Emma’s Favorite Baked Macaroni

Best baked macaroniDid you know that I am a baked macaroni lover? It's probably not all that surprising. Especially once you know about deep-seated risotto love. I'm a creamy, cheesy carb lover! I have been making variations of baked macaroni for years now and I must say that this is one of my all time favorites.
Baked macaroni recipeI think what I love most about this version is the addition of stock (instead of all milk or, gasp, water) to the sauce. And the fact that I like to use half pepper jack cheese. I love the little extra kick it gives the dish. Sometimes I (or Trey, if I'm being honest) will make our own bread crumbs. But if I'm feeling lazy or pressed for time I will use panko instead. Panko is awesome for so many things. 🙂
Pepper jack baked macaroniEmma's Favorite Baked Macaroni, makes one 9 inch pan (like a pie pan). Serves 4-5.

8 ounces uncooked pasta
4 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup flour
pepper, red pepper, dry mustard and garlic salt to taste
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
small handful of chopped chives
1 cup panko bread crumbs

In a pot heat enough water to cover the pasta plus a few teaspoons salt over high heat until boiling. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Be sure to under cook the pasta just a little, because it will absorb more moisture when it bakes. Strain and set aside.

In the meantime, in a large pot melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, so it bubbles as it cooks. Stir every so often and allow to cook for a few minutes. This is called a roux. I have no idea how to say that out loud. I'm a reader. Season with your favorite spices, mine are listed above. Now pour in the stock and milk, stir to combine. Stir in 1 cup pepper jack cheese and 1 cup cheddar or colby jack cheese and stir until melted. Add the pasta and pour into your baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, chives and then bread crumbs. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.Deli style baked macaroniI've also had good luck making this the day ahead. Prepare as instructed above except leave off the bread crumbs, cover and refrigerate over night. The next day add the bread crumbs and bake as usual. Dinner guests won't be able to tell the difference. Enjoy! xo. Emma

  • i made this last night for some friends who i found out were coming over just a few hours before. i had every ingredient that i needed already in the apartment. it was delicious, it was spicy (which i was not expecting but a welcome surprise!) and my friends devoured it. thanks for a great recipe share.

  • Looks so yummy! That looks way better than regular kraft dinner 😉



  • I`m a maccaroni lover to!And it`s such a easy meal to do and practically always turns out good!
    Your`s made me hungry going to prepare diner now 🙂


  • i made this last night for dinner! i baked a double batch and added bacon and broccoli. it was delicious. thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • Ohhh noooo, will make me more fat. Coz it,s sooo yummy, i love macarony baked so much.

  • i’m constantly looking for cast iron skillet recipes – i will be making this one soon!

  • Curse my evil diary allergy. I miss cheese so much. My mouth is watering reading this post. Thanks a bunch. XOX

  • I’ve been in the mood for baked mac & cheese for a week or so now – will definitely have to try your version, it looks delicious! I see other commenters have already covered the “roux” pronunciation, so I will skip the French lesson!

  • Roux is pronounced “Roo” and means something like russet in french. Thanks for this hearty recipe !

  • hmmm… how to make this vegan… maybe some Daiya and Earth Balance? oh Emma, this is so tempting to eat in full cheesy goodness…

  • Its “roo”!And its the best way to thicken any dairy sauce (alfredo, bechamel, ect). Beautiful pictures!

  • Roux = Roo. I think its a southern thing. We have lots of words that end “oux” in texas/Louisiana. 🙂

  • We just had some baked mac & cheese at a local restaurant that was less than savory – and we normally LOVE Mac & Cheese! THis looks DELISH, and I’m TOTALLY going to try to make this at home soon! Thanks!

    -Daisy Nguyen from the PS BANANAS! fashion blog: http://psbananas.com

  • I use crushed up Weetabix and grated cheese to top my macaroni. It’s a texture sensation!

  • Gosh that looks sooooo good. Comfort food. I will definitely be making this!


  • this looks amazing! baked macaroni is one of my favorite guilty pleasure foods, i love emma’s twist on recipes!



  • Nice idea ! I’ll try !
    (and yes, as Julie said, “a roux” is pronounced “roo”. And it is also a type of red / orange color 🙂 )

  • I know how it’s said (“roo,” as in “kanga-“), but I don’t know how to do it…despite the written directions. And that’s killing me because there are SO many recipes I’ve stumbled upon recently that call for a roux. (I, too, believe the world should be covered in cream and cheese.)

    So, maybe, for your next Kitchen Basics, you could post a video of roux-forming? Roux-making? Rouxing? I’d watch that.

  • I came to comment to share the pronunciation, but it’s covered above. A roux is one of the three “mother sauces” of French cooking–meaning, most of French cooking is based on one of the three. A “roux” is the sauce, of course, and it is also the word for a russian man or a redheaded man in French. Just a little FYI in case you’re interested.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love baked macaroni and cheese and always love to try out new versions. I’ve not heard of using stock in it, so I’m definitely going to try this. Thank you! I love the blog, too.

  • Who isn’t a creamy cheesey crab lover?! Haha! This looks absolutely delicious! xo


  • Emma, that looks so delicious! I love you recipes, they always look so yummy and makes me wanna start learning how to cook! x

  • I believe “roux” is French for a type of red color, but I’m definitely sure it’s pronounced “roo.”

  • This looks so yummy! I can’t wait for homemade food when I go home for the holidays.

  • Mmmmm… that looks amazing! 🙂

  • I know what I’ll be cooking as soon as my final exams are over! These photos are going to make me drool!!!

    xo kelsey @ Time Stand Still

  • I’ve made it with stock (because we ran out of milk) and it wasn’t too bad 🙂

  • Is it a bad thing if I don’t think I’ve ever tried baked macaroni… maybe it’s because I’m not a fan of the boxed kind. Your recipe looks delicious though, because it’s made with REAL ingredients, and it look so rich, flavorful and cheeeeesy. Yum!


  • Sounds yummy, will definitely try this! With pepper jack! (And you say “rue”.)

  • Looks yummy! Roux is pronounced “roo,” like Kanga’s baby from Winnie the Pooh.

  • delicious! But you know what, its the photography on this blog that I really love. Those colors, textures and contrasts.

    Keep up the good work

    Laura x


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.