Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Bread Crumbs Recipe | I’ve never made real, honest-to-goodness macaroni and cheese that didn’t emerge from a blue box before. But I have been previously pondering the process a great deal lately. And after this was only a type of days where it truly hits you it is fall. I had been legitimately cold non-stop yesterday, and after this I even contemplated flipping on the heating as my thermostat continued you just read lower and minimize temps! (Side note: Can you suspect that?! It’s early September!) So, I kept pondering an excellent warm bowl of REAL mac and cheese. After which it, wouldn’t you comprehend it, I available Pinterest in this little phone, plus the pin on the top bar of my feed is for the delicious looking bowl of, you got it right, Macaroni and cheese.

That more or less settled it.

I often went this “Copycat Panera Mac & Cheese” recipe from my Pinterest feed as inspiration and modified it from there to fit what I had been wanting, specifically a baked macaroni and cheese with bread crumbs on top.

Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Bread Crumbs Recipe


Right here is the delicious bowl of macaroni and cheese I ended up with… suitable for a comfortable meal using a cool, fall day!

The end result was delicious — creamy, melty pasta with a touch of sweetness from your onions topped with crispy browned fresh breadcrumbs. This classic comfort meals is also quite addictive — my partner and I both returned towards the stove for seconds and thirds so on…


  • 2 cups (8 oz) macaroni (elbow mac is the classic but you can use whatever you like)
  • 2 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar or Colby cheese
  • 2 Tbsps butter (plus an additional tbsp for the breadcrumbs)
  • 2 Tbsps all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
  2. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the macaroni. While the pasta is cooking, grate the cheese. Cook the pasta until al dente then drain and move it to a bowl or put it back in the pot.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat then whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly to remove lumps, for three minutes.
  4. Gradually whisk in the milk then stir in the onion and add the bay leaf and paprika. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in 2/3 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the macaroni and stir to combine. Pour half the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle it with half of the remaining cheese. Add the rest of the macaroni mixture and top with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a small skillet and add the breadcrumbs. Toss to coat and cook for 30-60 seconds. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the top of the macaroni in the baking dish and bake until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned, about 30-35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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