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macaroni and cheese on a black serving plate

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni Cheese with homemade cheese sauce and buttery Ritz cracker topping is the ultimate comfort food. It's creamy, tasty, and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword baked macaroni and cheese, homemade macaroni and cheese, macaroni cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 784kcal
Author Lalaine


  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the Topping

  • 12 pieces Ritz Crackers, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese

For the Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded


  • In a pot over medium heat, bring salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook about 1 minute shy of the package directions or until slightly firm. Drain well and toss with one tablespoon butter. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine butter, crackers, and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add the 1/2 cup butter and cook until melted. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly nutty in aroma. 
  • Gradually add milk and heavy cream, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer, whisking regularly. 
  • Add ground mustard, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat and continue to simmer, whisking occasionally, for about 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon.
  • Add cheese in three parts, whisking until cheese is melted before adding the next batch.
  • In a large bowl, combine cheese sauce and cooked macaroni. Transfer into a lightly greased baking dish. 
  • Sprinkle top with the buttered crackers.
  •  Bake in a 350 F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the mixture is bubbly.



Serving: 157g | Calories: 784kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 714mg | Potassium: 374mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1658IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 592mg | Iron: 2mg