A crouton topped macaroni and cheese that makes a delicious addition to any meal.

Crouton Macaroni and Cheese in bowl

Less-is-more with this recipe because it’s simple to make, has just a handful of basic ingredients, and tastes wonderful.

The macaroni and cheese is topped with croutons and baked in the oven, which gives the dish a light and crispy texture that’s so good with the cheesy macaroni.

About this Recipe

This recipe is highly adaptable, so if more cheese is preferred or if a different type of cheese is preferred, feel free to change it up to your liking.

And if you like macaroni and cheese on the moist side, more milk can also be added.

About Serving

Enjoy this macaroni and cheese as a side dish or light main dish on any day of the week.

For a heartier main dish, cooked meat such as ground beef, smoked sausage, or pulled pork can be added on top, or mixed in with this macaroni and cheese.

Here’s a macaroni and cheese recipe that’s combined with ground meat you may like “Sloppy Joe Macaroni and Cheese“.

And here are more side dishes you may like “Potato Salad with Egg“, “Homestyle Elbow Macaroni Salad” and “Baked Herb and Parmesan Potato Slices“.

Let’s check out the ingredients.

Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients

Pasta – elbow macaroni, water and salt

Cheese Sauce – butter, flour, milk, pepper, shredded white cheddar cheese

Macaroni and Cheese Mixture – firmly cooked (al-dente) macaroni, cheese sauce and salt

Toppings – day-old sandwich bread (white or wheat), butter and white cheddar cheese

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

printable recipe with the measurements and instructions is located at the bottom of this post.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Pasta:

Add Salt to Boiling Water

To a large pot, add water and bring it to a boil.

Then add salt to the boiling water.

Boil Macaroni in Pot

To the boiling water, add the pasta.

Cook until al-dente (firm) (according to package instructions).

Pasta in Colander

Drain pasta (don’t rinse the pasta).

TIP – Don’t rinse the pasta after cooking it.  When pasta is rinsed, the starch is removed.

The starch on pasta helps to hold and absorb the cheese sauce so it’s important to keep the starch on the pasta.

Transfer the cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

For the Cheese Mixture:

Butter in Pan

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.

Butter and Flour in Pan

To the pan add the flour and continuously stir until the mixture starts to thicken.

Sauce for Macaroni and Cheese

To the pan, add 1 cup of milk and continue stirring.

Sauce for Macaroni and Cheese

Add the 2nd cup of milk, and pepper.

Continue to stir.

Cheese in Sauce for Pasta

Next, slowly stir in the shredded cheese…

Cheese in Sauce for Pasta

…until its melted.

For the Macaroni and Cheese Mixture:

Sauce on Pasta in Bowl

In the large mixing bowl, pour the warm cheese mixture over the pasta.

Gently mix well as the cheese mixture will be absorbed into the pasta quickly.

Add more pepper if you like and salt to taste.

Macaroni and Cheese in Dish

Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture into a lightly greased (buttered) large baking casserole dish…

Macaroni and Cheese in Dish

…or multiple smaller serving oven-proof dishes if preferred.

Set  aside for a moment.

For the Crouton Topping:

Bread Pieces in Bowl

In the bowl that the pasta was mixed in, place the pieces of bread.

Season Pieces of Bread

Mix in the melted butter (or instead 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil can be used).

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Croutons on Macaroni and Cheese

Place the pieces of bread over the pasta and top with the remaining shredded cheese.

Croutons on Macaroni and Cheese

Bake in a preheated oven until bubbly and golden brown (about 30 minutes).

Serve while warm.

Crouton Macaroni and Cheese

Thank you so much for stopping by CCC!

More Pasta Recipes You May Like:

Easy Macaroni and Cheese with Cavatappi Pasta

Browned Butter and Lemon Pasta with Bacon

Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce

Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese

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Crouton Macaroni and Cheese

Crouton Topped Macaroni and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese is a delicious addition to any meal.
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Ingredients

For the Pasta:

  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked (dry) elbow macaroni pasta
  • Water for boiling the pasta
  • 3 dashes salt for the boiling water

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons butter (salted)
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 dashes ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese for the macaroni and cheese mixture

For the Macaroni and Cheese Mixture:

  • Warm Cheese Sauce
  • Elbow Macaroni firmly cooked (al-dente)
  • 4 dashes salt or to taste

For the Crouton Topping:

  • 7 slices day-old sandwich bread (crust on) (white or wheat) torn into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter (salted) melted (or can use 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2 dashes salt or to taste
  • 2 dashes ground black pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Pasta:

  • In a large pot, add water and bring it to a boil. To the boiling water, add salt.
    To the boiling water, add the pasta. Cook until al-dente (firm) (according to package instructions).  Drain pasta (don't rinse the pasta).
  • Don’t rinse the pasta after cooking it. When pasta is rinsed, the starch is removed. The starch on pasta helps to hold and absorb the cheese sauce so it’s important to keep the starch on the pasta.
  • Transfer the cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and continuously stir until the mixture starts to thicken. 
  • To the pan, add 1 cup of milk and continue stirring. 
  • Add the second cup of milk, and pepper.  Continue stirring and slowly stir in the cheese until it's melted.

For the Macaroni and Cheese Mixture:

  • In the large mixing bowl, pour the warm cheese mixture over the pasta. 
  • Gently mix well as the cheese mixture will be absorbed into the pasta quickly. Add more pepper if you like and salt to taste. 
  • Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture into a lightly greased (buttered) large baking casserole dish (or multiple smaller serving oven-proof dishes if preferred). 
    Set aside for a moment.

For the Crouton Topping:

  • In the bowl that the pasta was mixed in, place the pieces of bread.  
  • Mix in the melted butter (or instead 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil can be used).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  
  • Place the pieces of bread over the pasta and top with the remaining shredded cheese. 
  • Bake in a preheated oven until bubbly and golden brown (about 30 minutes). 
  • This is best when served right away while warm.

Notes

TIP:

Don’t rinse the pasta after cooking it. When pasta is rinsed, the starch is removed.
The starch on pasta helps to hold and absorb the cheese sauce so it’s important to keep the starch on the pasta.