Old-Fashioned Mac and Cheese Casserole

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macaroni and cheese

Easy to make ahead and freeze, Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate budget-friendly comfort food.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6Servings


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 3 1/2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Coat the inside of a 9x13-inch casserole with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add half of the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Whisk in the flour and cook until white bubbles form on the surface. Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and thick.

4. Gradually add the milk, mustard, and Tabasco, whisking until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

5. Remove the pan from the heat, add 2 3/4 cups of cheese, stirring until melted. Combine the macaroni and sauce and stir until well mixed. Transfer to the prepared dish.

6. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the ramining garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.

7. Remove from the heat, toss the garlic butter with the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese.

8. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the mac and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

To Bake:

  • Defrost the casserole in the refrigerator overnight, if necessary.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Allow the casserole to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Bake the mac and cheese for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Keep this crowd-pleasing entrée on hand in your freezer for the nights when you don't want to cook dinner.