No Boil Easy Mac and Cheese {Overnight!} – The Seasoned Mom

Macaroni and cheese recipe no cook noodles

You don’t even need to boil the pasta for this 5-ingredient easy cheese macaroon, throw away and bake! Serve the classic of home-cooked food as a side dish for holidays and meals, or as a main course on a busy weeknight. It’s delicious along with fried chicken, pot roast, roast chicken and meatloaf!

Macaroni and cheese overnight in a baking dish with a serving spoon.Mac with easy baked


Yes, you read that right: this is an easy macaroni and cheese recipe that doesn’t even require you to boil the noodles before they go into the oven! Now, this isn’t a creamy baked macaroon with cheese that starts with a béchamel cheese sauce made from a roux of flour and butter. If that’s what you’re looking for, you should try this popular recipe.

Instead, this is a more traditional recipe for southern baked macaroni and cheese, with a firm texture that’s made from a simple combination of noodles, butter, cheese, and milk. These types of macaroni and cheese don’t use creamy sauces, but often contain eggs to help the dish “prepare.” However, eggs are not necessary here. Everything is cooked on one plate, so the macaroni absorbs the milk, and you’re left with an incredibly cheesy, indulgent, and tasty macaroni and cheese oven with very little effort!

Hands serving easy macaroni and cheese from a baking dish on a wooden table.

The origin

of this nightly macaroni and cheese


I can’t take credit for this cheesy perfection, as my hairdresser gave me the recipe almost 15 years ago! She has three children of her own, and she was so excited to tell me about this “method” to making macaroni and cheese because her family has always loved it. She shares the recipe with clients and friends regularly, and often hears stories about people making it over and over again, and again.

Since I originally posted this recipe on my site in 2016, I’ve heard from several of you who have also made it a staple in your home. In fact, readers of the blog have served the dish at weddings, funerals and Thanksgiving parties. What an honor!

<img src="" alt="Aerial shot

of a bowl of macaroni and cheese.” />


This is just a quick overview of the simple ingredients you’ll need to make a pan of easy macaroni and cheese. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the publication.

  • Raw elbow macaroni: Do not cook pasta before adding it to the pan. I haven’t tried this recipe with other forms of noodles, which could change the cooking time. Keep your elbows for a classic macaroon and cheese!
  • Spicy cheddar cheese: grate the cheese by hand, instead of using a package of pre-grated cheese. Packaged grated cheese includes stabilizers and anti-caking agents that prevent it from melting as smoothly as a block of hand-grated cheddar cheese. Feel free to experiment with combinations of other good melted cheeses, such as Velveeta, mozzarella, Pepper Jack, Gouda, Colby, Gruyere and Colby-Jack.
  • Butter: enough to add some richness to the dish.
  • Kosher salt: to flavor pasta while cooking.
  • Milk: I prefer whole milk, but you can also use low-fat milk.
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Sprinkle cheese on top of a baking dish.

Best cheese

to use The


you use for macaroni and cheese is really a matter of personal preference. I love the classic sharp cheddar here, which is a tasty cheese that also melts very well. You can mix it and use a combination of any good melted cheese, such as Velveeta (American), Colby or Colby-Jack, Gruyere, Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack, gouda, smoked gouda, Swiss or mozzarella. A dash of Parmesan cheese on top is also a nice addition. The options are endless, so choose your favorites!

Pour milk into a baking dish.

How to Make Mac and Easy Cheese

The only hard part of this recipe is remembering to prepare it in advance so that the noodles have time to soak in the milk overnight (or for at least 8-12 hours)!

  1. Spread out Half of the raw macaroni at the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch greased baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle with half of the cheese, sprinkle with half of

  3. the butter and sprinkle with half of the salt.
  4. Repeat the layers using the remaining noodles, cheese, butter and salt.
  5. Pour the milk evenly over the top.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for about 24 hours.
  7. Bake, covered, in an oven at 350°F for a total of about 45 minutes, removing the aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes to allow the top to brown.
Hands serving a pan of easy macaroni cheese with parsley garnish.

