Best Mac and Cheese Casserole [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 9 reviews

Casseroles Christmas recipes Easter Pasta Thanksgiving Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 30 minutes

Mac and Cheese Casserole is creamy, cheesy and very easy to make. This version of homemade baked Mac and Cheese Casserole is my most favorite and it’s a huge hit with kids and adults alike. 

Casserole recipes are a favorite around here. They are easy to make and usually make enough leftovers so we don’t have to worry about cooking dinner the next day again.

Also, they can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the freezer. When the time is ready, you can easily reheat them. Among our most popular once are Cheesy Crack Chicken CasseroleWhite Pizza Casserole, and Chicken Hash-brown Casserole.

Best Mac and Cheese Casserole Recipe

This easy Mac & Cheese Casserole is all you need for a comforting and tasty meal. It is creamy and smooth, with strong cheesy flavors that will melt in your mouth. The bacon topping is the perfect finish for this dish since it adds some crunchiness to it and some additional flavor. The casserole is also made with three types of cheese: cream cheese, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar cheese.

The homemade sauce is rich and creamy thanks to the mix of sour cream, heavy cream, and cheese. I used the classic roux-based cheese sauce, where butter and flour are cooked together, and then the heavy cream and sour cream are added. As a result of this technique, you will have the creamiest and cheesiest casserole possible.

Due to mixing the ingredients together, and then adding pasta into it, the cheese proportionally and evenly integrates into this dish. Additionally, baking the casserole for 30 minutes after assembling it together, ensures you have a perfectly balanced and cheesy casserole. To make it even more amazing, I have added a buttery topping made of Ritz crackers!

Do I have to bake my Mac and Cheese Casserole?

For this recipe, I went ahead and baked the Mac and cheese casserole. However, if you are short of time, you can actually eat it right from the pan or just stick it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top. This will work just as well and is a great shortcut when you are running low on time.

How to make creamy Mac and Cheese Casserole?

For the exact direction, please see the recipe card below. Also, watch the short video tutorial attached for quick guidelines. But the general steps are as follows:

  1. Firstly, preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a casserole dish.
  2. Next, cook pasta until just tender. Preferably al dente.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the flour. Stir to combine.
  4. Then, add the milk, heavy cream with cornstarch and evaporated milk. Add seasoning.
  5. Simmer and add the sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar, and mozzarella cheese.
  6. Mix the sauce, then add the cooked pasta into it.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Pour into prepared dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

What is the best cheese to use for Mac and Cheese Casserole?

This totally depends on your taste and preference. Any good quality melting cheese will perfectly work for this dish. A combination of cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan is what I usually use. Similarly, a sharp white cheddar cheese, Monterrey, or Asiago will produce a smooth, rich and creamy sauce.

What should I serve with Macaroni and Cheese Casserole?

This dish is very versatile, and can be served as it is, or with various pairings. Some suggestions would be:

How to freeze mac and cheese casserole?

  • To freeze, transfer the mixture to a buttered 9-by-13-inch freezer-to-oven baking dish.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • Bake, frozen and covered with foil, at 350°F, for 1 hour.

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole Recipe Tips:

  • Before baking the casserole, make sure the pasta is not overcooked. Preferably, the pasta has to be al dente, since it will cook some additional time in the oven.
  • Similarly, you do not have to cover the casserole with foil when baking. This way, the topping will get golden brown and crunchier.
  • Additionally, use quality cheese. If you want a truly creamy texture, it is best not to use pre-shredded cheese. Take the extra few minutes and shred your own cheese.
  • You don’t need to rinse the cooked pasta for this recipe especially if you will be using pre-shredded cheese. This way the starch from the pasta will thicken the sauce.
  • Feel free to swap cheeses for a combination of whatever you have on hand. Such cheeses as Asiago, Gouda, smoked Cheddar, Monterrey, will work just as well.

Save Recipe
5 from 9 reviews

Best Mac and Cheese Casserole

Mac and Cheese Casserole is creamy, cheesy and very easy to make. This homemade version is made with there different types of cheese and topped with bacon.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hr


Cheese Sauce:

Buttery Cracker Topping:

Other Toppings:


Cheese Sauce:

Buttery Cracker Topping:

Other Toppings:


Nutrition information

Calories: 496 Carbohydrates: 21 Protein: 32 Fat: 31 Saturated Fat: 11 Cholesterol: 55 Sodium: 1094 Potassium: 344 Fiber: 1 Sugar: 7 Vitamin A: 945 Vitamin C: 0.2 Calcium: 681 Iron: 1.5
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Hey! When do you add the dry spices?


After the evaporated milk.



Kids are going to love this! I love that bacon on top!



Great for Thanksgiving





If I double this for Thanksgiving do I double everything?


Yes, double everything please if you plan on making two different casseroles. If only a giant one, you have have to add more liquid to the sauce.


Mary Andrews

Made this for birthday celebration to go with hot wings. YUM. 



How big is one serving?


about 2 cups



Not a fan of mozzarella.  Can you suggest a substitute?  


You can use such cheeses as Provolone, Swiss, Fontina. Or simply go with your favorite kind, as long as it melts well, you should be good to go. In reality, any cheeses work great for this recipe. Hope this helps!



What is the serving size? I'm counting calories...



If your counting calories, you probably shouldn’t eat this. . . Well maybe a Tablespoon 🧀🥓🧀🧀🧀🧀🥓🥓🧀🧀🧀🧀🧀🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🧀🧀🧀🧀🧀🧀🧀🥓🥓🥓🥓🧀🧀



How many people will this casserole feed if using as a side dish? I’m doing this for thanksgiving and there will be 10 of us. Should I double it?


as a side dish it serves 8-10 people.



I brought this dish to a Friendsgiving dinner ( bring a dish event) It was a big hit. Several people sought me out to express how much the enjoyed it, and where to get the recipe. I personally have never been a Mac & cheese fan, but I consider myself converted, at least with this recipe. Kudos


Hi Stephen, glad you have loved this recipe! thanks for stopping by!


Mindi Morgan

This looks amazing! I’m having the whole family over for a holiday party and want to serve this! Can I make this a day ahead and keep refrigerated before baking? I only noticed where you said it can be frozen.


Yes! You can do that!


Brad Morris

This recipe is awesome. I've made it several times for family and friends. The only change I would recommend is reducing the thyme from one teaspoon, to 1/4 teaspoon, or 1/2 teaspoon at most. The thyme can really overpower this dish, especially if you're not used to it. I also don't use bacon with it very often, so that's definitely optional. It's very easy to make despite the prep time, but definitely don't deviate from the recipe otherwise and you'll be pleased!



Wonderful recipe for mac and cheese. It made a great side dish that was a hit with my kids. Thank you for sharing it. Will be making this again for sure.


Dave Anderson

My son who is a super picky eater requests mac & cheese casserole at least once a week. This is a real game changer.


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