As a professional chef, I have come across countless recipes throughout my culinary journey. But there is one dish that never fails to bring a smile to people’s faces and a warm, comforting feeling to their hearts – mac and cheese. This classic American comfort food has been a staple in households for generations, and today, I am going to share with you my tried and true mac and cheese recipe. Get ready to indulge in velvety cheese, perfectly cooked pasta, and the ultimate comfort food experience. So grab your apron, sharpen your taste buds, and let’s dive into the world of mac and cheese perfection.

Deliciously Creamy Mac and Cheese Recipe

There’s something magical about the combination of tender macaroni and gooey cheese. This classic comfort dish never fails to bring warmth and satisfaction. Whether you’re enjoying it as a side or a main course, this mac and cheese recipe is sure to become a family favorite. With its velvety-smooth texture and rich flavor, you won’t be able to resist going back for seconds. Let’s dive into the cheesy goodness!


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

General Information:

  • Making Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4


Step 1: Cook the Macaroni

In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.

The key to perfectly cooked macaroni is to avoid overcooking. It should be tender but still have a slight bite, as it will continue cooking in the cheese sauce.

Step 2: Make the Cheese Sauce

In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes until the mixture turns golden brown.

Gradually pour in the milk while whisking constantly to create a smooth sauce. Continue cooking and whisking until the sauce thickens, which should take around 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add the Cheese

Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the shredded cheddar cheese to the sauce. Stir until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce becomes smooth and velvety. This process should take about 2-3 minutes.

TIP: For an extra cheesy twist, you can mix in other favorite cheeses such as Gruyere, Monterey Jack, or even blue cheese.

Step 4: Season the Sauce

Add the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to the cheese sauce. Stir well to combine the flavors. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings according to your preference.

TIP: Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to personalize the flavor of your mac and cheese. Try adding a touch of cayenne pepper for some heat or a sprinkle of thyme for a hint of earthiness.

Step 5: Combine the Sauce and Macaroni

Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and gently fold everything together until the macaroni is evenly coated. Make sure not to stir too vigorously, as this can break the pasta.

Take a moment to marvel at the creamy, cheesy concoction you’ve created. The combination of pasta and sauce should be irresistible and a treat for the eyes.

Step 6: Bake to Perfection

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a greased baking dish and spread it out evenly. You can sprinkle some additional shredded cheese or breadcrumbs on top for extra texture and flavor.

Bake the mac and cheese for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. The baking process will give the dish a delectable crust while keeping the cheesy goodness intact.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy!

Remove the baked mac and cheese from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. The dish will be extremely hot, so exercise caution when serving.

Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or a drizzle of truffle oil for a touch of elegance. Serve the mac and cheese as a side dish alongside your favorite proteins, or savor it as a fulfilling main course on its own.

Prepare to indulge in a bowl of pure comfort and satisfaction with this creamy mac and cheese recipe. The velvety cheese sauce, combined with perfectly cooked macaroni, creates a dish that will warm your heart and please your taste buds. Whether you’re cooking for family, friends, or simply for yourself, this recipe guarantees a moment of pure joy. So gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and get ready to create a masterpiece that will bring smiles and contentment to all who savor it.

mac and cheese recipe

Important Things to Keep in Mind When Making the Perfect Mac and Cheese

Calling all mac and cheese lovers! If you’re looking to whip up the perfect bowl of creamy goodness, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen newbie, these tips will ensure that your mac and cheese turns out absolutely delicious every single time. Get ready to take your comfort food game to the next level!

First things first, let’s talk about the cheese. While it’s tempting to reach for pre-shredded cheese, opt for block cheese instead. Shredding it yourself yields better results as pre-shredded cheese often contains additives that may affect the texture of your mac and cheese. Cheddar is the classic choice, but you can also experiment with different varieties like Gruyère, Fontina, or even a smoky Gouda for a unique flavor profile.

