Marquita * Baked Mac and Cheese

Marquita: “My mom has been making mac and cheese ever since I was little. She wasn’t satisfied with the boxed varieties, so she experimented over the years until she perfected her recipe. This is a highly regarded family favorite!”

In the culinary world, there’s a tendency to push limits – to reinvent, to defy, to modernize. But there’s no messing with a classic mac and cheese. Or at least, there shouldn’t be! This baked version of a childhood favorite has absolutely everything going for it: tender macaroni, creamy molten cheese, and a chewy, golden-brown top. No frills, just comfort food at its best.

Three Quick Questions…and Marquita’s Answers

It’s your last meal. What do you have?

It’d have be my parents’ typical Thanksgiving meal: macaroni and cheese, collared greens, turkey, ham, and sweet potatoes.

Your kitchen is burning down. What’s the one thing you grab?

Honestly, I doubt it would be anything kitchen related. I’d probably go for my cellphone.

Do you have a favorite cookbook?

Not really! My dad rarely uses a cookbook and he was the one who taught me how to cook.

Baked Mac and Cheese
Recipe type: Main, Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
This creamy baked mac and cheese is classic comfort food at its best.
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 heaping tsp dry mustard
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar, cubed
  • 8 oz mild cheddar, cubed
  • 8 oz pepper jack, cubed
  • few dashes salt
  • few dashes ground black pepper
  • couple dashes cayenne pepper
  • extra shredded cheese, for topping
  1. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish and pre-heat oven to 350°F. Cook macaroni until very firm. Drain. In a small bowl, beat the egg; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, then add in flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for about five minutes until the mixture turns a light, nutty brown color. Pour in milk, continuing to whisk. Turn heat up to medium-high until mixture begins to bubble, then reduce to a simmer and whisk until thickened (3-5 minutes). Stir in dry mustard. Take ¼ cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking egg. Once the egg mixture is smooth, pour it back into the saucepan and stir to blend.
  3. Add in cheese and stir to melt; add salt, black pepper and cayenne. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Pour into buttered baking dish and sprinkle with extra cheese. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Enjoy!


  • As a child, all I wanted to eat was mac and cheese, and this post takes me right back.

    • Kathryn

      Ahh…is it a problem that I still want to eat mac and cheese all the time?! 😉

  • Wow, this sounds amazing! Lovely pictures as well, I pinned this recipe!

    • Kathryn

      Thanks so much, Jess!

  • Love the use of pepperjack! I bet this is so yummy!

  • oh my! so very yummy looking, just wanna stretch my hand and grab a bowl…

  • […] Baked Mac and Cheese from Dramatic Pancake […]

  • Lance

    This is a excellent recipe that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone that had it!

    I’d say that the prep time is a bit underestimated for the average cook. Getting the cheeses to melt smoothly/thoroughly into the milk/butter base took a bit of time.

    Once you’ve done this recipe once, you’ll have a much better concept of the salt/pepper ratio you prefer. I wanted to heat things up a smidge, so I was pretty generous with the cayenne and black pepper, and I even added a few dashes of Choluha hot sauce, and it was a perfect heat without overwhelming. I am preparing this again tomorrow, and I will definitely use more salt this time around, although the flavor was Perfect!

    Again, great recipe and preparation!

  • Anna

    This looks delicious. I’m going to have to do this!

  • Love baked mac and cheese! Pure comfort food!