Creamy Holiday Macaroni and Cheese

I call this our Holiday Macaroni and Cheese because as I talk to friends and see the pictures of all their family holiday dinners I notice that is seems just about everyone has macaroni and cheese on the menu. I noticed it in almost every picture that wasn’t a brunch picture on Easter Sunday. Almost every Thanksgiving photo has it too. It is usually the big 13 x 9 pan or the super big aluminum foil pans for large crowds, not the stove top creamy macaroni and cheese but more the southern style custardy-like dish.

With the cold weather hanging on here in the Midwest this is a perfect dish for holidays or warming comfort food!


This is my family’s hand down favorite macaroni and cheese that I make. It doesn’t hurt that the amount of cheese is just about double what I usually use! Let this dish set a bit before you serve it and it will cut easily into nice squares. We were in too much of a hurry to eat so we just scooped it out of the pan.

Yes, the recipe really is 16 oz of macaroni AND 16 oz of cheese. You can change the cheeses (texture will be different) and the pasta shapes to what your family will like.

Creamy Holiday Macaroni and Cheese

A creamy AND custardy style macaroni and cheese.


  • 16 ounces macaroni
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 16 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, cook until al dente. Strain and set aside.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Sprinkle the flour, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper over the melted butter, whisking until smooth.
  5. Stir in the milk 1 cup at a time, only adding the next cup once the previous one has been mixed through.
  6. Add 3/4 of the cheddar cheese, stir into the milk/flour sauce until melted. Stir in the macaroni.
  7. Pour into  baking dish. Top with the remaining extra sharp cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.



6 Comments Add yours

  1. Gotta satisfy my Mac craving. 🍃🧀


  2. This looks so good. I try to make mac-n-cheese at least once a week for my 19 and 21 year old kids. They still enjoy their favorite childhood meal.


  3. Looks delicious. We don’t do mac and cheese for holidays. Just party potatoes. When I make homemade “mac and cheese” I use gnocchi with cream cheese, cottage cheese and cheddar. It’s a family favorite that was created a few years ago when we were snowed in for a couple of days 🧡


  4. My family loves Macaroni Cheese, Marci. Thanks for sharing your recipe.


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