Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

Adapted from Prairie Home Cooking. This is the way my Mother used to make macaroni and cheese. The pasta measurement is the measurement for the dried pasta.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Bring water to a boil; cook macaroni to al dente stage according to package directions.
  3. Drain well.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  5. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  6. Whisk in milk and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in salt, pepper and paprika and remove from heat.
  8. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese.
  9. Spread half the macaroni over the bottom of a lightly greased 1 quart baking dish.
  10. Spread half the remaining cheese over the macaroni.
  11. Top with remaining macaroni.
  12. Pour sauce over the macaroni.
  13. Top with the remaining cheese.
  14. Bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  15. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Most Helpful

Well Hot Diggety!!! After years of searching for macaroni and cheese like I really love it, I've FINALLY gotten the right recipe! This is great! Perfect texture, and I think that's always a lot of my issue. I like the cheese kind of crunchy on top. I'm a 105 lb. woman, and I doubled this recipe for myself in case it turned out to be what I was looking for. I've already eaten a quarter of it! I doubled all ingredients. Only difference I made in recipe was to add about a teaspoon of dried mustard. Not sure whether that made a significant difference or not, but this is definitely the recipe I've been looking for.

Rebecca F. May 08, 2010

This is the same as my family's favorite recipe except I also add 1 tsp. dry mustard, and mix the flour, paprika, s&p, and mustard with the flour before stirring into the melted butter. Can't beat it!

Newbie74 April 06, 2010

Made as given, although I did double the recipe, then made it in two separate baking dishes, one for the 2 of us here at home, & the other for a housebound neighbor couple I often bake/cook for, & who LOVE mac & cheese! This was a winner all around, & I'll be making it again for us, I know! Thanks for sharing the recipe! [Made & reviewed in the Best of 2011 recipe tagging event]

Sydney Mike January 19, 2012