Baked Macaroni and Cheese

From The Joy of Cooking


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 2 1/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar or Colby cheese
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole or skim milk (I used skim)
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook the macaroni in salted water approximately 3 minutes less than package directions.  Drain and set aside.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  Whisk in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, cooking for about 3 minutes.  Gradually whisk in 2 cups of milk.  Stir in the onion, bay leaf and paprika.  Simmer for approximately 15 minutes, stirring frequently.


Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese.  I used ½ cup grated sharp cheddar, ½ cup grated Monterey jack and 1 ½ cup grated 75% fat free sharp cheddar.  Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the elbow macaroni.  Pour mixture into a buttered 1 1/2 quart deep baking dish.  Toss breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.  Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni mixture. 


Bake until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.