Fannie Farmer’s Mac and Cheese Recipe

If you’re craving a hearty and satisfying meal, look no further than Fannie Farmer mac and cheese. This classic dish brings together the creamy indulgence of cheese with the comforting warmth of homemade pasta. And the best part? You can easily recreate this favorite comfort food in your own kitchen! This article will explore story behind this timeless classic Fannie Farmer’s Mac and Cheese recipe.

Fannie Farmer mac and cheese

Key Takeaways:

  • Creating the base white sauce, béchamel, is the first step in making Fannie Farmer mac and cheese.
  • Cook the macaroni until al dente and combine it with the cheesy sauce for a perfect texture.
  • Baking the mac and cheese adds a golden brown crust and bubbly goodness to the dish.
  • Enjoy the homemade comfort of Fannie Farmer mac and cheese for a satisfying meal.

Fannie Farmer’s Mac and Cheese: A Timeless Classic

The world of comfort food is vast and varied, but few dishes hold a candle to the creamy, cheesy delight of macaroni and cheese. Among the many variations, one stands out for its historical significance and unparalleled taste: Fannie Farmer’s Mac and Cheese.

Fannie Farmer’s Mac and Cheese: A Culinary Legacy

In the realm of comfort food, where dishes are crafted to evoke feelings of warmth, nostalgia, and solace, macaroni and cheese reigns supreme. Its creamy texture and rich flavor have made it a staple in many households. However, amidst the myriad of variations, there’s one rendition that has stood the test of time, both in taste and historical significance: Fannie Farmer’s Mac and Cheese.

The Culinary Maestro: Fannie Farmer

Fannie Farmer is not merely a name; she represents an era of culinary transformation. Born in 1857, Farmer’s influence on American cooking has been profound. She didn’t just introduce recipes; she revolutionized the way Americans approached cooking. Farmer was a staunch advocate for precise measurements, which might seem commonplace now but was groundbreaking in her time. Before her, recipes were vague, relying on approximations. Farmer’s insistence on exact measurements ensured consistency and perfection in every dish.

The 1946 Edition: A Culinary Gem

The 1946 Edition of Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes. It’s a historical document that offers a glimpse into post-war American culinary practices. This edition is particularly cherished because it came at a time when America was undergoing significant changes. The end of World War II brought about a sense of optimism and a desire for comfort, and what better way to find comfort than through food?

Among the treasure trove of recipes in this edition, the mac and cheese recipe stands tall. But what makes it so special?

Simplicity Meets Authenticity

At its core, Fannie Farmer’s Mac and Cheese is a testament to the beauty of simplicity. The ingredients are basic, items you’d find in any kitchen: macaroni, cheese, milk, butter, and a few seasonings. There are no fancy embellishments or exotic additions. Yet, the magic lies in how these ingredients come together.

The methodology Farmer employs ensures that the macaroni is perfectly cooked, the cheese sauce is creamy and rich, and the final bake gives it a golden crust. Every bite transports the eater to a time when food was made with care, love, and attention to detail.

Moreover, the authenticity of the dish lies in its adherence to traditional cooking techniques. In an age where quick fixes and shortcuts are common, Farmer’s recipe is a reminder of the beauty of slow cooking and the flavors that emerge when ingredients are allowed to meld together.

Fannie Farmer’s Mac and Cheese is not just a dish; it’s a journey through time. It encapsulates the essence of a bygone era while still remaining relevant today. It’s a testament to the fact that good food, made with love and care, is timeless. Whether you’re making it for the first time or the hundredth, the recipe promises a dish that resonates with warmth, comfort, and a deep sense of nostalgia.

So, why settle for store-bought mac and cheese when you can whip up a classic Fannie Farmer version in the comfort of your kitchen? With just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques, you’ll be able to recreate this beloved recipe and delight your taste buds with a homemade masterpiece that is sure to impress.

Discover the Joy of Homemade Comfort Food

When it comes to satisfying our cravings and finding solace in food, nothing beats the warmth and comfort of homemade dishes. And if you’re a fan of classic comfort food, then Fannie Farmer Mac and Cheese is a must-try recipe that will transport you back to your childhood with every delicious bite.

There’s something truly special about preparing a comforting meal from scratch. The process of gathering the ingredients, following a cherished recipe, and putting love and care into each step is a rewarding experience in itself. Plus, the anticipation of enjoying a homemade dish that’s been cooked with heart only adds to the joy and satisfaction.

