I have been working on my Creamy Mac & Cheese for years and finally nailed down the perfect recipe! So many people love this recipe because you don’t need to make a roux, and you do not need an egg. This recipe is a guaranteed show-stopper at any event because it is creamy and cheesy but also drop-dead gorgeous- I mean, look at her. 😉
P.S. If you love this recipe, please leave a review at the bottom of this page.
Why everyone loves this Recipe
It’s easy- A huge part of the reason I developed this recipe is that many home cooks struggle with making a roux. It does take practice, and if you don’t cook out the flour long enough or if your liquid ratio is off, your cheese sauce will come out too thick. The roux step made my original recipe very intimating, and I always strive for easy recipes that anyone can make, regardless of experience.
It’s creamy– The inside of this Mac and Cheese is so deliciously creamy and moist! When trying different Mac and cheese recipes, I found that even the ones that nailed the creaminess had a dryer sauce.
It’s cheesy- The cheeses I chose are appropriate because they have a balance of flavors and melt nicely. A cheese pull is mandatory, especially if you bring this to Thanksgiving dinner or a family potluck!
Tips for making the perfect Cheese Sauce
Buy Good Cheese
Buy the good stuff (if you can). If you’re trying to budget, I would suggest shopping at Aldi as they have amazing cheese options for affordable prices. Personally Tillamook is my cheese of preference. The cheese is perfectly salted and melts wonderfully.
Grate your own cheese- Store bought shredded cheeses contains cultures and preservatives that prevent the cheese from melting properly and change the taste of the cheeses. Not only are cheese blocks usually a lot cheaper than pre-shredded cheese, you’ll get better flavor and texture if you grate your own. This is a non-negotiable step.
Take your time- Although this is an easy recipe, it’s not a recipe I would suggest rushing through. Follow the steps slowly to ensure the best possible outcome. I mean, the ingredients aren’t cheap- do it right!
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Ingredients You’ll Need
- 1 box and a half of Elbow Pasta Noodles
- Heavy Cream
Substitutions and Recipe Variations
Make it without Heavy Cream- Don’t have heavy cream? No problem! Use evaporated milk instead!
Make it with another noodle- Don’t have elbows? Use cavatappi!
Make it with pre-shredded cheese- While I highly recommend using freshly grated cheese, it’s perfectly fine to use pre-shredded cheese, freshly grated just melts better!
Make it Keto- If your keto, this is the perfect recipe for you. Substitute the macaroni noodles for, boiled cauliflower!
How to make Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Grate your cheeses. Divide into 3 parts
- Boil your noodles.
- Make your cheese sauce
- Mix your noodles with your cheese sauce. Save some cheese sauce for layering.
- Add half your noodle sauce to a 13×9 Baking Dish, layer some cheese sauce and shredded cheese on top of half the noodles and then add the rest of the noodles on top. Repeat this process, your final dish should have a fully covered shredded cheese top.
- Bake your four cheese Mac & Cheese at 350 degrees until cheese is fully melted. This should be about 20-25 minutes. Broil on high until you have a bubbly golden brown top.
My Cheese sauce is watery! What should I do?
Add more or your reserved cheese or continue to allow your cheese to melt while stirring. Your sauce will also thicken up over time
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes! You can make this recipe up to two days before and save the baking part before serving!
Can I make this recipe in the crockpot?
Yes! Use the recipe the same way and add all of your ingredients to the slow cooker on low heat until the top layer of cheese is melted.
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Creamy Mac & Cheese
- 1 Cheese Grater
- 1.5 box/lb macaroni noodles 1 box and a half! 24oz of noodles in total!I also love to use cavatappi noodles for this recipe!
- 16 oz sharp cheddar freshly grated
- 16 oz Colby jack cheese
- 8 oz Gouda
- 8 oz mozarella cheese
- 6 cups heavy cream
- 4 tbsps salted butter
- 4 oz cream cheese optional
- 2 tsps salt
- 2 tsp chicken bouillon
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp adobo
- Grate your cheeses using the large shredder and set them aside. If you come across any small chunks that are too petite to grate, be sure to save them!
- Cook your macaroni noodles following the instructions on the package. Enhance the water with chicken bouillon for added flavor.
- In a spacious sauce pot, melt butter on low heat, and gradually pour in the heavy cream. Whisk the mixture smoothly.
- Start incorporating approximately 50% of your shredded cheeses until well blended. Introduce cream cheese last, allowing the cheese to melt and simmer on low heat. Season with spices and taste to perfection.
- Combine your elbow noodles with the cream sauce, tossing in the small extra chunks of cheese. Aim for a creamy, wet mixture that produces a satisfying sound when mixed.
- Transfer the mixture into a 13×9 baking dish, starting with half of your noodles. Layer with a light coating of cheese sauce and your shredded cheese mix. Add the remaining noodles and finish by topping with a generous layer of shredded cheese. If more cheese is needed for the top, opt for cheddar or Colby jack.
- Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted.
- Broil for 2 minutes at the end for a nice golden brown top