Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese - Mueller's Recipes | Mueller's Pasta
Macaroni noodles in a creamy cheese sauce with a sprinkle of black pepper
Macaroni noodles in a creamy cheese sauce with a sprinkle of black pepper

Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese

August 9, 2016

This classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese dish comes together quickly and is sure to be a family favorite thanks to its cheesy flavor.

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yields: 4 Servings


8 oz. (1/2 pkg) Mueller's Elbows

1/4 cup butter or margarine

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp salt (optional)

1/8 tsp dry mustard

1/8 tsp black pepper

2 cups milk

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese


1Preheat oven to 350˚F.

2Cook pasta for 3 minutes and drain well.

3In medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, mustard, salt, and pepper.

4Gradually add milk and cook until mixture is smooth and bubbly, stirring constantly.

5Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly.

6Turn heat to low and simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly.

7Gradually mix in cheese and stir until cheese is melted.

8Add pasta; mix lightly. Pour into 2-quart casserole.

9Top with croutons. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165-175 degrees.

Cooks Tip

Stir bacon, diced ham, or other add-ins into the mixture before transferring it to the casserole dish for a twist on a classic.



95 Reviews


June 13, 2022

When I got my first apartment and started cooking for myself I got a craving for my moms macaroni and cheese. Caller her for the recipe and she said have you got Mullers elbows or shells, yep, follow the recipe on the box and double the cheese ! Put 3/4 of the cheese in the sauce and sprinkle the rest over the top instead of crumbs ! I love the leftovers cold with a little salt for breakfast .


May 13, 2022

Best recipe out there. Use whole milk or half and half. Also add some hot sauce to the roux. This helps bring out the flavor of the cheese. Add some bread crumbs on top. Easy.

Mary Alspaugh

February 23, 2022

This is the absolute best mac and cheese recipe. My mother made it from the Mueller’s recipe on the elbows box and we loved it as kids. I add two shakes of garlic powder to the roux to wake up the flavor just a bit for my adult taste buds. It’s every bit as good as I remember. Five Stars!


February 6, 2022

I have made this recipe for years and we love it! Has anyone made it in a crockpot?


December 26, 2021

Great recipe, however I bake it about 45 minutes to the consistency of a casserole.


November 5, 2021

To Elaine July 2020.. My grandmother made her mac & cheese by sprinkling the sauce ingredients over the pasta and then poured the milk over the whole thing. It was just magical and so much quicker than making a roux first! You are the first person I’ve heard say that they have had mac & cheese this way! And I too am in my ‘60’s!! Thank you for proving I’m not crazy!


November 2, 2021

I might make the macaroni and cheese and macaroni and cheese just lovel

Cori B

October 17, 2021

My grandma has made this since as far back as I can remember, as does my mom. We always add in velveta cheese( I use half to 3-4th of a small block) and it’s the best.


July 28, 2021

I doubled the recipe -the flavor is good but the sauce did not get creamy. – (however, I have not put it in the oven yet)
I’m wondering if it needed to boil more or would corn starch be smoother?


April 27, 2021

Absolute best homemade recipe ever. Cheesy, delicious and super easy


February 7, 2021

My grandma used the original recipe from the box, during the depression, where you use what you can get which was American white cheese at the time. She passed it to my. mom. I’ve done the latest version with American cheese as well. It is the BEST! Brings me back.

Sheila Karina Maldova

February 2, 2021

I was shocked how good this tasted! I am for sue going to make this again.

Katie DeLavero

February 2, 2021

I LOVED this recipe. it brings me back to when i was a kid, and my grandma used to make a similar recipe. This is sooo good and the cheese melts. Please give this a 5 star.

Jane Paul

January 27, 2021

It was great but doesn’t always work.