Fannie Farmer Mac and Cheese is the epitome of comfort food, with its creamy, cheesy goodness that warms both the body and soul. This beloved recipe has stood the test of time, and for good reason. The combination of tender macaroni noodles enveloped in a rich cheese sauce is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, making it the perfect dish for gatherings, family dinners, or simply indulging in the ultimate comfort food experience at home.

What Makes Comfort Food So Special?

“Comfort food is like a hug for our taste buds, bringing us warmth and joy in every bite.”

Comfort food has a unique ability to elicit feelings of nostalgia, coziness, and contentment. It’s the food we turn to when we want to find comfort, seek solace, or simply indulge in a little taste of happiness. Whether it’s a hearty bowl of soup, a melt-in-your-mouth casserole, or a decadent dessert, comfort food has a way of making us feel at ease and bringing a smile to our faces.

There’s no denying that comfort food holds a special place in our hearts and our palates. It’s the food we associate with cherished memories, family traditions, and the simple pleasures of life. Whether it’s a recipe that’s been passed down through generations or a dish that reminds us of home, comfort food has the power to nourish not only our bodies but also our souls.

So, next time you find yourself craving a taste of comfort, why not try your hand at making Fannie Farmer Mac and Cheese? The process of creating this classic dish from scratch will not only warm your kitchen but also fill your heart with a sense of satisfaction and joy. So gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and get ready to experience the pure bliss that only homemade comfort food can provide.

fannie farmer mac and cheese Recipe Overview

FlourMelt butter over low heat, then add flour and stir constantly until it becomes a light, nutty brown color
Milk/CreamSlowly add room-temperature milk/cream while stirring constantly. Turn up the heat and stir until it begins to bubble, then reduce to a simmer until it thickens
Salt and PepperAdd salt and pepper to taste
MacaroniIn a separate pot, cook and drain macaroni
ButterIn a large saucepan, melt butter and add flour mixed with salt and pepper
Milk/CreamGradually pour in milk and cream, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly
Cheddar CheeseAdd shredded cheddar cheese little by little and simmer for 5 minutes until melted. Turn off heat
Cooked MacaroniAdd macaroni to the cheese sauce and toss to coat
BreadcrumbsTransfer the mac and cheese to a buttered baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs
BakeBake at 400°F for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly
Fannie Farmer mac and cheese

Fannie Farmer’s Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Rebekah Plec
Fannie Farmer's Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese from her 1946 cookbook melds macaroni with a creamy cheddar sauce, topped with buttered breadcrumbs, and baked to a golden finish. It's the quintessence of comfort food.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 8 ounces Macaroni Choose a good quality brand for the best texture
  • 4 tablespoons Butter Essential for making the roux and adding richness
  • 4 tablespoons Flour Key for the roux which provides the creamy texture of the sauce
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Cream
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper: To taste
  • 2 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded (Ensure you opt for good quality cheese for a flavorful and creamy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs buttered (For the crispy, golden-brown topping)


  • Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 400°F.
  • Cook the Macaroni: Follow the package instructions. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
  • Prepare the Roux: In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Then, mix in the flour, salt, and pepper. Use a whisk to ensure a smooth blend without lumps.
  • Add the Liquids: Gradually introduce the milk and cream, whisking continuously. This helps in achieving a lump-free sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then let it simmer until it thickens.
  • Incorporate the Cheese: Gradually add the shredded cheddar cheese, ensuring it melts smoothly into the sauce.
  • Combine Macaroni and Cheese Sauce: Turn off the heat and mix the macaroni into the cheese sauce, ensuring each piece is generously coated.
  • Baking: Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the top with buttered breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes or until you achieve a golden brown top.


Note: This dish can also be frozen for later use. If you plan to freeze it, allow the mac and cheese to cool to room temperature before sealing it in a zip-lock bag. When you’re ready to eat it, let it reach room temperature, then bake for 20 to 30 minutes until it’s golden brown on top and bubbling.
Keyword Fannie Farmer’s Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese, Mac & Cheese, Macaroni & Cheese

Combining Cheese Sauce and Macaroni

Now that we have our delicious homemade cheese sauce and perfectly cooked macaroni, it’s time to bring them together to create the ultimate cheesy pasta recipe. Here’s how:

  1. In a large saucepan, melt some butter and add flour mixed with salt and pepper. This creates a roux, which will help thicken the cheese sauce.
  2. Gradually pour in milk and cream, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Bring the mixture to a boil for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Now comes the best part – adding the cheese! Slowly sprinkle in shredded cheddar cheese, little by little, and continue stirring until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the cooked macaroni to the saucepan, tossing it gently to ensure each pasta is evenly coated with that luscious cheese sauce.