Next, the pasta. To achieve the perfect mac and cheese, you need to choose the right pasta shape. Elbow macaroni is the traditional go-to, but don’t be afraid to explore other options. Cavatappi, fusilli, or even shells can give your dish a fun twist. Just be sure to cook the pasta until it’s al dente, as it will continue to cook in the oven when baking the mac and cheese.

When it comes to the sauce, it’s all about achieving a smooth and creamy consistency. Start by making a roux, which is a mixture of flour and melted butter. This will serve as the base of your sauce and help thicken it. Be sure to cook the roux for a couple of minutes to remove any raw flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until the sauce thickens. For an extra indulgent touch, consider adding a splash of heavy cream or a dollop of cream cheese. Trust us, it will take your mac and cheese to the next level of velvety deliciousness!

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to make a delicious mac and cheese recipe? Get ready to indulge in the cheesy goodness with these frequently asked questions.

Q1: What is the secret to making a creamy mac and cheese?

The key to a creamy mac and cheese lies in two main factors: the cheese and the sauce. Opt for a combination of cheeses such as cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmesan for a rich flavor and smooth texture. When making the sauce, be sure to cook the flour and butter mixture (called a roux) thoroughly to remove the raw flour taste. Slowly whisk in warm milk to create a velvety sauce. Adding a touch of mustard or a splash of Worcestershire sauce can also enhance the creaminess.

Additionally, avoid overcooking the pasta as it will become mushy and affect the overall texture. Cook it al dente and reserve some pasta water to help loosen the sauce if needed.

Q2: Can I use different types of pasta for my mac and cheese recipe?

Absolutely! While traditional elbow macaroni is commonly used for mac and cheese, you can experiment with different pasta shapes for a fun twist. Shells, cavatappi, penne, or fusilli all work well. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time according to the pasta you choose. Remember that different pasta shapes absorb sauce differently, so you may need to adjust the quantity of cheese sauce accordingly.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match pasta shapes for added visual appeal and texture. Combining different shapes can make your mac and cheese more interesting and enjoyable to eat.

Q3: Can I make mac and cheese ahead of time?

Absolutely! Mac and cheese can be prepared ahead of time and still taste delicious when reheated. After assembling the mac and cheese, allow it to cool completely before covering and refrigerating. If possible, undercook the pasta slightly to prevent it from becoming too soft during reheating.

To reheat the mac and cheese, simply place it in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave. Add a splash of milk to the reheated mac and cheese to help restore some of the creaminess.

Q4: Can I add additional ingredients to my mac and cheese?

Absolutely! Mac and cheese is a versatile dish that can be customized to your taste. You can add a variety of ingredients to elevate the flavor, such as cooked bacon, sautéed onions, diced tomatoes, or even cooked lobster or shrimp for a gourmet twist.

Consider adding herbs and spices like paprika, garlic powder, or dried herbs such as thyme or rosemary for extra depth of flavor. Be sure to adjust the seasonings accordingly to balance the flavors.

Q5: How can I make a healthier version of mac and cheese?

If you’re looking for a healthier twist on mac and cheese, there are a few modifications you can make. Choose whole wheat or gluten-free pasta for added fiber or opt for a legume-based pasta for extra protein. You can also swap some of the cheese with pureed vegetables like cauliflower or butternut squash to reduce the overall cheese content.

Consider using low-fat milk or unsweetened plant-based milk and using a reduced amount of cheese. Additionally, you can add steamed vegetables such as broccoli, peas, or spinach to boost the nutritional value. Remember, moderation is key, so enjoy your healthier mac and cheese in moderation while savoring the flavors.

AMAZING Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe

In conclusion, the mac and cheese recipe is a timeless classic that brings comfort, joy, and a touch of nostalgia to our tables. Whether you’re a skilled home cook or a professional chef, this versatile dish offers endless opportunities for creativity and personalization. From adding extra cheese and herbs to experimenting with different types of pasta, the possibilities are truly endless. So, next time you’re in the mood for some cheesy goodness, don’t hesitate to whip up a batch of mac and cheese using this recipe. Your taste buds will thank you, and your loved ones will be begging for seconds. Happy cooking!