Fannie Farmer's Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese

"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!"
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Ready In:




  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
  • In a large saucepan melt butter.
  • Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended.
  • Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly.
  • Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly).
  • Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes.
  • Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  • Turn off flame.
  • Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce.
  • Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  • Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  • (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.

Questions & Replies

  1. What size pan? Do I need to modify anything to double the recipe?
  2. Where can I buy that snazzy red pot?
  3. If I want to cook in muffin tins for finger food version how long and at what temp should I cook it?
  4. Could I replace the flour with cornstarch and use gluten-free breadcrumbs to successfully make this gluten-free?
  5. What type of cheddar is best with this recipe?


  1. 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, béchamel, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I have made this before. It was in an old fanny farmer cookbook I had but lost in one of our moves several years ago. It is a very creamy recipe and one of the best I have ever made. And I have made alot. No changes need to be made to this recipe. Some of the old ones are the best. This is one of them.
  5. Great recipe! But I respectfully disagree completely with the statement that "if you use cheap cheese, you will end up with a bland and flavorless dish". This is rediculous. I would say that if you use mild or medium cheddar, these are indeed the results you will get. But the price of the cheese will make no difference whatsoever, just as long as you go sharp sharp on your type of cheese. Go ahead and save your money! This dish rocks!


  1. My mom's recipe uses a buttered casserole dish with layers of cooked elbow macaroni, a slice of Velveeta cheese in each layer, and salt/pepper/paprika, heavy on the paprika and pepper. Pour 2% milk over the assembled dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Leftovers can be frozen, just bring to room temp and add a little milk and microwave, good as new.
  2. If you don't want your sauce to taste gritty, cook the roux (flour and butter) a little longer - just until it starts to "tan," THEN add the milk and cream.
  3. The directions could be a little more complete for beginning cooks (it doesn't tell you the roux needs to be cooked for 5 minutes or so to get the flour taste out), but this will be my go to Mac 'n cheese recipe. Been looking for the right one for a long time and this is it. One with no Foo Foo stuff, just simple but good ingredients (no Velveeta). I didn't understand why I couldn't use half and half instead of milk and cream but rather than second guess, I just followed the recipe. I doubled it because who sells 8 oz packages of macaroni? I followed the recipe exactly, but skipped the bread crumbs because I don't care for them. I used extra sharp cheddar and replaced the pepper with 1/4 tsp of nutmeg for a double batch. The nutmeg puts this dish over the top. Delicious and very filling.
  4. The ingredient list would suggest this to be straight forward cheese and Mac, but to enhance the flavors of the dish, a tsp of prepared mustard, a dash of worstershire, onion powder, garlic powder, cooked crumbled bacon or ham, drained stewed tomato, chopped rough. All the additions you likely have in your pantry.
  5. My basic mac & cheese is similar but I layer a can of diced tomatoes through the casserole prior to baking.


<p><br /> <br />My most used and favorite cookbook is the 1946 edition of Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School handed down to me from my Mother. <br /> <br />My most favorite kitchen utensils are a set of Johnson &amp; Wales knives given to me by my mother, a professional chef. <br /> <br />I enjoy traveling to exotic places, trying new foods and bringing home rare ingredients to expirement with. <br /> <br />I work fulltime as a lab technician for a local diagnostic center. In addition to that, during my free time I'm either at the gym, listening to music, tending to my herb garden and/or trying out new recipes &amp; ideas in the kitchen. <br /> <br />I am a classically trained singer and musician, passionate about music. <br /> <br />My favourite thing to do is sit outside in my garden with my husband, a glass of wine, good food, music &amp; a few good friends. <br /> <br /><img src= alt= /> <img src= border=0 alt=Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting /></p>
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