January 27, 2021

I have been making homemade mac & cheese for almost 50 years. To the commenter above about the difference in the original recipe that was on the back of the box, and the newer version above. It is true – the original recipe called for 2-1/2 cups of milk, 2 tablespoons of flour, and 2 tablespoons of butter. That’s the one that I use. Since we only drink fat free milk in our house I have been using that to make my white sauce. Today I just put it together and I decided to use some half and half that I had in the frig, – about 3/4 cup – and the rest is the fat free. It does look creamer, although I did like the fact that the fat free milk is probably more healthy. I do this recipe from memory, I keep a supply of shredded sharp cheddar in the freezer, and you can put this together in about 15 minutes, start to finish. After cooking the macaroni or shells for about 6 minutes and then drain it, I then use the same pan to make my white sauce – only one pan to wash out. I buy a large block of good quality cheddar, and we cut it into quarters, my husband grates it and puts it into 4 small zip lock bags. It freezes great, and makes quick work when you want a great mac & cheese for dinner.

Tina Speight

December 20, 2020

Mueller’s recipe for Macaroni and Cheese has always been the way that I use. To make it mine own recipe and because I lover extra sharp cheese, I add more cheese then is noted in the recipe. My kids love it and so do I!

Vicki Sinner

November 14, 2020

I made this recipe because I only had two cups of milk. The older recipe I have used for over thirty years (cut from the box) calls for 2 1/2 cups. And less flour and butter. Maybe that is why it is runny in comparison? The flavor is pretty much the same.

Dave G

November 12, 2020

I have been making this for years and, when I was younger, my favorite aunt would always make this when I visited her and my uncle in another state. To this day, when I have people over, they always ask for my mac and cheese. I make the topping the same way my aunt did – we both follow the Mueller’s box recipe very carefully but the one change we make is to crush (not blend) about a cup or so of corn flakes and then mix them with an ounce or so of the cheese, finely grated. We put this on top, instead of bread crumbs, and it gives it a great flavor and a nice colorful topping.


October 31, 2020

Absolutely love it!! I added hot stuffed pepper chicken sausage and diced tomatoes. I just can’t get enough. Such a hit with the family!! Thank you so very much.

Andrea C.

September 28, 2020

This mac and cheese is the best! My dad used to make this for me growing up, and he would tell me it was his mom’s recipe that she would make for him. When I asked him for the recipe so I could make it in college he said “It’s from the Mueller’s box!” We have always had it with a side of stewed tomatoes. Yum! And hand grate *extra* sharp cheddar. We always topped it with breadcrumbs. Now that I have a toddler I can’t wait to make this for my daughter as she grows up!

Patricia Fitzpatrick

September 20, 2020

I have eaten/made this Mueller’s Magic Mac & Cheese about one thousand times. I ALWAYS do it doubled because the leftovers get fried for lunches and is even MORE TASTY! We were very poor growing up so we had to use “government cheese” back in the 1960’s. After things got better, we used Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp by the block. Thanks for being there, Mueller’s. Even poor people can eat like kings with Mueller’s Magic Mac & Cheese!

Favorite Parent

September 12, 2020

Love this recipe! My mom made it for us and I made it for my kids. My ex-husband pretends he introduced it to my kids from the Joy of Cooking cookbook. Whatever.


August 2, 2020

I grew up eating this meal. My mom would add hamburger to it and make a casserole. My children all make this meal now for their families. I remember when my mom was making this meal one time I said “Mom, you have to make sure to give me this recipe”. She said “it’s on the back of the box”. I thought it was a secret family recipe. It does taste better when the mom cooks it though. I think this and so do my kids!


July 22, 2020

I really like this recipe! But, when I was a child my grandmother put cubed extra sharp in it and sprinkled maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour with lots of black pepper and some small cubes of butter as she sort of layer everything. Then she would pour milk over top and add crushed saltines on top. She did add stewed tomatoes occasionally. Just wondered if anyone else over 65 had Mac and cheese like this?

Lee Andrea

July 5, 2020

Great recipe. My Mom made it for a family of 5. I did remember the dry mustard being in the recipe. I also made it right off the Muellers for my family. I’m 66 now and wonderful memories. It’s in the oven right now. Thanks so much!


June 3, 2020

I love this recipe. Our twist is to crumble plain potato chips on top, bake tented with aluminum foil until 10 minutes before done, then untent to finsh crisping. Delicious!


