Old-Fashioned Baked Mac ’n’ Cheese Recipe

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Retro Recipes from the '50s and '60sI swear by homemade mac and cheese. I know that many people love the easy boxed version, but I remember the joy of eating the baked version, topped with a sprinkling of bread crumbs, when I was growing up. This particular recipe embodies 1950s home cooking because of the Velveeta cheese, a versatile, mild cheese popularized during the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s that produces a kid-friendly dish.

  • Yield: 12 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 50 Minute


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
  • ½ cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and a dash of salt and cook according to the package directions until just al dente. Drain and place the pasta in a very large bowl.
  3. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt ½ cup (1 stick) of the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until the flour has been absorbed and the mixture turns light yellow with large dry bubbles. Add the mustard, milk, half-and-half, salt, and pepper and cook, whisking, until the sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Add the Velveeta and cheddar cheese and stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and stir until completely coated. Place the pasta into the baking dish and smooth the top.
  5. In a medium microwavable bowl, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the microwave. Stir in the bread crumbs and paprika until the mixture resembles wet sand. Sprinkle over the pasta and bake for about 30 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling and the top is light golden brown—do not overbake. Allow the casserole to cool for 5 minutes and serve.

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