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5 from 1 vote

Duke's Homemade Mac and Cheese

The best homemade mac and cheese recipe just happens to be one of the easiest, too!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword baked mac and cheese, creamy mac and cheese, homemade mac and cheese, mac and cheese recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 - 8 people
Calories 621kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cavatappi pasta, or other short, curly pasta noodles
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise, at room temperature
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley; dash of paprika


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of well-salted boiling water according to package directions for al dente. The pasta should still be a little bit firm, since it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain the pasta, then return to the pot.
  • Stir in the Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Mix until completely combined. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, melted butter, and garlic powder. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs on top of the pasta.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping is lightly browned. If the bread crumb topping isn’t as crispy and golden brown as you’d like by the time the filling is hot, just place the dish under the broiler for a minute or two.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh herbs or a dash of paprika, if desired. Serve immediately.


  • Boil the noodles in very well-salted water. The salt in the water seasons the noodles, adding flavor to the dish.
  • Cook the pasta just until it’s al dente — almost tender, but still firm to the bite. You don’t want to completely cook the noodles until they’re tender, because they will continue baking in the oven.
  • Allow the sour cream and mayo to come to room temperature before adding them to the recipe. They will blend together smoothly if they’re not cold.
  • Start with blocks of cheese that you grate yourself at home, rather than using bags of pre-shredded cheese from the store. The pre-shredded cheese includes stabilizers and other ingredients to prevent the cheese from clumping, which inhibits its ability to melt smoothly into the dish.
  • If you prefer a crispier, darker brown top on your mac and cheese, place the dish under the broiler during the final few minutes of baking. Just be sure to keep a close eye on it so that the top doesn’t burn.
  • Cooking for a larger family? Double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in an 13 x 9-inch casserole dish.
  • Recipe adapted from Duke's mayo.


Serving: 1/8 of the recipe | Calories: 621kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 608mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 787IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 460mg | Iron: 1mg