Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe 2 Ways {VIDEO}

Baked Mac and Cheese is one of my favorite foods. We’ve got TWO different flavors in this amazing Macaroni and Cheese Casserole, making it the best Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese recipe. Make Onion and Bacon Mac and Cheese, and Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese in one dish. There’s something for everyone! 

Baked Mac and Cheese (2 Flavors!)

This Baked Mac and Cheese recipe includes two different flavors. That’s right, everyone will be satisfied with this delicious Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese recipe!

What’s the hardest part about making food for a bunch of people? Coming up with something that EVERYONE will like. It’s almost impossible. This problem always comes up around the holidays, when we’re trying to cook a lot of food for all of our guests. I guess that’s the beauty of making a million different dishes for one meal, but I’ve come up with a nice solution to that problem.

First of all, everyone loves baked mac and cheese, right? So, we’re already off to a good start. Now to make it even better, we’re making 2 flavors in one macaroni and cheese casserole. Each flavor will have its own side in one casserole dish, so you can bake them together hassle-free. Your guests can choose which one they like best and everyone will be happy!

For this oven baked mac and cheese recipe, we’re making Onion Bacon Mac and Cheese AND Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese, and both are DELICIOUS. But you can use this same concept for other flavors of macaroni and cheese in the future. Just be sure to top every flavor you make with French’s Crispy Fried Onions. They’re pretty genius if you ask me.

This is my new favorite Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese recipe, because I like to have options on the big day. Plus, there are so many people to feed, so having both flavors and allllll that macaroni really comes in handy.

Make Baked Mac and Cheese TWO WAYS with this simple Macaroni and Cheese Casserole recipe. It makes holidays a breeze!

ingredients for making baked mac and cheese casserole step by step shots

side view of step by step shots for making baked macaroni and cheese casserole

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

The real genius of this macaroni and cheese casserole is the fact that we’re making two different versions in one side dish. I love this idea for big holiday meals, but it’s just as useful for everyday dinners with the family. Sometimes you just want options, you know?

You can make this with any flavors of baked mac and cheese you like, but I’m kind of in love with the two flavors I’m sharing here.

They both start out with the same basic macaroni and cheese recipe, but we make two different sauces and use separate ingredients when it comes time to split them up.

Onion Bacon Mac and Cheese

The Onion Bacon Mac and Cheese side is sooooo good. Who doesn’t want a little bacon in their macaroni?


  • Bacon Crumbles
  • Yellow Onion
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese

The Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese is perfect for garlic lovers (me). It’s the absolute best mix of flavors!


And BOTH flavors are topped with one of my all-time favorite ingredients, French’s Crispy Fried Onions!

lifting a spoonful of baked mac and cheese casserole

How to Make Baked Mac and Cheese (2 Ways)

Making two separate kinds of baked mac and cheese might seem like extra work, but it’s really not. You start with the same base for each sauce, you just add a couple extra ingredients into each one. And they’re being baked in the same dish, so it’s just one casserole and one baking time. 

Use foil to create a barrier in a regular 9×13 baking dish. This will separate it into two halves so you can pour each type of macaroni into its own side.

Here’s a quick overview of this oven baked mac and cheese recipe:

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water.
  2. Prepare the sauces for each flavor in separate saucepans. Just combine the base sauce ingredients with the separate flavor ingredients.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, pour half into each saucepan and stir to coat the noodles.
  4. Pour half of each mac and cheese flavor into its respective side of the casserole dish. Place a slice of cheese on top, and then pour the rest of each flavor into its side of the dish. Top with more cheese!
  5. Make the breadcrumb topping in a separate pan, and then pour it on top of the entire casserole.
  6. Bake mac and cheese for 30 minutes at 350°F.

Now you have two kinds of baked mac and cheese for everyone to eat! So simple, but this idea has really changed the game for me. Check the recipe card below (and watch the video) for more detailed instructions.

Recommended Products to make this Macaroni and Cheese Casserole:


lifting up a spoonful of cheesy baked macaroni and cheese casserole

plated baked mac and cheese

Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese Recipe

I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving would feel incomplete to me without some form of macaroni and cheese. It’s the perfect holiday side dish FILLED with cheese, and there are so many varieties to make. You could make a different version every year and still have your favorite food on the table.

