Recipes, Savory

January 2, 2023

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Family recipes are the best recipes, and they’re passed down from generation to generation for one reason: they’re freakin’ amazing. I’ve said this before but my Grandma Hayes is one of the best cooks I know – the woman can seriously make anything, and whatever that “thing” is, it’s always flawless. I consider myself lucky to have inherited those genes. I rarely alter her recipes, but today I did, and I think Grandma would approve. This Creamy Macaroni and Cheese is out of this world and if you’ve never had the opportunity to sit around the huge farmhouse-style table Erma Hayes has in her kitchen, you’ll feel like you’re right there.

Would you believe me if I told you I have only had boxed macaroni and cheese a handful of times? Even as a young child, I would  wrinkle my nose at the bright orange color and plastic like taste. In fact, even when I’d go to a friends house, I would refuse to eat that orange-glowing pot of pasta. I do the same with store-bought bread and “fake” maple syrup. I remember having lunch at a friends house and her mother served us sandwiches on Wonder Bread. For some reason I just could not eat this, and ended up feeding it to the dog under the table!

Once you’ve had the real “stuff” it’s just impossible to go back to the boxed variety. This macaroni and cheese has perfect proportions and tons of flavor. It is, as far as I’m concerned, the perfect recipe for soothing, uncomplicated macaroni and cheese.



Vegetable oil

1 pound elbow macaroni

1 quart milk

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

12 ounces Gouda cheese, grated

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, grated

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon dried mustard



  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the gouda, cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and dried mustard. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish or a large oven proof skillet.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
  1. shea

    January 17th, 2019 at 5:38 am

    I’m confused about the measurements. 12 ounces is 3 cups, but you said 4?

  2. Molly Shapiro

    January 17th, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Hi Shea! Thanks for catching that! I edited the recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!