May 30, 2020

Always the best. You can play around with different cheeses or additions it’s still our one and only fave.

Donna Douglas

March 24, 2020

Thank you! For years I’ve missed myGrandmothers mac & cheese. TRUE comfort food.


March 15, 2020

This is a family favorite. I make it with gluten free pasta and gluten-free flour. I also like to add a little garlic powder and onion powder. I’ve also substituted alternate milks such as almond or cashew milk. They both work great. Delicious!

Jan Christopher Hornberger

March 11, 2020

I don’t remember the dry mustard being on the box, but my Mom and Gram always used extra sharp cheese and either use crushed saltines or bread crumbs with some reserved cheese to sprinkle over the top for the last 15 minutes until the edges were brown and the center was golden.

Patrice S.

February 20, 2020

I have been making this for 30 plus years, my mom made it before that. I always used Cracker Barrel, Cabot, Hellava Good , NY State sharp or extra sharp cheddar. But for the last year–Gruyere–over the top delish, topped with plain bread crumbs, parsley and melted butter. Yum!!!

Patrice Satterfield

February 20, 2020

I have been making this for 30 plus years, my mom made it before that. I always used Cracker Barrel, Cabot, Hellava Good , NY State sharp or extra sharp cheddar. But for the last year–Gruyere–over the top delish, topped with plain bread crumbs, parsley and melted butter. Yum!!!


February 11, 2020

Love it! I find that Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar in the bar that I grate myself is the best cheese for this recipe…It’s in a black wrapper called sharp yellow today. I top it off with a thick layer of the sharp grated cheese on top…If I make a crunchy topping, I just run 3 to 4 slices of bread through my blender and put on top layer then drizzle 1/2 stick of melted margarine over bread crumbs…Makes a great crisp topping…


January 21, 2020

My grandmother made this over 60 years ago. I always think of her when I am making this Mac and Cheese for my grandchildren. Great opportunity to talk about family history. My grandmother always added a can of stewed tomatoes to recipe and covered top with breadcrumbs. Love it.

Sharon Lea

January 11, 2020

Muller’s is the best of the best. Mom made it and now I make it. Passing it on to my daughter.

Sharon Lea

January 11, 2020

Muller’s is the best of the best. Mom made it and now I make it. Passing it on to my daughter.


December 24, 2019

Definitely one to keep!


November 24, 2019

My grandmas Mac & cheese was a thing I ate constantly as a kid. Growing up, we were always told it’s her secret recipe & she wouldn’t share how she made it. When I was in college & her memory was fading I asked her to teach me & she showed me the back of the Mueller’s box! I can’t believe for all those years she kept it a secret. Best recipe & one of my favorite things to make, especially since grandma passed in 2015. Thank you for the family memories Mueller’s!


October 11, 2019

Always double the recipe and use half smoked Gouda and half sharp cheddar!! The best Mac n cheese you will ever have!!

Robin Linn

September 29, 2019

I have been using this recipe for about 8 years now. First saw it on the Muellers\s macaroni box and it’s always my go to recipe. The only thing I change is the cheese and I substitute half for Velveeta. Sometimes I will add pepper jack or whatever is in the fridge. Either way, it is always good. The dry mustard is the key!

Dianne Tarsitano

July 11, 2019

This is my favorite mac and cheese. I add some Mozzarella,
Yum! Making it tomorrow for my bridge group…plan to use 1/2 buttermilk and 1/2 milk


June 30, 2019

This is my go to Mac n Cheese. I use sharp Cooper that we smoke.
Any suggestions if I wanted to make this for a large group of people in a large Roaster? Such as time and temp?

Louis Alarcon

May 26, 2019

I used the recipe on the box for many years. Never altered from the original except for some alterations where I would add chopped onions, diced ham and even sausage for make casseroles. One day I was travelling through a rural part of Florida and stopped at a mom and pop restaurant. Their mac and cheese was unbelievable. I asked the waitress if I could get the recipe from the cook. She came back and said that she was sorry but the recipe was his mom’s secret. I returned a year later and again ordered the mac and cheese. This time I asked to speak with the cook. He came out and introduced himself at the son of the owners. I whined and told him I had driven many miles just for that dish and begged him to give me the secret. He finally broke down and told me it was very simple. When making the cheese sauce, use 1/2 milk and 1/2 buttermilk. What a difference that made and it even allowed me to cut down on the amount of salt I used. Try it, you’ll like it.

