This Italian Baked Macaroni and Cheese is the Italian version of classic baked macaroni and cheese. It’s made with SIX Italian cheeses combined with a creamy Bachamel sauce and topped with Italian style bread crumbs! It’s an EASY comfort food dish everyone in our house LOVES! Vegetarian
Macaroni and cheese is the epitome of comfort food. Am I right? Adding a creamy cheese sauce to pasta is just about one of the best things you could do to pasta. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat pasta next to my “can’t stop eating it” Italian Baked Ziti with Ricotta Cheese recipe. Hats off to whoever invented macaroni and cheese! I’m forever grateful.
I’m especially grateful because my 8 year old- David will eat macaroni and cheese for DAYS. He’ll eat it until the whole 13 x 9 inch pan is gone. Anytime I try a new macaroni and cheese recipe, David notices and once said “Mom, you don’t have to change anything. Just make me the same recipe you always do.” That warmed my heart.
Sometimes, I’ll run out of cheddar cheese and throw in some Italian cheese and that’s where I got the idea to make an Italian style macaroni and cheese recipe. Although this recipe was different than my original cheddar cheese version, he LOVED it, as did my husband. Whew… I thought I was going to have some explaining to do.
Just wait until you see how easy it is to make this delicious recipe.
Italian Baked Macaroni and Cheese
It’s so easy! Don’t be scared off by the list of ingredients. If this is your first time making macaroni and cheese without a box of powder cheese, you’re going to be amazed and ask yourself why you never tried this before.
Here’s a summary of cooking tasks:
- Cook pasta.
- Make cheese sauce.
- Combine cheese sauce with pasta.
- Bake for 30 min.
I’m going to show you how to make a fancy Bechamel sauce, which is SIMPLE! It’s three ingredients- butter, flour and milk. Then, you’re going to add the cheeses to make it a cream sauce and mix it with the pasta. Easy peasy!
Is Macaroni Cheese Italian?
Considering pasta is Italian, one could easily believe that the origins of macaroni and cheese started in Italy. Recipes containing Italian cheeses and pasta date back to southern Italy (which is where my family is from) as far back as the thirteenth century. However, the American version often uses Cheddar and/or American cheese which is NOT Italian. Also, if you ordered macaroni and cheese in Italy, it’s likely the server will not know what you’re talking about.
What is the best pasta for mac and cheese?
I like elbow macaroni the best however, you can use Ditalini, medium shells, Orecchiette or any other small pasta.
Substitutions or Additions:
- Use half and half instead of milk or 2% milk fat instead of whole milk.
- Use 4 blend Italian cheese instead of 6 blend.
- Use two bags of Italian blend shredded cheese instead of 8 oz Fontina plus one bag of Italian blend shredded cheese.
- Add veggies: cooked broccoli or mushrooms.
- Add meat: cubed ham or cooked chicken.
Make this EASY, creamy Italian mac and cheese recipe for your family. They’re sure to love it as much as mine does.
Check out more of our delicious Italian recipes.
Italian Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- 16 oz elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup butter one stick
- 1/2 cup flour
- 8 oz Fontina cheese cut into one inch cubes
- 8 oz Italian 6 blend shredded cheese contains: Fontina, Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, Asiago & Parmesan cheeses
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- First, preheat oven to 350F.
- Then, cook elbow macaroni according to package directions except reduce cooking time by 1 minute. Set a timer and do not overcook the pasta.
Italian Cheese Sauce
- Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan on med/high heat, add butter and cook until nearly melted. Add flour and stir to make a roux.
- Then, immediately add milk, a little at a time, while stirring roux (butter/flour) mixture. Continue to stir and let cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Next, add cheeses, salt, pepper and stir until well combined. Turn off heat and let stand until pasta is done cooking.
- Then, return pasta back to the pot in which it was cooked and stir in Italian cheese sauce.
- Next, oil spray a 13 x 9 x 3 inch baking dish. Add the pasta and cheese sauce to the baking dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.
- Last, bake at 350F for 30 minutes.