At this stage, you can already start to smell the irresistible aroma of our cheesy pasta recipe. The creamy cheese sauce clinging onto each tender macaroni creates the perfect comfort food experience.

Now that the cheese sauce and macaroni are combined, it’s time to transfer them to a buttered baking dish. This will be the final step before our mac and cheese is ready to be baked to perfection. But first, we need to add a little crunch.

Topping Ingredients:

Breadcrumbs1/2 cup
Butter, melted2 tablespoons

Combine the breadcrumbs and melted butter in a small bowl, tossing them together until the breadcrumbs are evenly coated. Sprinkle this delicious mixture over the mac and cheese in the baking dish, ensuring an even layer.

Now, it’s time to bake our masterpiece. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and place the baking dish in the oven. Let it bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese sauce is bubbly and gooey.

Once it’s done baking, take a moment to appreciate the sight of your golden brown and bubbling mac and cheese. The crispy breadcrumb topping adds a delightful texture, while the cheesy pasta underneath promises an explosion of flavors.

It’s time to dig in and enjoy the homemade comfort of Fannie Farmer mac and cheese! Whether you’re serving it as a main dish or as a side, this classic recipe is sure to bring smiles to everyone around the table.

Enjoy the Homemade Comfort of Fannie Farmer Mac and Cheese!

There’s a profound joy in savoring a dish that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also warms the soul. Fannie Farmer’s mac and cheese is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. This classic rendition encapsulates the essence of comfort food, offering a symphony of flavors and textures that resonate with nostalgia.

From its velvety béchamel base to the tangy cheddar infusion, every element of this dish is meticulously crafted to provide a culinary delight. The golden-brown crust, complemented by the creamy interior, promises a sensory journey with every bite. So, why opt for anything less than perfection?

Dive into the world of Fannie Farmer and let this iconic mac and cheese elevate your dining experience, reminding you of the simple joys of homemade goodness. It’s not just food; it’s a celebration of culinary heritage.

FAQ’s fannie farmer mac and cheese

What is the key to a creamy mac and cheese?

The key to a creamy mac and cheese is creating a rich white sauce, or béchamel, as the base. This is achieved by making a roux with flour and butter, then gradually adding milk/cream while stirring constantly. Cooking the sauce over low heat until it thickens helps to achieve the desired creaminess. Additionally, using a combination of cheddar cheese and other flavorful ingredients adds to the creamy texture and taste.

Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?

While the classic choice for mac and cheese is elbow macaroni, you can certainly use a different type of pasta if desired. Shells, penne, or fusilli are popular alternatives that work well with the creamy cheese sauce. Just be sure to cook the pasta according to the package instructions and drain it before combining it with the cheese sauce.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of cheese to personalize your mac and cheese. Cheddar cheese is the traditional choice, but you can also try a combination of cheeses such as mozzarella, Gruyere, or Parmesan for added flavor and texture. Just keep in mind that different cheeses may melt and behave differently, so adjust accordingly.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the mac and cheese ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator before baking. Simply follow the recipe until you transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove the dish from the refrigerator, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and bake as instructed. Keep in mind that the baking time may need to be slightly extended as the dish will be cold.

Can I freeze leftover mac and cheese?

Yes, you can freeze leftover mac and cheese for future enjoyment. Allow the dish to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Label it with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then transfer to a baking dish and bake at 350°F until heated through, approximately 20-30 minutes. You may need to cover the dish with foil to prevent excessive browning.

The article was reviewed By Rebekah Plec, Hospitality professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

We value your feedback! If you found value in this article or have any questions, please subscribe or leave a comment below. Our team, including Rebekah Plec, will be more than happy to engage and assist.

Note: This article was crafted with the primary intent of educating and assisting our readers. We ensure that our content is backed by research and expertise. For more culinary insights, stay tuned to the Authentic Hospitality blog.

Rebekah Plec

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating