It doesn't get much better than this Pioneer Woman's Mac & Cheese Recipe!! This is the best ever Mac & Cheese! You have to try it at least once!
I would love to take credit for this recipe! It has been made in my house nothing short of gazillion times! I have walked many miles on the treadmill so that I could enjoy a big creamy bowl of THE BEST EVER Mac & Cheese. This is simply the best you will ever make; Pioneer Woman's Mac & Cheese.
Now while I try to share 30 minute or less recipes, this one comes in at around 35 if you choose to put it in the oven. We may just have to let it slide.
I have tried many Mac & Cheese Recipes to find the absolute best! I will save you all the effort and the ingredients. Just print this one, duct tape it to the fridge, and you are good to go. You are not going to find a better recipe! PROMISE!
Need a dish to take to a potluck? DONE
Need a side dish for dinner? DONE
Are kids hungry? DONE
Need to leave something in the fridge for the hubby to reheat? DONE
Just having a HUGE cheese craving? DONE
Plus the leftovers are perfect to use to make these Mac & Cheese Muffins for an appetizer. I am not saying you will have leftovers though. You may have to make a second batch!
Can I Make this Ahead?
Yes, you can! This is a great dish to make ahead of time and keep in the fridge until ready to bake. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days before baking or just enjoying it.
If you are going from the fridge to the oven you are going to want to add to the baking time to heat the dish. I would say around 35 - 40 minutes.
Can I use Other Cheeses?
Please do! I recommend you play around with recipes and make them suit your family's tastes. Change up the cheeses. Create your own special blend. In our house, we love the Monterey Jack Mix or Mexican Blend. Make this more than once and try it with different cheeses and do a taste test. It's a hard job but someone has to do it.
What size baking dish?
This is a great question because there really isn't a right answer. I like to put this in a 13x9 baking dish because I can fit more toppings across the top. This means extra cheese and breadcrumbs (if I am using them). However, any casserole dish 3 qt or larger should do the trick.
Pioneer Woman's Mac & Cheese
- 4 cups Macaroni uncooked
- 1 Egg Beaten
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
- 2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
- 2 teaspoons Dry Mustard heaping
- 1 pound cheddar cheese shredded (Monterey jack mix is good too)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt More To Taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt More To Taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- Spices Cayenne Pepper, paprika, thyme / optional
- Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
- In a small bowl, beat egg.
- In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
- Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
- Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
- Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
- Add in cheese and stir to melt.
- Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
- Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F or until bubbly and golden on top.
- Use gluten free macaroni and replace the flour with a gluten free flour mix.