I took my grandmother's basic, but delicious, recipe and improved it. Very creamy and cheesy! Unlike any you've ever tasted!! Well worth the prep time. Get all the ingredients together first and it will be a cinch to prepare.

NYRED
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

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  • In medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour to make a roux. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then whisk in warm milk a little at a time to make a white sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Mix in salt, pepper, and cayenne, and stir frequently until sauce thickens.

  • Remove pan from heat and stir in cheddar, mozzarella, jack and ham. Combine pasta with sauce and stir well. Pour into baking dish. Use paprika to make a decorative pattern on top. Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until top is the desired crispiness. Let rest 20 minutes before serving.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

612 calories; 34.1 g total fat; 110 mg cholesterol; 802 mg sodium. 43.3 g carbohydrates; 32.1 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (341)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/13/2003
I LOVE this recipe! I remember making mac n cheese from scratch when I was a lot younger and was looking for a recipe that would give me that great taste. This is it!!! I left out the ham used 12 oz macaroni since there is a lot of sauce and added a teaspoon each of ground mustard and worcestershire sauce for extra flavor. I also added some melted butter to bread crumbs and crumbled over the top for a nice crispiness. It was sooo GOOD!!! Thanx Allie!!!! Read More
(190)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
01/10/2004
I took advice from other reviewers and made some changes. I used a quart of half & half (instead of milk). I added a tsp of ground mustard & tsp of worchesh sauce. I also added some onion. I kept with other ingredients (as well). I used extra sharp cheddar & peppercorn jack. I did not use the mozerella. I lightly brushed top with bread crumbs. Drizzled a little butter and topped with a little extra shredded cheddar. It was an amazing texture. Looked so & smelled so yummy! Unfortunately it was ruined when I followed baking instructions. I thought 45 mins to an hour sounded a bit much but followed instructions. What a mistake! I think it baked out the flavor along with the creamy texture. 20 min baking time more realistic. If you want crunchy on top broil for about 3 mins after 20 mins of baking. I might try making this again with major baking changes. Oh yeah after cooking noodles to al dente (about 7 mins) make sure you rinse in luke warm/cold water to prevent further cooking of pasta. That's the secret to all pasta based casseroles! Read More
(277)
441 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 245
  • 4 star values: 116
  • 3 star values: 42
  • 2 star values: 19
  • 1 star values: 19
Rating: 5 stars
12/13/2003
I LOVE this recipe! I remember making mac n cheese from scratch when I was a lot younger and was looking for a recipe that would give me that great taste. This is it!!! I left out the ham used 12 oz macaroni since there is a lot of sauce and added a teaspoon each of ground mustard and worcestershire sauce for extra flavor. I also added some melted butter to bread crumbs and crumbled over the top for a nice crispiness. It was sooo GOOD!!! Thanx Allie!!!! Read More
(190)
Rating: 2 stars
01/09/2004
I took advice from other reviewers and made some changes. I used a quart of half & half (instead of milk). I added a tsp of ground mustard & tsp of worchesh sauce. I also added some onion. I kept with other ingredients (as well). I used extra sharp cheddar & peppercorn jack. I did not use the mozerella. I lightly brushed top with bread crumbs. Drizzled a little butter and topped with a little extra shredded cheddar. It was an amazing texture. Looked so & smelled so yummy! Unfortunately it was ruined when I followed baking instructions. I thought 45 mins to an hour sounded a bit much but followed instructions. What a mistake! I think it baked out the flavor along with the creamy texture. 20 min baking time more realistic. If you want crunchy on top broil for about 3 mins after 20 mins of baking. I might try making this again with major baking changes. Oh yeah after cooking noodles to al dente (about 7 mins) make sure you rinse in luke warm/cold water to prevent further cooking of pasta. That's the secret to all pasta based casseroles! Read More
(277)
Rating: 5 stars
12/13/2003
I LOVE this recipe! I remember making mac n cheese from scratch when I was a lot younger and was looking for a recipe that would give me that great taste. This is it!!! I left out the ham used 12 oz macaroni since there is a lot of sauce and added a teaspoon each of ground mustard and worcestershire sauce for extra flavor. I also added some melted butter to bread crumbs and crumbled over the top for a nice crispiness. It was sooo GOOD!!! Thanx Allie!!!! Read More
(190)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/09/2004
This was terrific macaroni and cheese! Per RUBENETTE'S suggestion I also left out the ham used 12 oz macaroni and added a teaspoon each of ground mustard and worcestershire sauce. I also added some bread crumbs over the top for a nice crispiness. I have now made it twice once with shredded cheese and once with cubed cheese and I like the shredded cheese much better. Read More
(180)
Rating: 4 stars
01/09/2004
EXCELLENT! I didn't make the recipe verbatim though. I read a few reviews and made a few changes and it was wonderful. Instead of using cubes of the three different kinds of cheeses I used 4 cups of Kraft Classic Melts Four Cheese (American Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar Vermont White Cheddar and Monterey Jack). It is shredded and didn't take long at all to melt. Also I didn't let the roux cook for 1-2 minutes. As soon as the roux started to bubble I slowly added the milk. Instead of cayenne I added 1/3 tsp. of chili powder. And I only cooked it for 35 minutes - I noticed that if I had let it cook any longer it would have dried out the top part. Thanks Alyson for a great recipe! Read More
(69)
Rating: 4 stars
03/10/2009
Wonderful!! I thought this was the best mac n' cheese I've ever made. Even my husband who does not eat usually eat mac and cheese asked when I was going to make it again. I made a few changes in the recipe however. I also uses 12 oz not 8 of noodles. I did not use mozzarella at all but used 7.5 oz of both the Cheddar and Jack (shredded not cubed). I also used milk and 1/2 & 1/2 not just milk and I added more cayenne pepper. Thank you again Alyson for this wonderful recipe! It's become one of our favorites. ENJOY!! Read More
(65)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/01/2003
I made this once on a whim and have made it several times since. It's one of our household favorites. I try to make it at least once a month; if I don't I am sure to be reminded and asked! I omit the ham because I don't eat red meat. Once in while I will add crispy turkey bacon for that meaty flavour. The three cheeses are a nice combination but I find it tastes excellent with just sharp cheddar and jack cheeses. Depending on my mood sometimes I alternate chili powder for cayenne. They both work well. Sometimes I dare to use half cream (or half & half) and half milk. Eight bites makes this a meal! Especially excellent in winter. Excellent recipe Allie! A definite keeper and permanant addition to my "usuals." Read More
(58)
Rating: 5 stars
02/13/2006
I loved this recipe!I didn't use the ham though. And whoever said to add a smoked gouda cheese to this recipe..was wrong! If you are using this recipe for the first time do not listen to that person! that cheese will overpower everyother cheese in the recipe(and ruin it!)I added 8-oz. instead of 5 because I like mine a lil' cheesy. And make sure to WARM up the milk! if you don't it will ruin the sauce(i did this and wondered why it came out so bad).I microwaved it until I could see the milk "skin"..this recipe taste better than my dad's! Read More
(52)
Rating: 3 stars
11/07/2003
I made this last night and followed the directions perfectly and was disappointed. I am a cheese lover so I thought the amount of cheese it called for was fine but upon tasting it the dish had way too much mozz cheese after eating a few bites I felt 500lbs. My daughter who is 3 tried it and passed on it. Read More
(48)
Rating: 5 stars
02/13/2006
YUM! I doubled the amount of ham and used shredded cheeses so they would melt easier. It is really important that the milk be warm in order for the sauce to come together properly too. I just microwaved the milk for a couple minutes to avoid scalding it. This was really great and it made a lot so we had leftovers. Read More
(42)