Baked Macaroni & Cheese with a secret ingredient!

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Macaroni and cheese is an absolute favorite of kids and adults. This recipe for baked macaroni and cheese is super cheesy, creamy, and delicious! The key ingredient for its creamy smoothness is just enough sour cream to make this dish scrumptious without being overly rich.

homemade macaroni & cheese with a secret ingredient you wouldn't have guessed!

Macaroni and Cheese


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The first step in this recipe involves making a roux. Don’t worry if you’ve never made a roux before! It’s simply a mixture of fat — which can be butter or margarine, vegetable oil, bacon drippings, or even lard — and flour. This roux mixture is stirred over a low to medium heat, and it’s used to thicken a sauce, gravy or stew — in this case, a yummy cheese sauce!

This wonderful baked macaroni and cheese can be topped with bacon after baking if you like, just be sure to cook the bacon crisply, and it’s best to crumble or chop it after it’s cooked. If you like mac and cheese with breadcrumbs, you can lightly toss a cup of plain or seasoned breadcrumbs over the macaroni and cheese as soon as the cheese begins to melt, about 5-7 minutes into the baking time. This baked macaroni and cheese is very easy to make, so it’s a perfect recipe for first-timers — you will be proud of this homemade delight! Here are 3 quick tips that will ensure your success:

  • Read through this recipe carefully and set out your ingredients, including salt and pepper for seasoning. (If you’re feeling bold, you can experiment by adding seasonings like garlic powder and cayenne pepper to taste.)
  • Once your roux is made, stir it constantly while slowly adding in the milk.
  • Be sure to remove the mixture from the heat before adding the cheese and the sour cream. This is to keep the ingredients from separating and because sour cream will curdle if it’s boiled.


Macaroni & Cheese with a secret ingredient!
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Servings: 8 servings
  • 16 oz macaroni noodles cooked and drained
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. In large pot melt the stick of butter. Add flour and stir to create a roux. Stir over medium heat for one minute to let flour and butter settle together.

  2. Slowly add about 1 cup of milk at a time. Stir in milk and turn up heat to med-high, just until sauce is thick and bubbly.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups of shredded cheese. Once cheese is incorporated, now it's time for your secret weapon!!

  4. Remove from heat and add the sour cream.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Stir in cooked macaroni.

  5. Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and top with remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until cheese has melted on top.


Congratulations on deciding to make this homemade family favorite baked macaroni and cheese! You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to make, and definitely by how marvelous it tastes!

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese with a secret ingredient!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese with a secret ingredient!

Holly N

22 comments on “Baked Macaroni & Cheese with a secret ingredient!”

  1. Looks delicious! Thanks!

  2. OH My…That looks delish!!!

  3. I made it, and it was SO good! Best mac & cheese I have ever done! Thank you 🙂

  4. Cannot wait to try this recipe

  5. Great recipe! Super easy to make, quick and tastes amazing! I added bread crumbs on the top to add a little crunch on top of everything! Thanks! 🙂

  6. This is ONE of my secret weapons in my baked macaroni and cheese! I know this is good because it’s very close to mine!!

  7. Im confused of the amount of milk. Is it 3/4th cups of milk. Or 3..4 cups of milk. If thats the case that would be.. 12 cups?

  8. No, it means 3 to 4 cups. Maybe 3, maybe 4, maybe in the middle. You be the judge.

    This recipe looks tasty! I’d probably add some sort of meat, just habit. I’m looking forward to trying it!

  9. Quick question….If the sour cream will curdle if the mixture is to hot when you first add it to the creamy mixture then will it curdle when you put it in the oven to bake it?

  10. Can this be made earlier in the day and then baked when needed? It will be great to make when my in-laws come for family Christmas, but I want it done ahead of time.

  11. When you say to turn the heat off, I am assuming you also need to let it cool some before you add the sour cream (not just turn the heat off and add sour cream, I would think it would still be too hot). Please let me know as I am thinking of making this tomorrow.

  12. I have been using Sour Cream since 1997 for my Mac. and Cheese.

  13. I always use sour cream in my mac and cheese.Love it.

  14. Sour cream is a great secret ingredient in a lot of things, I have discovered…even scrambled eggs! Good find!

  15. This looks mouth tempting…Can`t wait to try this week…Thanks for sharing…

  16. Sounds so tasty cant wait to try this…..

  17. I add bacon, a few slices cooked and crumbled to this recipe! Yummmy!

  18. Made this many times now, everyone who has ever tried it says it’s the best they’ve ever had. Easy and sooooo good! In fact, just finished making it for thanksgiving brunch!

  19. Okay, I give up…what’s the secret ingredient?

  20. My secret ingredient for my mac n cheese is 4 Oz of Philadelphia Cream Cheese!
    Sour Cream is my secret ingredient for deviled eggs, to make the yoke mixture more creamy … I can’t wait to try your sour cream trick in my next mac n cheese!

  21. Sounds delicious. Can you freeze or does it not freeze well

  22. Great recipe but definitely gonna add more cheddar to the sauce and topping

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