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My Dad’s recipe for Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese is rich, flavorful and incredibly cheesy! His secret ingredient makes this the best mac & cheese ever!

Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

Is there anything so comforting as Macaroni and Cheese fresh out of the oven? With its gooey, cheesy inside and its crunchy breadcrumb crusted topping, there are few savory comfort foods that can compare.

Growing up, the birthday child (or adult) got to choose whatever they wanted for their birthday dinner, and the number one pick was Dad’s Macaroni and Cheese. That is what we called it growing up but it was actually his Mother’s recipe. We called it Dad’s Macaroni and Cheese because it tasted infinitely better when Dad made it.

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The Farr Family Macaroni and Cheese recipe is very similar to the recipes in my antique cookbooks except that it has one secret ingredient. For twenty years my Dad wouldn’t share his secret ingredient with anyone: it wasn’t on the recipe card, no one was allowed to be around when he made it, and he certainly never told us.

Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese


There have been very few changes made to the original Macaroni and Cheese recipe, but rumor has it that my Mom added the breadcrumbs on top. As I was pulling the final dish together last night, I reached for the homemade Breadcrumbs and thought, “You know what makes breadcrumbs better? Butter! Mmmm buttered breadcrumb topping.” And that is how the current iteration of the recipe came to be. I hope my Dad will approve of my addition.

Old Fashioned Macaroni & Cheese
5 from 1 ratings

Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

My Dad’s recipe for Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese is rich, flavorful and incredibly cheesy! His secret ingredient makes this the best mac & cheese ever!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 people


For the Mac & Cheese:

For the Topping:

  • ½ cup finely ground breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter for crumbs
Makes: 8 x 8inch rectangle


  • Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  • Cook your macaroni until it is firm. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add mustard to flour and stir to mix. Add flour mixture to melted butter, stirring until smooth. Cook 5 minutes on low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
  • Slowly add in milk a little at a time, stirring constantly until thick. Mixture should just come to boiling.
  • Turn off heat and add cheese, stir until cheese is fully melted. Add macaroni to cheese mixture and stir until it is fully coated. M
  • Spoon into oven-safe dish.
  • Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and mix with ½ cup breadcrumbs. Spread buttered crumbs on top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly. Serve hot.


This recipe as written makes an 8” x 8” dish. It will comfortable serve 4. I halved the recipe to make the ramekin pictured. It served 2 with some leftovers. It is actually a surprisingly easy dish to make, but it does require constant stirring for ~ 10 minutes.


Calories: 578kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 976IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 402mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Calories: 578
Like this? Leave a comment below!
Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese


It is rich and flavorful, and once you have one bite, there is no going back!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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  1. Hi Janet! My Mom tells me that you have a lot more of your Mother’s recipes, and I would love to try some!

  2. Oh my this looks so good! I am a huge Mac&Cheese addict and have had trouble finding a recipe to make at home that’s as good as restaurant stuff and this looks fantastic, I will definitely have to try it!