Julie D’Antoni

April 9, 2019

My mother had this recipe using corn starch instead of flour. When I got married, I cut the recipe off the back of the box, and still make it this way. It’s the best!! Thank you Muellers.


January 21, 2019

I’ve been making this for 40 years now. I use the “older” recipe that uses 2 T cornstarch instead of flour and 2 T butter. I always saute some chopped onion and garlic in a small amount of olive oil along with some ham cubes to add to the cheese sauce. Great comfort food!!

Elvis Smoothbore

December 28, 2018

Made this in the firehouse many times. Always fills the crew up!


November 21, 2018

This recipe is a big hit for holidays! I use Vermont extra sharp cheese by Cabot. I use extra cheese! It takes a long time to cook. Everyone loves this!

Devon Perez

November 20, 2018

This has been the recipe my mom used (which is on the back of the Elbows box) and now I use. The only difference is that I use a little bit of breadcrumbs on top and add some remaining shredded sharp cheddar on top, and for the butter I always use Kerrygold Irish butter. I made this today for my husband’s office Thanksgiving potluck and had to quadruple the recipe, still came out fantastic!!!

Mary Kuks

November 18, 2018

I have been looking for this recipe forever. My Mom used to make it 50^60 years ago when I lived in the Bronx. I have been living in AZ for many yrs now and I can only find Mullers spaghetti then someone told me to Google it a d was. Very excited to find it. Thank you
a wait to try it now


November 17, 2018

This is the recipe that my other used and now I use it too. Sometimes I make tweaks to the recipe but for the most part it’s the same. I’ll be making this for Thanksgiving.


October 24, 2018

This is my favorite mac n cheese recipe ever! I’m making it for our work lunch and trying to figure out how to keep it warm. Has anyone ever put this into a crock pot?? I have made this several times, just never put it into a crock pot. Thanks for the help!


August 1, 2018

Since 1929 I saw my grandmother use your pasta products. They are excellent. I will make her MAC & Cheese.. Nice and grated Sharp Cheese Hot….thanks …

Sharon Y.Burt

August 1, 2018

Since 1929 I saw my grandmother use your pasta products. They are excellent. I will make her MAC & Cheese.. Nice and grated Sharp Cheese Hot….thanks …

Sharon Y.Burt

August 1, 2018

It good all the time. The great Mac & Cheese. I have used Muller products every since I seen them I. My grandmothers kitchen 1929 North Carolina ,Cary. Rate #1 ,5 stsr


June 23, 2018

I have made this recipe many times over the years and it is always turns out perfect…..delicious!


May 29, 2018

I LOVE this recipe! My mom had been using it for ages except she used AMERICAN cheese. My guess is that, that was the only cheese available during the Depression when her mom showed her. Now what I do is get the sliced AC from the deli. The BEST! Thanks mom!


May 15, 2018

Best on planet earth. Mom made this too.


May 14, 2018

I have been making a Muellers Mac and Cheese for years . The recipe changes on the box of elbows every so often.. Don’t know why. The recipe I recall and use has dry mustard ,salt and pepper, 5 cups of milk ,and CORN STARCH . I got this off of a box about 40 years ago .

Kathie Scott

March 22, 2018

I have used this recipe for at least 35 years and nothing else comes close! I use Velveeta but sometimes use some Mexican shredded mix with it…super melty. I usually use corkscrew but have used almost all shapes depending on what’s in the pantry. If using other than elbow I add a little extra sauce. The best Mac and cheese ever!


