This is the macaroni and cheese recipe that would have been used in the kitchens at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. The popularization of this iconic American dish can be traced to Black cooks who helped spread the dish throughout the United States.

Leni Sorensen, February 2021


Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  • Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add salt and 2 cups milk. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook, stirring frequently so the liquid doesn't boil over, until the liquid is mostly absorbed and pasta is very soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain.

  • Transfer half of the cooked macaroni to the prepared baking dish. Top with half the cheese and dot with half the butter. Repeat with the remaining pasta, cheese and butter. Drizzle the remaining ½ cup milk over the top. Cover with foil and bake until hot and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

591 calories; fat 38g; cholesterol 104mg; sodium 582mg; carbohydrates 44g; dietary fiber 2g; protein 18g; sugars 2g; niacin equivalents 10mg; saturated fat 23g; vitamin a iu 1250IU.