Busy days and chilly nights call for a Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese recipe just like this one!
Homemade and super creamy, baked macaroni and cheese casserole is the best comfort food! This recipe is loaded with noodles, ham, and cheese that even the pickiest of eaters will love. Prep one up in the morning, save it in the fridge, and pop it in the oven later. Dinner is served!
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
Best Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
Casserole recipes are the best for saving money, time, and clean up in the kitchen! All it takes is one pan and an oven, and this multi-purpose entrée is ready to go! This mac and cheese casserole is the ultimate comfort food that can be ready at a moment’s notice! Some of our fave sides to serve mac and cheese casserole with are healthy oven roasted asparagus and a tangy spinach strawberry salad. Add some cheesy breadsticks as a tasty addition the kids will love!
Ingredients and Variations
Baked mac and cheese is a basic recipe that’s a winner on its own, but there’s always room for flexibility!
- Cream of Chicken Soup Swap out the soup for a rich and creamy canned nacho cheese soup, and use shredded cheddar or even Velveeta and Rotel brands of cheese sauce.
- Milk Use whole or skim milk. Or, go for heavy cream for an even thicker sauce, if preferred.
- Ham Stick with ham or try shredded chicken, pork, sausage, or even mini meatballs.
- Pasta Perfect pasta options are penne, shells, rotini, or ziti. Create your own signature dish with whatever is on hand!
- Veggies and Other Add Ins Meatless Monday or going vegetarian? Use ½” slices of potato, eggplant, or zucchini in place of carb-heavy pastas. Add a bit of salsa or taco seasoning for a south-of-the-border flair! Garnish with sour
- cream and some sliced green onions— the possibilities are endless!
How To Make Baked Mac and Cheese
Homemade macaroni and cheese is an easy entrée or make ahead meal that everyone loves.
- Prepare pasta ‘al dente.’ It will continue to cook in the oven.
- Combine ham, cheese, and soup, two cups of the cheese and milk.
- Add pasta and toss to coat thoroughly. Scoop into a prepped casserole dish, add topping.
- Bake until heated through according to recipe instructions below.
Casseroles often taste better the next day and this one is no different! Store covered in the refrigerator and it should last about 3 days. It’s a great take-along for school or work the next day!
Other Cheesy Casseroles To Try
- 3 Cheese Corn Casserole with Bacon – delicious and different.
- Cracker Barrel Copycat Hashbrown Casserole – always a favorite.
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole – a twist on a classic.
- Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes – so cheesy!
- Cheesy Broccoli Potato Casserole – a complete meal.
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb macaroni noodles uncooked
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled or 1 1/2 cups diced ham
- 2-10 ¾ ounce cans condensed cream of chicken soup
- ⅔ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 cup cracker crumbs
- 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar or Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- In a large bowl combine bacon or ham, soup, 2 1/2 cups of cheese and milk.
- Drain pasta; pour over sauce mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 13 x 9-in. baking dish.
- Top with crushed crackers and drizzle with butter. Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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