February 6, 2018

My grandmother used to make this for us. She was a great cook, but we never got her recipe for her baked Mac n cheese (I refuse to eat the stuff out of a box). We thought one of our favorite dishes was lost to us and then I tried the recipe on the box of Mueller’s elbows one day. I’ll be ‘darned’ if it didn’t taste exactly like Grandma’s recipe! Grandma had us fooled! LOL. I’ve added in my own touches over the years, Now I love it with butter toasted breadcrumbs and freshly grated parm/reg on top and I add in, just before pouring it into a baking dish, some pancetta that I’ve cooked (not quite browned, it gets to hard and chewy) on the stovetop & drained. May we all continue to enjoy a recipe worth of handing down!


January 27, 2018

I have never cooked mac & cheese so much! I only would do it literally once a year but I have been making this dish a lot lately. My boys love it! Easy to make, not a lot if time abd delicious.


November 25, 2017

I had to laugh…asked my MIL for her recipe (as my nieces were coming and love her mac and cheese). She’s too old to make it and I didn’t want the family recipe to be lost. She started to tell me, but then said…oh just look on the box of Meuller’s I use their recipe. Thanks for the family secret!


November 22, 2017

I cooked this in October and everybody really enjoyed the taste totally used the recipe and I thought it had that home cooked church dinner taste thanks!

Walter Willaford

November 13, 2017

Great Mac and Cheese!
Learned from Mom. Seems like the recipe that she got off box. Always used extra sharp cheese. I’m now 74 and found the sharper the better. I use Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheese (8 oz brick). It’s the sharpest!


November 9, 2017

Love this = been making it for 40+ years. I use 8 oz. of Velveeta and 8 oz sharp cheddar (cuts the sweetness of Velveeta) top with Italian style breadcrumbs and dot with butter.. Use a full 16 oz. of elbows and divide into two casseroles. Freeze one for later.

Elizabeth Ann DiGiuseppe

June 26, 2017

I grew up eating this as a child was one of the favorite things my mother made for me no I make it for my child who is 26 and it brought back memories for her of her grandmother


June 22, 2017

I always use freshly grated EXTRA sharp cheddar and add a little cayenne to the cheese mixture. This is such a wonderful classic mac and cheese recipe!

Mueller’s Pasta

June 15, 2017

Hi Susan – It’s hard to say exactly, as we haven’t tested the recipe with corkscrews. You might need to add a little more milk to the sauce, as the corkscrew pasta will probably absorb a bit more liquid than the elbows. Also, you might think there isn’t as much sauce with the corkscrews, but that’s just because it snuck INTO the corkscrews. They have a slightly larger opening on the end than our elbows, so it’s there, just hiding! Let us know how using the corkscrews goes for you.


June 10, 2017

If I use corkscrews would that change the amount of the other ingredients?


May 1, 2017

I don” the know why but I have an aversion to elbow macaroni. I made this with elbows for years and had it as a kid. My children loved it. Then I stopped making it because it turned me off. I just started making it again only this time with Ziti with lines. Love it again.


April 24, 2017

My family has been making this recipe for years! a family favorite for sure- we also add two jars of Kraft Olde English cheese spread to the cheese mixture- delicious!!


March 30, 2017

My mother made this for me quite often. My only change is to slice tomatoes thin and plac on the top with a sprinkle of cheese over that.

Cheryl M

January 30, 2017

Fabulous recipe. Make it all the time. Agree on the sharp cheddar. I have used crushed bagel chips or toasted bread cut into cubes in the past.

Susan Kubler

January 28, 2017

I’ve been making this since I was a kid! I add a little chopped onion, use a variety of cheeses and have used leftover crushed potato chips,crackers,whatever for the topping, always taste terrific! My basic recipe is a little different than above, I cut it out from the box about 40 years ago….


January 7, 2017

I use 1 block of sharp cheddar and one block of pepper jack cheese. Top with Ritz or saltines or cracked pepper crackers. Excellent bite and been using the recipe for over 20 years. Yummy on a cold winter night like tonight.


December 24, 2016

This, with a twist, is my MIL’S famous Mac and cheese. She always doubles the enire recipe (and bakes in a 9×11 dish). She cooks the noodles al dente and replaces the flour with an equal amount of corn starch. Always sharp and extra sharp cheese and a good long bake to get crispy edges. I use panko crumbs on top, she doesn’t. Both ways are out of this world!

