Camille’s Macaroni and Cheese

August 18, 2016 (Last Updated: March 3, 2020)
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A plate of food with macaroni and cheese and other items

This is my friend Camille’s famous macaroni and cheese recipe. It’s the same recipe her mom makes, and I remember loving this macaroni and cheese when I was a young teenager. I still love it after all these years.

a foil baking dish filled with baked macaroni and cheese

It’s a very classic American macaroni and cheese, and even utilizes American cheese. Camille stresses that the best (and only) way to make this is with Land o’Lakes American cheese, and that it just isn’t the same with any other cheese. I’ve actually never made this myself (I just ask Camille to make it for me, ha!), so all the measurements and notes below are from her.

overhead view of bubbly baked macaroni and cheese

She bakes her’s covered, and then uncovers it toward the end to brown. I typically bake my macaroni and cheese uncovered, but feel free to try it out either way.

closeup of macaroni and cheese on a plate

Thanks Camille for allowing me to share your fabulous baked macaroni and cheese recipe!

A close up of macaroni and cheese in a foil baking dish

*Update 7/23/19* I recently made this recipe myself (prior to this I had simply shared Camille’s recipe) and it turned out perfect! This is seriously the creamiest and cheesiest macaroni and cheese. Definitely one of my all-time favorites. I’m sharing a couple new photos below from when I recently made it as a side dish for smoked ribs. I made a half recipe since it was a side dish and not a main dish, and it was still fabulous. It just baked a little shorter than the full recipe would (30 minutes covered, 15 minutes uncovered).

overhead view of a plate of ribs, mac and cheese, and slaw
closeup of baked macaroni and cheese with ribs in the background
Macaroni and cheese

Camille’s Macaroni and Cheese

Victoria
The BEST classic American baked mac and cheese recipe you'll ever try! It's gooey and cheesy with a fabulous buttery cracker topping. Enjoy it as a comforting main dish or as a lovable side.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Calories 687 kcal

Ingredients
  

Macaroni and Cheese:

  • 1 pound short pasta such as cavatappi or elbows
  • 2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds Land o’Lakes American cheese shredded

Topping:

  • 1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers crushed
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot and add the onions. Saute until the onions are softened, and then add in the flour, stirring constantly.
  • When the flour mixture starts to bubble, slowly stir in the milk, salt, and pepper. Keep stirring over medium-high heat, and once the milk has warmed up a bit (it should be warm to the touch but not anywhere close to boiling) add in the shredded American cheese.
  • Stir until creamy. You shouldn’t see any strings of cheese left in the mixture. Lower the heat and continue stirring constantly, or else it will stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • When the pasta water comes to a boil, salt it and add the pasta, cooking until almost al dente. Do not overcook the pasta because it will get mushy once it bakes. Remove the cheese mixture from the heat, and then strain the pasta in a colander.
  • Add the strained pasta to the cheese mixture and combine until well mixed. Pour the pasta and cheese sauce into a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
  • Combine the crushed crackers and melted butter in a mixing bowl and then sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
  • Bake covered for about 45 minutes. Uncover, then bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the crumb topping is golden brown and the edges are bubbly.
  • Let the macaroni and cheese cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving to allow it to set.

Notes & Nutrition

  • For the pasta we recommend Barilla Cellentani.
  • The American cheese has to be Land o’Lakes–we’ve tried it with other cheeses and it just isn’t the same.
Servings 8.0 * calories 687 * Total Fat 35 g * Saturated Fat 21 g * Monounsaturated Fat 3 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 108 mg * Sodium 1453 mg * Potassium 189 mg * Total Carbohydrate 61 g * Dietary Fiber 2 g * Sugars 15 g * Protein 27 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Camille
    March 3, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    5 stars
    We should probably title this, “Camille’s mom Claudia’s Macaroni and Cheese” because I pilfered the recipe from her. But it’s honestly the best mac and cheese recipe you’ll find! And I still stand by my emphatic rules that you MUST use Land O Lakes American cheese. I have given this recipe to lots of people, and they always tell me that they tried it with a different brand American Cheese and it just wasn’t the same.

    • Reply
      Victoria
      March 3, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Yes, it’s Camille’s mom Claudia’s macaroni and cheese it’s seriously the best, no contest.

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