Even people who have had their own homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe for years ask for mine when they taste this crumb-topped version. For the best baked mac and cheese, use extra-sharp white cheddar cheese for more flavor. —Shelby Thompson of Dover, Delaware
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain.
In a Dutch oven, heat 1/3 cup butter over medium heat; saute onion until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended; gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Stir in macaroni. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
In a microwave, melt remaining butter; toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, until heated through, 30-35 minutes.
Test Kitchen Tips
Sharp cheddar cheese has been aged longer than regular cheddar. As cheese ages, its flavor becomes more pronounced. Using aged cheese in a recipe can add complexity and rich flavor, even to humble favorites like mac ’n’ cheese.
Unless otherwise specified, Taste of Home recipes are tested with lightly salted butter. Unsalted, or sweet, butter is sometimes used to achieve a buttery flavor, such as in shortbread cookies or buttercream frosting. In these recipes, added salt would detract from the buttery taste desired.