I think this Two Way Baked Mac and Cheese recipe is the best way to go for the big feast. You get two different options in one dish, so everyone can choose their favorite (Onion Bacon Mac and Cheese or Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese). 

But if you don’t want to make this one (trust me, you do), there are plenty of other Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese recipes to choose from. I’ve got you covered!

cheese pull shot on baked mac and cheese recipe

shot of two bowls of baked macaroni and cheese casserole

The Secret to the ultimate Baked Mac and Cheese Casserole Recipe

The secret ingredient that takes this Baked Macaroni and Cheese Casserole from good to great is French’s Crispy Fried Onions!! They add so much amazing flavor, crunch, and ease to any recipe, especially around the holidays. I chose to top both flavors with French’s because they add that x factor that can’t be found anywhere else. Even my husband, who claims to not be a fan of onions, can eat French’s Crispy Fried Onions by the handful. Hmmmmm Pat, I’m onto you!

The way we make this Baked Mac and Cheese so creamy and cheesy is by layering in full slices of cheese to the casserole. As it bakes, the cheese makes a melty blanket over the pasta making things that much creamier. IS THIS HEAVEN?!

up close shot of cheese pull on baked mac and cheese casserole

Are you hungry yet? I’ve been drooling this whole time and I can’t wait to make this 2 Way Baked Mac and Cheese recipe for Thanksgiving (and every other day of my life, honestly). After you make this, let me know which flavor you liked best: Onion Bacon Mac and Cheese or Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese? Luckily you don’t really have to choose, since you can have both with this macaroni and cheese casserole!!

Watch the Video and See the recipe card below for details on how to make Baked Mac and Cheese 2 Ways. Enjoy!


If you like this macaroni and cheese casserole recipe, you’ll love these other easy side dishes for Thanksgiving and beyond:

Course: Appetizer/Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: baked mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese, macaroni and cheese casserole

Servings: 10

Calories: 478 kcal

Author: Becky Hardin

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour divided
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard divided
  • 3 cups milk divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika divided
  • 1 large egg whisked and divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • Fresh black pepper

For the Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese:

  • 1/4 cup yellow onion finely diced (sautéed optional)
  • ¼ cup cooked bacon crumbles
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar shredded
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar

For the Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese:

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 4 slices Mozzarella Cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

  3. While the pasta is cooking, we will make our two sauces in two separate small saucepans. In each saucepan, melt 1 ½ tablespoons butter. Whisk in 1 ½ tablespoons flour and ½ tablespoon mustard powder, whisking constantly for 2-3 minutes. Stir in 1 ½ cups milk and ¼ teaspoon paprika. Reduce both to a simmer for 6-8 minutes.

  4. Add half the egg to each sauce mixture, whisking to combine. In one pot, stir in the ingredients (except for the sliced cheese) for the Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese (onion, bacon, and shredded cheddar) and in the other saucepan stir in the ingredients (except for the sliced cheese) for the Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese (grated parm, shredded mozzarella, and garlic powder). Stir to combine and season both with salt and pepper to taste,

  5. Add half the macaroni to each mixture and stir to coat.

  6. Pour half of the bacon onion macaroni mixture into it’s half of the casserole dish and top with two slices of cheddar cheese. Top with the remaining half of the macaroni mixture and then top with two more slices of cheddar. Repeat with the Garlic Parmesan Macaroni mixture, using sliced mozzarella this time.

  7. In a separate small saute pan, melt the butter for the topping and toss in the bread crumbs to coat. Remove from the heat and stir in the French Fried Onions. Top both sides of macaroni mixture with the topping.

  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Baked Mac and Cheese Casserole Two Ways

Amount Per Serving

Calories 478 Calories from Fat 261

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 29g 45%

Saturated Fat 18g 90%

Cholesterol 106mg 35%

Sodium 837mg 35%

Potassium 229mg 7%

Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%

Dietary Fiber 1g 4%

Sugars 5g

Protein 23g 46%

Vitamin A 19.9%

Vitamin C 0.4%

Calcium 54.7%

Iron 6.7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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