What to serve with Mac and easy homemade


Serve this macaroon and cheese as a main course for lunch or dinner and your family will be delighted! Just add a house salad, tomato salad or Caesar salad, roasted broccoli, Southern-style green beans or kale on the side. We also love a basket of flaky cookies, blueberry muffins, apple bread, cornbread or popsticks on the table to complete the meal.

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If you’re serving macaroni and cheese as a side dish, here are some main dishes that go well with the casserole:

Fried chicken chops and

    country sauce

  • Dutch oven Roast pork or roast pork tenderloin with 5 ingredients
  • Baked baked ribs
  • Ham fillet with

  • brown sugar icing Grilled
  • New York strip fillet Fried

  • chicken

  • fillet
  • with sauce
  • Fried pork chops
  • Crispy

  • fried
  • fried chicken or crispy baked chicken

  • Baked chicken tenders
  • Roast chicken Dutch oven pot Mississippi roast or pot Roast

  • Slow cooker Turkey breast or oven
  • Roast
  • turkey Pineapple Glazed ham or

  • clay pot Ham with tail icing
  • Glazed ham fillets Crock
  • Pot Shredded pork

  • , Dr. Pepper Shredded pork or pork stewed with cider
  • Mississippi Grilled

  • pork shoulder Grilled pork
  • chops
  • Grilled chicken

  • Chicken
  • a

  • the grill Dutch oven Barbecued beef
  • Baked

  • pork loin or mustard and brown sugar Baked pork loin
  • Southern fried catfish
<img src="" alt="Hands eating a bowl of unboiled

macaroni and cheese” />


Store leftover baked macaroni and cheese in an airtight container in the Refrigerator for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing leftover macaroni and cheese. The texture of the paste will be soft when thawed.

How to Reheat

Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil and reheat in an oven to 350°F until heated. You can remove the aluminum cover for the last few minutes to allow the top to be nice and crispy again. To reheat individual servings, simply cover loosely and microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute (or until hot).

Aerial firing of a spoon into a pan of baked macaroni and cheese.Recipe variations

  • Use a combination of almost any tasty melted cheese you prefer. For example, try Velveeta (American), Colby or Colby-Jack, Gruyere, Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack, gouda, smoked gouda, Swiss or mozzarella. The options are endless, so choose your favorites!
  • Add toast breadcrumbs (like these) to the top of the plate after removing the lid for the past 10 minutes.
  • Whisk some garlic powder or hot sauce into the milk mixture for even more flavor.
  • Increase the meal with vegetables such as frozen peas or broccoli. If you use a firm vegetable such as broccoli, it is best to boil or steam the broccoli before adding it to the dish.
  • Add meat such as crispy bacon, leftover ham, or crumbled and cooked chicken.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all ingredients in half and bake the casserole on an 8-inch square plate.
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<img src="" alt="Hands holding a bowl

of macaroni and cheese” />

Tips for the best easy macaroni and cheese recipe

  • This is a firm-style cheese macaroon, with a drier texture as the cooked pasta absorbs milk as it is baked. If you prefer a creamy macaroni and cheese that starts with a cheese and roux sauce, try this creamy recipe for baked macaroni and cheese or these creamy stove and cheese shells.
  • Refrigerate the casserole for about 24 hours before baking, allowing the noodles to soften as they are soaked in the milk. At a minimum, let the noodles soak for at least 8-12 hours.
  • Start with blocks of cheese that you grate yourself at home, instead of using bags of pre-grated cheese from the store. Pre-crushed cheese includes stabilizers and other ingredients to prevent the cheese from clumping together, inhibiting its ability to melt gently on the plate.
  • If you prefer a crispier, darker-brown top on your macaroon and cheese, place the plate under the grill for the last minute or two of baking. Just keep a close eye so that the cheese (or breadcrumbs) on top don’t burn.
  • Garnish the dish with chives, parsley, green onions or a pinch of paprika just before serving.
Spoon serving baked macaroni and cheese on a wooden table.

More macaroni

and cheese recipes

to try creamy macaroni and cheese macaroni and cheese macaroni

Southern Baked Cheese This recipe was originally published in February 2016. The photos were updated in January 2022.

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