Baked macaroni and cheese has a rich, creamy texture and is so easy to make. Just pop it in the oven and forget about it and you’ll have a perfect balance of creamy sauce and savory noodles, making it a true comfort food classic. Prep in under 30 minutes, with only 5 ingredients.
This baked macaroni pie is loaded with cheddar cheesy goodness for the ultimate comfort food. A simple to make recipe that can be made ahead of time or in just a few minutes, perfect for busy weeknights or to take to a potluck.
I’m not sure why we called this dish a pie and not a pasta casserole, maybe because it’s baked. There is nothing sweet about this side dish recipe, just savory.
Unlike my macaroni and cheese with spinach, this macaroni pie does not have a crispy topping and you don’t need to make a white sauce.
All you need is milk, eggs, cheese, butter, and macaroni! It can’t get any easier than that.
What makes this recipe a favorite is the intense flavor from sharp cheddar cheese. While cream is the main ingredient in a traditional mac & cheese recipe, this recipe is more cheese focused.
Using a quality cheddar, and lots of it, is key to next level macaroni.
Why this macaroni pie is to die for
- It’s seriously so easy to make
- You can prep a macaroni casserole ahead of time for a quick side dish
- It’s loaded with lots of cheese
- You can serve this with almost any main dish
- It’s kid approved
Ingredients for a baked macaroni recipe
- Macaroni – Classic elbow macaroni is my favorite for this recipe but you can use other macaroni shapes as well.
- Butter – Unsalted butter works best because you can control the salt, if using salted butter, decrease the salt in the recipe.
- Cheese – A block of sharp cheddar cheese is perfect for this macaroni dish. Grating your own cheese allows it to melt better and it has more flavor.
- Milk – Whole milk will make this the creamiest. Skim milk will not give you a creamy pasta dish.
- Eggs – These give it some texture
Pro tip: When melted cheese is a key part of your dish, make sure to buy it in a block and not pre-packaged. Pre-packaged grated cheese has a coating on it that keeps it from sticking together and it will not melt as well in a casserole.
How to make macaroni pie
Step 1: Prepare
Grease a baking dish and cook macaroni in a large pot of salted water as directed on the package.
Step 2: Combine
Add butter and some of the cheese to the cooked macaroni while it’s still hot. Add the eggs and milk to the pasta. Give it a good stir until everything is combined.
Step 3: Bake
Add the macaroni mixture to a baking dish, top with the remaining cheese, then bake.
Pro tip: Salt the boiling water before adding macaroni. Salted water absorbs into the pasta as it cooks.
Use room temperature liquids – Cold liquids take longer to melt and thicken than room temperature. Using room temp milk and eggs will help thicken this delicious casserole and speed up the cooking process.
Extra cheese – Although sharp cheddar is my favorite cheese, you can add other types of cheese as well or add a combination. Try colby, parmesan or mozzarella for something different, or make it spicy and add pepper jack.
Questions you might have about baked macaroni
Can you make macaroni pie ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. Simply cover with tin foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. A prepared casserole will last up to 2 days in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature and take the plastic wrap off and bake when ready.
How do you store macaroni pie?
You can store macaroni pie in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or oven for an easy lunch the next day. Make sure you let the casserole cool to room temperature before storing.
What should I serve with macaroni casserole?
I love serving this classic macaroni pie with smash burgers, or barbecue chicken. Macaroni goes great with a savory source of protein and when paired together, it makes a complete and delicious meal.
More pasta recipes to try
- This ricotta cheese and broccoli pasta recipe is a fun twist on classic macaroni
- If you need a crowd pleaser weeknight dinner, this lemon chicken pasta recipe is for you
- My ranch chicken pasta bake is the perfect recipe for potlucks or other family gatherings
- Get some veggies with a baked cauliflower pasta
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
Baked Macaroni Pie with Just 5 Ingedients
- ¾ lb elbow macaroni
- 8 tablespoons butter 1 stick
- 16 ounces cheddar cheese grated (4 cups)
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 3 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a 9 x 13 casserole dish
- In a large pot bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta per package directions. Drain and place back in the pot.
- While still hot, add butter and stir until melted. Next add 3 cups of the cheese, reserve the last cup for the top. Stir until it has partially melted then add the milk and last, add the beaten eggs. Stir until combined.
- Pour into the prepared casserole dish and cover with cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until it is bubbly and the cheese on top has melted.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Don’t add the eggs directly to hot pasta or they will scramble. Add the cheese and milk first to cool it down, then gradually add the eggs.
- You can make this ahead of time, just let it come to room temperature before baking.
- This makes great leftovers, just re-heat in the microwave or in the oven. If it is dry, just add a little milk or water before heating.
- Try not to use packaged grated cheese, it will not melt as well as if you grate it yourself.
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