Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Extra creamy macaroni and cheese

Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Mac n' cheese is often a family favorite, and this recipe will not disappoint. This extra creamy macaroni and cheese casserole is rich and flavorful due to a combination of shredded cheddar and American cheeses, along with light cream and Dijon mustard. The buttery croissant crumbs sprinkled on top of this casserole are the ideal finishing touch, but feel free to use soft fresh breadcrumbs in the recipe instead.


  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose ​flour 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups light cream (or half-and-half)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese (divided)
  • 1 cup croissant crumbs (or soft breadcrumbs)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 2-quart baking dish.

  2. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions; drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

  3. In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat until foamy; stir in the flour, and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute.

  4. Add the milk and light cream, along with the salt, pepper, and mustard. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.

  5. Add 1 cup of each type of cheese and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and add the drained macaroni; blend well.

  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese.

  7. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the croissant crumbs. Sprinkle over the casserole.

  8. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until bubbly and nicely browned.

  9. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Recipe Variation

You can replace the cheddar or American cheeses with almost any other type of shredded cheese. Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, Havarti, Muenster, and Gouda are all good choices.