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Alton Brown's Baked Macaroni and Cheese

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  • Prep 20 min
  • Total 45 min
  • Servings 8
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A perfect classic mac and cheese recipe.
by: Moogie
Updated Feb 12, 2018
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  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • 2
    In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
  • 3
    While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
  • 4
    Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  • 5
    Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving. Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Mac and cheese just isn’t mac and cheese without a creamy, cheesy sauce. You can thank the single-tempered egg in Alton Brown’s mac and cheese recipe for what is the richest, silkiest sauce no mac and cheese should be without. Tempering may sound complicated but it’s really quite simple. In this recipe, tempering the egg is as easy as pouring the stirred egg into the hot liquid as slowly as possible so that it doesn’t scramble. It takes a little patience, but the results are well worth it! No time to make mac and cheese from scratch? No problem. We’ve got ways to spice up the boxed stuff too.
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