Easy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Macaroni and cheese casserole on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
527 Calories
38g Fat
22g Carbs
24g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 527
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 22g 108%
Cholesterol 195mg 65%
Sodium 591mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 562mg 43%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 176mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This baked macaroni and cheese casserole is easy to make with cheddar cheese and eggs along with milk and butter. There's no separate sauce to make for this version, making cleanup much easier than other versions made with a stovetop cheese sauce. Eggs and milk are whisked together and then combined with the cooked macaroni, butter, and shredded cheese. The eggs give the mixture a soft and creamy custard-like texture, and it is a real time-saver because there is no separate sauce to cook.

It's a simple, homey recipe that lends itself to many possible variations. Add some crumbled cooked bacon, diced cooked sausage, or diced ham, or change the cheese. Add some Velveeta cheese to the cheddar cheese, or use some Monterey Jack cheese. Pepper jack cheese can add some pleasant heat to the casserole. There are dozens of flavored cheeses to choose from; experiment with your favorites. See the recipe variations for more ideas.

This easy macaroni and cheese bake takes about 30 minutes in the oven, and it makes four generous servings.


Click Play to See This Baked Macaroni and Cheese Casserole Recipe Come Together


  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • Paprika, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy macaroni and cheese casserole recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C / Gas 4. Grease an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan or 2-quart casserole.

    Greased rectangular casserole dish

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water following the package directions.

    Macaroni in water in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Drain well.

    Cooked macaroni in a colander

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Return the pasta to the pot and add the butter; stir until melted.

    Butter being stirred into macaroni with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Add 2 cups of the shredded cheese. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.

    Cheese being stirred into macaroni with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with the milk.

    Milk and egg whisked together in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Add the milk mixture to the macaroni; stir until thoroughly combined.

    Macaroni and cheese mixture being stirred with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Spoon the pasta and cheese mixture into the prepared casserole or baking pan.

    Macaroni and cheese mixture in a rectangular casserole dish

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top along with paprika, if using.

    Cheese sprinkled on top of the macaroni and cheese mixture in casserole dish

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Bake the macaroni and cheese uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and browned and casserole is cooked through.

    Macaroni and and cheese casserole with lightly browned melted cheese topping

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


  • Cook the macaroni al dente at the most, as it will continue to cook when the casserole is baking in the oven—this way, the pasta won't get too soft.
  • For a crunchy, browned breadcrumb topping, toss 1 cup of finely shredded fresh breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the crumbs over the macaroni and cheese, and then bake as directed. Buttered panko crumbs may be used for a crispier topping.
  • There are many kinds of pasta to choose from, including whole-wheat and gluten-free pasta. Use your favorite kind of macaroni, or make it with pasta of a similar shape and size.

Recipe Variations

  • Crumble 4 to 6 strips of cooked bacon and add to the macaroni and cheese mixture. Spoon into the baking dish and proceed with the recipe.
  • Add 1 to 2 cups of diced cooked ham to the macaroni and cheese mixture. Spoon into the prepared baking dish and proceed with the recipe.
  • Add a few tablespoons of minced jalapeño peppers or add 1 small can of mild chopped green chile peppers.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Baked macaroni and cheese will keep in an airtight container for three to five days in the refrigerator.
  • It also freezes well; put the casserole in a freezer-safe container to use as a side dish for a family meal, or put in individual containers for lunches or snacks. Mac and cheese will last in the freezer for up to three months.