Vintage 1800s Macaroni and Cheese

Baked macaroni and cheese

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Macaroni and cheese has been around for a long time, and this 1800s recipe proves it. The recipe is actually adapted from the cookbook, The Virginia Housewife (1824). It's an example of a very early recipe for macaroni and cheese, layered and baked in a hot oven.

With only four ingredients, this recipe is short and sweet. 


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 375 F to 400 F (quick oven).

  2. Boil as much macaroni as will fill your dish, until quite tender.

  3. Drain and sprinkle a little salt over it. Put a layer of macaroni in your baking dish. Add a layer of sliced cheese then a layer with a few bits of butter. Add new layers of macaroni, cheese, and butter until the dish is full.

  4. Place thin slices of cheese on the top, and then bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes.