Here’s what you’ll need to make it
Ingredients you might need to pick up
- Pasta – You can choose a classic elbow shape or go with a fun twist such as cavatappi or rotini.
- Milk – Using whole milk will make this recipe super creamy.
- Cheese – We used a blend of three cheddars, but you can use your favorite cheeses to customize this recipe.
- Breadcrumbs – you can substitute crushed ritz crackers if you prefer.
What you will love about dutch oven mac and cheese
- Dutch oven mac and cheese is the perfect one pot meal. This easy, baked pasta dish is classic, creamy and a crowd pleaser. Customize it with your favorite cheeses and this will quickly become a go-to recipe for your family.
- This recipe is delicious even if you don’t like your mac and cheese baked in the oven. You can skip the oven step if you prefer or are short on time. I have even added the topping and baked the leftovers on a different night.
How to make this dutch oven mac and cheese
Cook the pasta. Follow the instructions on the package to al denté. Drain it and set it aside.
Make the sauce. Melt the butter into the dutch oven, then whisk in the flour. This should form a paste. Slowly whisk in the milk, bringing up the heat before adding in the cheese. Add the cheese and continue to stir until fully melted.
Return the pasta to the dutch oven. Stir in the pasta until it is well coated with sauce. You can stop here if you want and enjoy a delicious stovetop mac and cheese.
Make the topping. Mix melted butter and bread crumbs together, this should look like wet sand. Sprinkle the mixture over the mac and cheese.
Bake the mac & cheese. Bake at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes. You want the topping to be crisp and golden. Allow to cool before serving.
Everything you need to know about dutch oven mac and cheese
That’s the best part of this recipe. Cook the pasta in the dutch oven, then drain it and set aside. Making the sauce right in the dutch oven and return the pasta when it’s ready. Then it can go right into the oven to bake the topping.
You should bake mac and cheese uncovered. This will allow the breadcrumbs to reach a nice crispy golden crust.
The pasta in mac and cheese will absorb a lot of the sauce when baking in the oven. If you prefer an extra gooey, cheesy mac and cheese, I would recommend not baking it, unless you double the sauce.
Yes, they are designed to be used on the stovetop and in the oven. You can even use one over a campfire, depending on the kind you have! If you don’t have a dutch oven, I highly recommend you go get one.
More cheesy pasta recipes you will love
- Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
- Goat cheese pasta
- Slow cooker Olive Garden chicken pasta
- Bucatini cacio e pepe
Other baked pasta recipes you should try
Want more pasta recipes?
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- 1 pound pasta, cooked
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon minced garlic, optional
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded *
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs + 2 tablespoons melted butter (for the topping)
- Cook and drain the pasta, set aside.
- Melt butter and whisk in flour. Add garlic to butter once melted (if using).
- Slowly whisk in milk, bring to boil and lower heat to medium.
- Add cheese, stirring until melted.
- Return pasta to dutch oven and stir until well coated.
- Mix breadcrumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle over mac and cheese.
- Bake at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes, until topping is golden and edges are bubbly.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
* We used a package of shredded cheese that included 3 different cheddars. You can feel free to use any type of shredded cheese or shred it from a block if you prefer.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Elbow
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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