Fannie Farmer's Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins

To me Fannie Farmer's recipe is the only "real" Macaroni & Cheese. It's from my 1946 edition of "Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cookbook". With time on it's side - this recipe is hands down the best for traditional, homemade baked macaroni & cheese - comfort food. Please Note: If you use CHEAP CHEESE you will end up with a BLAND and FLAVORLESS DISH!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan melt butter.
  4. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended.
  5. Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly.
  6. Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly).
  7. Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes.
  8. Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  9. Turn off flame.
  10. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce.
  11. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish.
  12. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  13. Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  14. (You can also freeze this recipe in zip-lock bags for later use - once you have mixed the macaroni along with the cheese sauce allow to cool to room temperature before adding to your freezer - I generally pull it out the night before and allow macaroni and cheese to reach room temperature; I then add the macaroni and cheese to a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and then bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling.
Most Helpful

jensafrk commented that this recipe ''tastes like raw flour.'' The problem may be in making the roux, which is the carefully cooked, equal quantities of flour and butter. You must begin with low heat and the mixture must be stirred constantly to avoid scorching the flour. Start by melting the butter over low heat. When the foaming begins to subside, add the flour (do not include the salt and pepper yet) and stir constantly, watching the color of the mixture. It should become a light, nutty brown color. This may take five minutes or so. Do not go by the clock, but rather by the color. If the process is stopped too soon, while still white, it will taste like raw flour. If it gets too brown, the flour has scorched and it will taste burnt. As soon as the color is right, slowly add the room-temperature milk/cream in increments, continuing to stir constantly. When all of the milk has been added, turn the heat up to medium high and continue stirring until it begins to bubble, then reduce heat to a simmer and and continue stirring until it thickens. You now have the basic white sauce, b├ęchamel, upon which many other cream sauces are built. In this recipe, that is a cheese sauce. Add the salt and pepper at this point and continue the recipe.

jehaas December 30, 2010

Good classic recipe for mac 'n cheese. Too bad DIVA 43 chooses to negatively comment about a recipe that wasn't even attempted. personally, I'm not interested in an opinion that does nothing but pontificate,,,bottom linr is DIVA43, get a life or keep your opinions to yourself. This is a community of foodies - something you are obviously not. No one is interested in you telling us how "unhealthy" a recipe is.

Chef Hammer January 03, 2011

I agree with Minnie Chef, BUT, when something has been around 63 years without changes PLEASE go by the old rule. "IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT". Stop forever experimenting with everything. Enjoy the CLASSICS as they were meant to be. AS IS. There may be a few of you that can really be all that good with what some combinations are going to end up as. But, very few. I am not talking to those of you that have medical or dietary demands on your intake. I am talking to those of you that don't even give the original recipe a chance. NUFF said. Enjoy it as written then if you feel it needs a change go for it. BON APETITE, Cap'n Jack.

Firehousecook AKA Cap'n Jack March 12, 2009

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