Aiden’s Grammie

December 24, 2016

This has been my “go to” Mac n cheese recipe for years!
I use to have the recipe taped to the inside of one of my kitchen cabinet doors so I wouldn’t loose it!
(Of course this was before the time of everything being easily accessible online) lol

Cody H

December 22, 2016

My grandma made this recipe for as long as I can remember and then passed it down to me. The only difference is she would add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and only use Cracker Barrel extra sharp cheddar cheese. It was always awesome no complaints.

Mueller’s Pasta

December 21, 2016

Yes, that’s correct. Because you’re adding the pasta to the sauce and baking it for an additional 25 minutes, the dry pasta only needs to cook for a few minutes in the boiling water.

Cynthia Hartsock

December 16, 2016

It says to cook noodles for 3 minutes. Is that correct? The box states 9 to 11 minutes.

Danielle B.

December 4, 2016

My mom has been making this all my life. For the cheese sauce, I suggest Cracker Barrel’s Sharp and Extra Sharp bars with a few slices of Swiss. The yellow mustard (instead of dried mustard) is a must, don’t skip it. Sprinkle some of the shredded Cracker Barrel on top before baking.
**The secret’s out. Sorry mom! ?**


November 24, 2016

Salt is listed in the directions but not in the ingredients


November 24, 2016

My mom made this all the time I make it for my kids and top it with a mixture of cheddar cheese and Italian flavor bread crumbs

Marie Graham

November 22, 2016

My Mom always put crushed Ritz crackers & a little squeeze Parkay so it wouldn’t burn. Also, a half teaspoon of yellow mustard works if you don’t have dry. Sharp cheddar cHeeSe? is best.

Marie Graham

November 22, 2016

My Mom covered the top with crushed up Ritz crackers & a little squeeze Parkay so it wouldn’t burn. And a half teaspoon of French’s yellow mustard works just fine.

Jessica Justice

October 27, 2016

My grandma always added a little Tabasco sauce! Never knew it till my 20’s . Also corn flake crumbs as the topping. I even put the corn flake crumbs on kraft mac n cheese now!


October 24, 2016

You must use sharp cheddar. I love sargento cheese. I always put shredded cheese all over the top. Then top that cheese with crushed ritz crackers. 1/4 inch thick . Everybody loves it.

DeBorah Hart

October 24, 2016

Great without the mustard
And using 3 kinds of cheese.
ExSharp White & Yellow in double boiler melt down
Mild Sharp shredded mixed in & Over the top.with patsy of butter.
Mac & Cheese is my families main course

Trudy Lapp

October 18, 2016

Yah! The in famous Comfort Food! I’m going to Try. Sheep Cheese, for the Lactose Intolerant. With some Straicha Hot a Sauce-Cut up Chicken Breast, Sounds like a Delightful PotLuck Dinner!!! Thanks for letting me Post, never have done this sort of Thing, Fun!


October 13, 2016

It is a huge hit with my kids. We have at least twice a month. We use sharp cheddar cheese that we grate ourselves. That makes a huge difference in the taste. No pre-shredded cheese!

Penny waren

October 7, 2016

I bake mine in an 8x8x2 Pyrex dish. Before baking put grated medium cheddar cheese on top of the macaroni mixture. Then dot it with butter, and sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper over the top. Bake 35 to 30 minutes.. It will be hot and criispy.. Serve.with warmed canned tomatoes. .


October 2, 2016

I have been making this since 1975, and my mother way before that! To update it, I use 4 different cheeses, sundried tomatoes and basil.


September 29, 2016

The cheese is the key to mac and cheese and throughout the years I have always been looking for the right cheese to make it taste like my Mom’s and my Aunts. However the cheese that my Mom used just doesn’t taste the same as it use to. Please send info for your cheese, the name, type, where purchased, etc. I would so appreciate it.

Janet Ball Stikeleather

September 28, 2016

Will definitely have to try this. Sounds delicious! Bacon add in will be a must.? Thanks.

Diana Robles

August 30, 2016

I always cook this recipe for Thanksgiving and everybody loves it it’s the best

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