Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe. This is a a favorite of my wife's, she endeavors to make it several times a year. We usually double the recipe.


  • Elbow Macaroni (1/2 lb)
  • Butter (3 tbsp)
  • Flour (3 tbsp)
  • Powdered Mustard (1 tbsp)
  • Milk (3 cups)
  • Yellow Onion (1/2 cup, finely diced)
  • Bay Leaf (1)
  • Paprika (1/2 tsp)
  • Egg (1 large)
  • Sharp Cheddar (12 oz, shredded)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Black Pepper (to taste, freshly ground)


  • Butter (3 tbsp)
  • Panko Bread Crumbs (1 cup, be generous especially if multiplying the recipe)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook to al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large pan (large enough to hold both the sauce and pasta).
  4. Whisk in flour and mustard, continue whisking for around 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for 10 minutes and then remove the bay leaf.
  6. Temper in the egg, stir in 3/4 of the cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Fold in the drained macaroni.
  8. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, topping with reserved cheese.
  9. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Mac and Cheese