How To Serve Creamy Macaroni And Cheese Recipe The Best

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This isn’t your average boxed mac and cheese. This recipe is a love letter to creamy, cheesy goodness, perfect for a comforting side dish or a satisfying main course. Packed with flavor and endlessly customizable, this guide will equip you to create the mac and cheese of your dreams.


Easy Creamy Mac and Cheese
Easy Creamy Mac and Cheese

1 pound (454 g) elbow macaroni or other preferred pasta shape

  • 4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups (946 ml) whole milk (or low-fat milk for a lighter option)
  • 2 cups (480 g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (plus extra for topping, optional)
  • 1 cup (240 g) shredded Gruyère cheese (or another melty cheese)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions for al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup (240 ml) of the pasta water.

    2. Make the cheese sauce: In a separate pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to create a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk, one cup at a time, until smooth and thickened. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens slightly.

    3. Add the cheese: Reduce heat to low. Gradually add the cheddar and Gruyère cheeses, a handful at a time, stirring continuously until melted and smooth. Season with dry mustard powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste.

    4. Combine and serve: Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and toss to coat evenly. If the sauce seems too thick, gradually add some of the reserved pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    5. Optional broiling: Preheat your broiler to high. Transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese (optional). Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.


    For an extra cheesy flavor, add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese to the finished dish.

  • Want to add some protein? Stir in cooked and chopped bacon, shredded chicken, or crumbled sausage before serving.
  • Make it vegetarian! Substitute vegetable broth for the milk and use your favorite vegetarian cheeses.

  • Nutrition Facts:

    (Per serving, without optional broiled cheese)

    Calories: 650

  • Fat: 35 g
  • Saturated Fat: 20 g
  • Cholesterol: 100 mg
  • Sodium: 600 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 60 g
  • Protein: 30 g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    This creamy mac and cheese recipe is a versatile and delicious dish that’s sure to please everyone at the table. With its simple ingredients and customizable options, you can tailor it to your preferences and dietary needs. So grab your favorite cheese, fire up the stove, and get ready to create mac and cheese magic!


    1. Can I use a different type of pasta?

    Absolutely! While elbow macaroni is classic, any short pasta shape like penne, shells, or cavatappi will work well.

    2. How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

    Use your favorite gluten-free pasta alternative and ensure all your cheese selections are gluten-free certified.

    3. Is there a way to lighten up this recipe?

    For a lighter option, swap the whole milk for low-fat milk and use a reduced-fat cheese blend. You can also decrease the amount of butter used.

    4. How can I reheat leftover mac and cheese?

    Leftovers can be reheated gently on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of milk or broth if needed to prevent drying out. Alternatively, reheat individual portions in the microwave until warmed through.

    5. What can I serve with mac and cheese?

    This dish pairs well with a variety of options. Try a simple green salad, roasted vegetables, grilled chicken or fish, or a juicy steak.