• 1 pound of elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces (or more) shredded cheese (pick your favorite)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of panko crumbs

Homemade baked macaroni & cheese a true comfort food for all! Just the thought of those bubbling cheeses & pasta baking to perfection in the oven makes me smile and want to run to the kitchen and start making some right now!

I kept experimenting with this recipe until I got it right and instead of bread crumbs I went with panko crumbs. I like panko because it doesn’t get soggy and stays crunchy after baking.

This baked macaroni & cheese recipe is what I call a true crowd-pleaser. It’s creamy & cheesy which satisfies me and yet rich, comforting & complex enough to please those adults wanting that good ol’ baked macaroni & cheese.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pot, boil the water to cook the pasta to al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep whisking for about five minutes. Make sure that the mixture is free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
  4. Temper in the egg. Stir in 1/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese.
  5. Melt butter in a pan and toss the panko crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the pank crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.