Homemade white cheddar mac and cheese is one of the easiest and most flavorful dishes you can make. In addition to being purely delicious with just a few ingredients, it is also sure to please everyone in your family, from the littlest mouths to the biggest bellies.
I Love Mac and Cheese
Many people may think of mac and cheese as a kids food. After all, it is a very common dish served to children and they all gobble it up! Who can blame them? Pasta with a creamy cheese sauce is simply delicious. So why let the kids have all the tasty mac and cheese? Everyone can enjoy it! Our recipe for white cheddar mac and cheese is perfect for people of all ages, giving kids a dish that they know and love and adults a comfort food that they will enjoy as well.
How to Make Homemade Mac and Cheese
Our white cheddar mac and cheese recipe is very simple to make. So simple, in fact, that you will never need to buy a packaged box of macaroni and cheese ever again! Take a look at the basic steps in the recipe that will help you prepare a perfect mac n cheese dish.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside.
- Add the butter, milk and cheese into the hot pot that you used to cook the pasta. Stir until the white cheddar cheese has melted and is blended into the milk and butter. If needed, turn on the stovetop over medium heat to help the cheese melt.
- Toss the cheese sauce together with the cooked pasta and serve immediately, while hot.
As you can see, there is practically no prep time involved in this recipe and everything can even be made in one pot, from the pasta to the white sharp cheddar sauce! Such an easy recipe to follow with a perfect, comfort food result.
Adult Mac and Cheese
If you are looking to turn this white cheddar cheese mac n cheese recipe into something geared a little more toward adults, there are a few options you have. The first thing you can do is change the pasta in the recipe. Use a fresh, homemade pasta or pick a shape of pasta that is a little more elegant. Try something like a campanelle pasta or an orecchiette in place of the elbows in the recipe. You can even use a gluten free pasta in the recipe!
Be sure to follow the package directions for whatever kind of pasta you choose- fresh pasta may cook in just a minute or two while thicker dried noodles may have a longer cook time. Also, stick to the pound of pasta that the recipe calls for to be sure the cups per serving and nutritional content stay about the same.
Another way to upgrade this recipe without spending any more time in the kitchen is to pick a cheese that is more complex than the sharp white cheddar cheese used in this recipe. Use a few cups of different cheese completely or do a mix of shredded white cheddar cheese along with another kind of cheese. These are our favorites:
- Gruyere cheese
- Sharp Cheddar
- Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- Blue cheese
- Soft brie
- Pepper Jack Cheese
When picking a different kind of cheese to use, keep in mind how strong the flavor of the cheese is. For example, blue cheese has a very powerful taste so you may want to use half blue cheese and half white cheddar cheese. However, mac and cheese with gruyere only is a perfect, adult mac n cheese recipe.
Of course, many kids will love a new kind of flavorful cheese in their favorite dish. White cheddar is already more exciting than “orange cheese” found in many mac and cheese recipes or store-bought boxes. Sharp white cheddar takes it a little further in flavor (sharp cheddar has a little more of a bite to it!) and mix in that gruyere and you may be surprised how much your kids love the new taste!
Fancy Mac and Cheese Recipe
There are a few other things you can do to add some extra flair to this mac n cheese recipe without adding too much cooking time to the process. Of course, gruyere mac and cheese sounds pretty decadent and “grown-up” but these options for our recipe are just as good!
- Add some extra fresh ground black pepper to the cheese sauce to give it a little more spice. You can also add a few red pepper flakes and even a tablespoon of sriracha to add a nice kick to the sauce.
- Make the white cheddar macaroni and cheese completely and then place it in a baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups breadcrumbs with 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the breadcrumb mix by sprinkling it over the top of the mac and cheese and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes time or until the breadcrumbs begin to turn brown. You can have homemade crispy mac and cheese in under 30 minutes time!
- Add a few cups of vegetables to the mac and cheese. Think of vegetables that go well with cheese and pasta and toss them right in! Steamed broccoli, asparagus roasted in butter and even some sauteed Brussels sprouts make a great match. Add them all or try something new- about 2-3 cups of veggies will do! Just be sure to cook the veggies before mixing them into the white cheddar mac and cheese.
If you have any other ideas about how to take this white cheddar macaroni and cheese recipe to the next level, let us know! We love to hear how you take our recipes and make them even better. Don’t forget to browse some of our other recipes as well. We have lots of time saving, easy and delicious recipes on our site. We know that you will find something new and exciting that you will love!
Making your own macaroni and cheese has never been easier!
- 1 (16oz) box of macaroni elbows (we use gluten free)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 8 ounces white sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons organic butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to box instructions
- Drain pasta in strainer and set aside
- Add butter, milk and cheese to the hot pan
- Stir for a few minutes until it thickens into a sauce
- Add pasta back into pan and stir until evenly combined
- Serve immediately
- To help the cheese melt quickly in the pot, slice the cheese with a cheese slicer or grater before you add it to the pot. This will help the cheese blend into the milk faster and speed up your cook time for this recipe.
- Use this recipe as a side dish or as a main course. See our tip about adding vegetables to make this a more filling meal. You can also add cooked shredded chicken to the recipe, pieces of steak or even add some bacon to the white cheddar mac and cheese to help bulk it up. This is definitely a versatile recipe!
- Make this recipe in advance then store it in airtight containers in the fridge for up to a week. It is the perfect recipe for meal prep options and can provide you with a week’s worth of lunches!
- If the sauce cools too much, it may get quite thick, making it hard to mix into the pasta. Simply reheat the sauce over medium heat on the stove top, stirring as you cook. Once the sauce has thinned, mix in the cooked pasta immediately.