square of baked macaroni and cheese on a metal spatula held over a 9 x 13 green staub casserole dish with baked macaroni and cheese

Nana’s Baked Macaroni

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It just wouldn’t be a holiday without my Nana’s baked macaroni and cheese. This is the dish my siblings and I begged for growing up. Everyone has that signature family recipe that transports you right back to childhood, and this is it in my family. My Nana’s baked mac and cheese is made with only four basic ingredients and every single bite feels like home.

If you are looking for an extremely simple and delicious side dish for Thanksgiving next week, this one will not disappoint. Everyone’s kitchen gets a little hectic on Thanksgiving, so it is nice to have a couple staples that are hassle free and fast to get in the oven.

This is the easiest recipe to date on the blog, but one of my personal favorites. I will always follow it to a tee, but there is definitely some room for variation. Cavatappi pasta would be great in this. Add some hot sauce or red pepper flakes for a little heat. Top with a mixture of bread crumbs and melted butter. You can make this as fancy as you like, but for me this very simple version with sharp cheddar cheese is perfection.

One final note. This is another rare case where I am going to steer you away from Aldi for your shopping list. I do at least 90% of my shopping at Aldi and I absolutely love the store, but their cheese is nearly flavorless. My mom actually pointed this out to me originally, but she was really on to something. Since cheese is the star of this dish, I recommend you buy elsewhere. I normally get my cheese from Ingles or Whole Foods.

Let me know how it turns out! I’d love to hear in the comments about your family’s signature holiday dish!

Be sure to check out these other Thanksgiving recipes:

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square of baked macaroni and cheese on a metal spatula held over a 9 x 13 green staub casserole dish with baked macaroni and cheese

Nana’s Baked Macaroni

  • Author: Katelyn
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x


Extra cheesy, extra comforting four ingredient baked macaroni and cheese. My family’s favorite recipe growing up, and the perfect side for any holiday or special gathering. It doesn’t get any easier than this! 


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni cooked in salted water according to package directions and drained (do not rinse)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk 
  • 16 ounce block of sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese (I like to buy one 8 ounce package of each)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and fill it with the cooked elbow macaroni.
  3. Use the large holes of a box grater to shred all of your cheese. 
  4. Whisk the eggs and pour them into the dish along with the 2% milk.
  5. Add the salt and pepper and stir it all to combine. 
  6. Stir in all but about 3/4 cups of the shredded cheese and mix well. 
  7. Use the remaining 3/4 cups of cheese to top the macaroni. 
  8. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, removing the foil with 5 to 10 minutes left to bake. 


  • You can substitute pre-shredded cheese, but I prefer to shred my own from whole blocks.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: macaroni, cheese, baked

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  1. This baked macaroni is perfect. It is a nice change from regular mac and cheese and a great side to bring to a get together.

  2. perfectly gooey and delicious!

  3. I love home made mac n cheese but I don’t like having to make the roux. This is the prefect recipe! It’s easy to throw together and tastes amazing! It’s my new go to mac n cheese recipe.

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