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The Best Baked Macaroni and Cheese

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The Best Baked Macaroni and Cheese
About 8 servings Easy
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Ingredients (8)

  • One large package of elbow macaroni (approx. 16 oz)
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 5-6 ounces sharp chunk cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 5 Ritz crackers (or similar brand)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

My grandmother made this for my sisters and I growing up. She passed away last year, but her recipe lives on, and we remember her every time we make her delicious concoction. She never wrote it down, so it took me a long time to get it right! My ultimate comfort food!


  1. 1Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 2Boil elbow macaroni in a large pot, with about 5 cups of water and a dash of salt. Cook until pasta is tender.
  3. 3Slice chunk cheese and butter into small cubes.
  4. 4Pour about a quarter of the noodles into a baking dish. Top with 1/4 of the cheese and butter, and a dash salt and pepper. Repeat layering until all the pasta, cheese, and butter are in the dish.
  5. 5Pour in the half and half. You should just be able to see the half and half from under the noodles.
  6. 6Sprinkle shredded cheese and crumble crackers on top. Add another dash of salt and the cayenne pepper.
  7. 7Bake for one hour in the oven. You may want to put a baking sheet under the dish in case the half and half bubbles up. You can substitute milk for half and half to reduce calories, but the thickness helps the consistency.
  8. 8Let cool and enjoy!
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