President Reagan’s Macaroni and Cheese

President-Ronald-Reagan-Macaroni-and-Cheese-RecipeThis really IS Ronnie Reagan’s recipe.  The recipe clip has been in my binder for ages, and it’s darn good stuff.  Mac ‘n Cheese has become a signature family dish, thanks to my sister-in-law, Lynne (who I call “Sissy”). Last Thanksgiving, she brought a whopping slab of it to my sister Gretchen’s big feast; Sissy apparently made way too much for another need and this one was a spare. (Seriously?? A SPARE mac ‘n cheese!) Huge hit of the holiday, and subsequent family functions now expect some of the good stuff.

In my recipe binder, it appears I have more Mac ‘n Cheeses than any other item. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s loaded with fat and sodium, I’d make it a lot more often. Supposedly, the Martha Stewart version is THE most downloaded of all the universe, but we don’t like a breadcrumb topping and hers calls for fancier cheeses than my staples.

This is crispy, tasty and very cheeeeezy:

Ronald Reagan’s Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1/2 lb. uncooked macaroni
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 lb.), reserve 1/4 cup for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick coating.  Cook macaroni in a pot of salted water until tender, drain.   In a large mixing bowl, mix butter, egg, mustard and milk.  Add cooked macaroni to mix and stir to coat.  Add cheese, combine.  Pour into casserole dish and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese.  Bake 45 minutes or until custard is set and top is crusty.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shannon August 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Thank you for sharing this! My mom cut this recipe out of the L.A. Times Thursday food section, must have been 30 years ago, and it became a staple in our family. I used to have a copy, but lost track of it and was so excited to find it on your website. I look forward to sharing this with my family and starting new traditions!

2 Jerry January 9, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Just made this for about the 4th time. I always add the egg after it is laid by the
hen… lol I retired before my wife, she still worked at the Local Police Dept. When they had pot luck days, she would ask me to make this Mac @ Cheese from President Ronald Reagans favorite recipes. It must have been pretty good, ’cause she said it was the first thing to go. But yhou know, those cops will eat anything that is free…

3 Worth The Whisk October 31, 2013 at 11:44 am

Lark, that is a fabulous story and experience, thanks for sharing it.

4 Lark October 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm

When I was 6 years old, I made RR a red, white and blue pot holder and mailed it to him for Christmas. I told him this recipe of his was my favorite food (my mom’s boss had it somehow and made it for me often). I got an autographed photo of him in the Oval Office and a copy of this recipe on White House stationary. Mac and cheese is my fave food, and this recipe tops my list!

5 Melody Scott March 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

This sounds wonderful! If it’s of interest, I used to make a mac and cheese that called for mixing the cooked macaroni with a can of diced tomatoes and some basil, and cubed cheddar. Then I would mix one cup of milk with 2 eggs, pour over all and bake. The milk-egg mixture turns into a savory custard, with chunks of melted cheese. Not as good as this I suspect, but a different take on a mac-and cheese.

6 Ashley January 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I can see why this post is the most popular on It’s simple, cheap and delicious. Great entry. Let me know if you’d like to have me write a guest post for the blog, I’d be honored.

7 Judy November 23, 2009 at 3:57 am

Thanks, Patti, for this RR mac and cheese recipe that I made for about 45 people at a Ronald MacDonald House dinner here in Los Angeles recently. It was greatly appreciated and the first buffet item to go… not to mention, at least three people asked me for the recipe! Considering I can barely boil water, I had a big hit on my hands…thanks again for your generosity, particularly to us basic “non” cooks… xoxox Judy

8 Vicki July 18, 2009 at 11:42 am

LOVE that it is the “custard style” rather than the version we used to make in Home Ec which had us practicing our skills on medium
white sauce. I think Lawry’s website had some really good versions too –

9 Q. July 15, 2009 at 10:58 am

I love President Reagan – but had no idea he had a Mac & Cheese recipe floating around out there! I love homemade macaroni & cheese. Totally hate bread crumb toppings too, although my mom always topped hers with slices of fresh tomato and that was my favorite part:)

10 Fazia July 15, 2009 at 7:34 am

When do you put in the egg?
Patti comments: THANKS, I just fixed the copy. Good eye.

11 Alejandra July 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Wow! This looks really good. I may have to use this recipe to use up all the cheese i have in our fridge before our vacation. Great post!

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