Best Sheet-Pan Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and cheese lovers seem to fall into two categories: some like it creamy, while others insist baked is best. Then there are people like my kids who love both, and sometimes even on the same plate. They want a creamy sauce, but crispy, browned edges too. Can you blame them?

If you’re feeding a crowd this holiday season (or any weeknight thereafter) Sheet-Pan Macaroni and Cheese is the way to go! A homemade cheese sauce plus a crunchy topping baked to golden-brown perfection—it’s the best of both worlds!

Related: 20 Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

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Is This Like Pioneer Woman’s Sheet-Pan Mac and Cheese?

If you’ve seen Ree Drummond make some killer mac and cheese on a sheet pan, you know how popular this new cooking method for such a classic dish has become.

However, this recipe differs from hers in a few ways. She likes to use Velveeta and I’m not a huge fan, and hers calls for evaporated milk instead of making a roux (flour and butter mixture) as the base for the white sauce. Plus, my recipe includes an extra crunchy topping with panko breadcrumbs.

Here’s the thing—the great thing about recipes is we are free to take a little bit from one, and a little bit from another and create our own version.

Related: 45 Best Elbow Macaroni Recipes

Make-Ahead Mac and Cheese

While there are plenty of versions of baked macaroni and cheese that can be made ahead of time, I wouldn’t recommend it with this recipe.

The cheese sauce is very thick and if it were to be chilled and then reheated, I just don’t see it keeping its creamy texture. Also, the super crunchy topping would become mushy and not come back to life.

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