Plate of homemade mac and cheese with bacon
Side Dishes

Homemade Mac and Cheese

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This creamy homemade mac and cheese recipe also known by the full name of macaroni and cheese is so yummy and one of my favorite side dishes. Or it could be your whole meal if you wanted.

It is hard to pass up a serving of cheesy homemade mac and cheese topped with thick applewood smoked bacon. The perfect side dish to go with steak, ribs, etc.

If your idea of homemade mac and cheese is the small ever so popular box of Kraft, then you are missing out. Making it from scratch is so much better and the taste is not comparable. This is completely gourmet compared to the Kraft stuff. And it is so easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

Macaroni pasta, cheese, milk, bacon, etc. in glass bowls on top of a wooden table.

In order to make this delicious homemade mac and cheese you need a handful of easy to find ingredients:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Milk – Use whole milk, 2%, 1%, etc. Or for extra creamy, use heavy whipping cream.
  • Dry mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Butter
  • Cheese – I usually use extra-sharp or sharp cheddar cheese. But you can use a combination of other cheeses as well. Gruyere or Gouda are nice choices, same with Monterey Jack. Fontina also makes a good mac and cheese. Plenty of other cheeses that will work too.
  • Bacon – Adding bacon is a nice touch, but it is optional.
Stainless steel pot full of homemade mac and cheese


  • Blender
  • Spatula
  • 9 to 10-inch square or round pan or pot (oven-safe)
  • Bowl

Step 2: How to make creamy homemade mac and cheese

Blender with cottage cheese, milk, and spices.

Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. Make sure the main rack is in the upper-middle position. Add the cottage cheese, milk, salt, pepper, mustard, and nutmeg to a blender. Then blend for about 30 seconds until well combined.

If you don’t have a blender you can just use a large bowl with a whisk to blend it.

Metal pot full of unbaked mac and cheese.

Add butter to the oven-safe deep skillet or baking pan and make sure to butter the bottom and the sides. Then add half of the shredded cheddar cheese.

Pour in all of the elbow pasta as well as the milk mixture. Spread it out evenly and then add the rest of the main bowl of cheese. Mix everything well with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Note: Notice there is no precooking the elbow pasta first. Pretty awesome right? It will cook and get soft in the milk and cheese mixture.

Step 3: Bake the homemade mac and cheese

Pot of homemade mac and cheese covered with foil

Cover the pot with foil and place it in the oven and back it for 30 minutes. Remove the pot and place it on the stovetop. Take off the foil and place some butter on top. Then sprinkle on the small bowl of shredded cheese. Yes more cheese!

Pot of half-baked mac and cheese on a stovetop.

Place the pot back in the oven and bake it, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes until the top gets nice and golden brown.

Pot of freshly baked mac and cheese on top of a stovetop.

After it is done baking, remove it from the oven and place it on the stovetop. Sprinkle on some cooked pieces of bacon and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes.

Pot with homemade mac and cheese in it on a wooden table.

Time to serve it up as a side dish or eat it as a main dish. Enjoy!

How long does homemade macaroni and cheese last?

If covered it will last 2 to 3 days in the fridge.

Homemade mac and cheese with bacon pin for Pinterest
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Here are a few other recipes you may like:

Homemade cornmeal

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Juicy Hamburger

Totchos Recipe

Sous Vide Steak

Plate of homemade mac and cheese with bacon
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5 from 3 votes

Homemade Mac and Cheese

This homemade mac and cheese is creamy and oh so delicious. It completely blows away the kraft box of macaroni and cheese. And it is really easy to make.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Cooling Time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon, creamy, pasta, savory
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 465kcal
Author: Matt Taylor


  • Blender or whisk
  • Spatula
  • 9 to 10-inch square or round pan or pot (oven-safe)
  • Bowl
  • foil


  • 1 cup cottage cheese 225g
  • 2 cups milk or heavy cream whole or 2%, not 1% or skim (500mL)
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard 5g
  • 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg basically a pinch (1g)
  • 1/2 tsp. iodized/table salt 2.5 g
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 1g
  • 2 Tbsp. butter 30g
  • 1 lb extra-sharp or sharp cheddar or blended cheese – grated 460g
  • 1/2 lb of large elbow pasta macaroni (226g)
  • Bacon


  • Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C with the rack in the upper-middle position.
    Next, add the cottage cheese, milk, mustard powder, pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Blend it all together for a few seconds until combined. If you don't have a blender, you can also just hand whisk it all together in a bowl.
  • Take a 9 or 10 inch round pan or pot/deep skillet and add the butter to it. Use the butter to grease the bottom and sides of the pan. Then add half of the cheddar cheese to the bottom of the pan. Followed by all of the uncooked elbow macaroni pasta.
  • Now pour the milk mixture over the pasta and cheese. Then take the rest of that cheddar cheese and mix it in. Yes, lots of cheese!
    Cover the pan or pot with foil. And bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • After the 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and stir the macaroni and cheese. Add some butter on the top and then layer the fourth cup of cheese on top.
    Then put it back in the oven, uncovered for another 25 to 30 minutes until the top gets golden brown and the cheese melts.
    Remove it from the oven and then sprinkle on your cooked bacon if you like. Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Once it comes out of the oven allow it to cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Simple as that! Enjoy!


How to Make Mac and Cheese | Easy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Recipe


List of nutritional facts for homemade mac and cheese with bacon.
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Calories: 465kcal

Do you like this recipe? Share and Pin it! Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.


  1. 5 stars
    Just made this today and it was amazing. I didn’t change a thing. Seriously, your recipes never disappoint. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    The addition of bacon is always a winning idea, especially in our house. I’m sure this is going to be a hit!

  3. 5 stars
    There is nothing better than homemade mac & cheese, especially when you add bacon!!

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