Macaroni and Cheese from Martha

Perfect Mac & Cheese

Let me just say that if you only make one mac and cheese in your lifetime this should be the one.  My gosh!  I just had to make it after reading all the comments after this was written.  What about Food 52?  They shouted from the rooftop about it, too.  So I’m right up there with the rest of them and I have to say that it is the best macaroni and cheese that I have had.  Martha knows her mac and cheese that’s for sure.  It has just the right amount of bechamel  sauce to go with the pasta and I love the White Cheddar and Gruyère Cheese.  I will have to admit skepticism about the nutmeg, but it went in the sauce .  Perfection!  So it’s your turn to let Martha’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese be the hit at your house.  It was at mine.

Last week in class we made macaroni and cheese using this recipe which I have used for years.  It is quick and easy.  High school students can handle it pretty well, but even so the sauce can be a bit tricky to the novice cook.  It makes for an easy clean up, too.  Martha’s recipe is a bit more detailed and I might add that I had a few more dishes and utensils to clean, but well worth the extra time and the cheeses are a little pricey.    Her original recipe makes enough for a small army.   I halved the recipe with no problem. So here it is Perfect Macaroni and Cheese which is said to be the most popular recipe from Martha.  When you put this in your mouth you’ll know why – Perfection!

Here are the step-by-step photos:

Macaroni 1

Now let’s get it started:

Almost there

Now it’s ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven

This is so good!

Dig in!

Macaroni and Cheese  by Martha Stewart – Living 1999  

Yield: 6 servings


  • 3 slices of white bread, crust removed, torn into 1/4 – 1/2 in. pieces
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups ( about 9 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese, divided
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Butter 1 1/2 quart dish.
  3. Place bread in a medium bowl.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and pour over bread.  Toss and set aside.
  5. In a medium saucepan heat milk over medium heat.
  6. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat.
  7. When butter bubbles, add flour.  Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  8. Slowly pour hot milk into flour mixture while whisking.   Continue to cook until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
  9. Remove from the heat.  Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 1/4 cups cheddar and  1/2 cup Gruyère cheese.  Set aside.
  10. Cook pasta according to directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone.  I cooked mine about 8 minutes.  It will vary by the brand used.
  11. Pour macaroni in a colander and rinse under cold water.
  12. Stir macaroni into the sauce.
  13. Pour the mixture into a buttered dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  14. Top with buttered bread.
  15. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes.


Filed under Main dish, Meatless Main Dish, pasta, side dish

49 responses to “Macaroni and Cheese from Martha

  1. Cierra Brooks

    I learned that you know you’re mac and cheese id one when your top starts to get golden brown.

  2. Jessie

    It had a good texture and was really easy to make.

  3. victoria

    I like my mac and cheese with lots of cheese! The more cheese the better!

  4. I learned that it is a really good recipe and that it has some interesting spices in it.

  5. Taylor

    I learned that this recipe is easy to make for an easy lunch or dinner.

  6. Brooke Nail

    This is so healthy and such a clever way to make Macaroni!

  7. Shae Stanley

    I learned that this recipe calls for many ingredients and may take a while to put together, but once it’s in the oven it only cooks for 8 minutes and is well worth it!

  8. Anita

    It was a great recipe! I learned that if you dont watch out for the sauce when in the microwave, it can overcook and mess up the recipe in a way.

  9. Trish Jenkins

    I usually have the microwave macaroni and cheese so i learned how to make a home made delicious kind

  10. maya Roberts

    i learned that bread ontop of macaroni will make a golden crust

  11. Alexis Cleckley

    I learned that you can use bread pieces to add a crust to the macaroni

  12. Jonathan P

    i learned that i should use hot water to separate my mac when left overnight

  13. Aubrey freeman

    i learned that mac-n-cheese is actually really easy to make.

  14. hannah wills

    i learned that you need to allow the top to brown so that you know it is done.

  15. Avery Maurer

    i didnt know you can put bread in mac and cheese

  16. amber a.

    i learned that if you put bread crumbs on top it makes it crunchy

  17. Abbie

    I learned to cook the pasta until the outside is cooked and the inside is underdone.

  18. ana meyer

    I didn’t know you can put bread crumbs on top of the mac and cheese to make it crispier.

  19. Victoria Falkner

    i learned plastic was made out of almost the same ingredients as cheese.

  20. haley worthy

    When we did this lab, it was very simple and easy to make. It only took about eight minutes!

  21. Tori Chastain

    Slowly pour hot milk into flour mixture while whisking. Continue to cook until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

  22. Emily Trivitt

    I learned that cheese and milk thickens sauces

  23. Chelsee

    I learned you can make a Roux instead of using milk.

  24. Lauren Ochoa

    I learned that if it takes you 2 days to make macaroni and cheese you put hot water over the macaroni.

  25. Cody W

    I learned it is done when the top is browned

  26. brea west

    The more butter you put in the mac and cheese you make it real soupy

  27. Maddie Langley

    I learned that the macaroni doesnt need to be cooked all the way.

  28. Jake

    I learned that you can create a crust with bread crumbs.

  29. CURTIS


  30. Hannah McManus 3rd

    I learned that if you don’t watch the sauce when it cooks, it can overcook and mess up the recipe. I also learned that you can use bread in macaroni and cheese.

  31. Gracie Nauman

    I learned that it is an easy thing to make and it is good.

  32. carlie

    you can use a roux instead of milk or water

  33. destiny parker

    it tasted really good especially the macaroni

  34. olivia sizemore

    i learned that its easy to make for lunch ana

  35. Miracle McDaniel (3rd)

    I didnt know you could put bread in mac n’ cheese.

  36. chance

    i learned that you need to allow the top to brown so that you know it is done

  37. Ariana Crawford

    i learned that how to make a roux on top of the macaroni

  38. Nestor Gonzalez

    I learned that if you dont preheat your oven the mac & cheese will take longer to cook and it will get more brown on top

  39. breanna swanson

    i learned that time is greatly need to prepare for this dish

  40. Tiffani Willis

    I learned that you can make a roux instead of using milk.

  41. hannah schuster

    I learned that you put the cheese in sauce when it thickens.

  42. Brandi Stampley

    I learned That You Can Make a Roux Instead Of Using Milk.

  43. jasmine

    I learned that processed cheese is made out of plastic and you can make your own for macaroni and cheese.

  44. Tori Attison

    I learned that if you make noodles the day before run hot water over the noodles and they’re ready to be cooked!

  45. courtney b

    i never knew you could use nutmeg in making this

  46. Jonathan Goldthwaite

    I never knew Mac and Cheese could be this easy to make without the microwave.

  47. Daniele blair

    The Mac and Cheese was really cheesy and very good!

  48. Shane Woods

    i learned that this is actually a healthy dish

  49. Brian Morrison

    when pouring in the hot milk continue to stir it

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