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Ina Garten Mac and Cheese in casserole dish with wooden spoon lifting out a portion

Ina Garten Mac and Cheese

Our version of the famous Ina Garten Mac and Cheese recipe is rich and creamy, with sharp cheddar and Gruyere, tomato slices, and a crispy, buttery breadcrumb topping!
Course Main or side dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Macaroni and Cheese, macaroni and cheese casserole, pasta bake, side dish recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 420kcal
Author Isabel Laessig


  • 16 oz fusilli pasta
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 drizzle olive oil
  • cooking spray
  • 10 tbsp butter 6 for pasta, 4 for breadcrumb topping
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced optional
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Add pasta and boil for amount of minutes indicated on package. Drain and set aside.
  • In another large pot melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Once melted add in flour and stir until combined and thickened into a paste.
  • Slowly add milk and whisk until creamy, thick, and smooth.
  • Remove from heat and add cheeses, stirring until melted and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add pasta to cheese sauce and mix.
  • Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray and add macaroni and cheese, smoothing into an even layer.
  • Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook until golden, stirring constantly. Remove from pan immediately so they don't continue to brown in the hot pan.
  • Place tomato slices on top of macaroni and cheese (optional) and then sprinkle the breadcrumbs over top.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbling and edges are starting to brown.



  • Macaroni and cheese is a great dish to freeze! Consider making an extra one and freezing to have on hand for later, or to give to a friend or family member in need of a frozen meal. Once you prepare the macaroni and cheese and scoop it into your dish, you'll need to stop and let it cool. Cover it with foil, and then freeze for up to two months. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the remaining instructions of our recipe (steps 9 through 11).


Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 888IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 456mg | Iron: 1mg