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Creamy Cavatappi & Cheese Recipe

Creamy Cavatappi & Cheese Recipe

Dive fork-first into oodles of noodles baked to bubbly perfection and coated with a to-die-for sharp cheddar cheese sauce in this grown-up mac and cheese. Hot sauce lends a mild heat that’s delectable with the smoky topping. —Barbara Colucci, Rockledge, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. YIELD:10 servings


  • 6 cups uncooked cavatappi or spiral pasta
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 6 cups (24 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cubed process cheese (Velveeta)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
  • 3 thick-sliced bacon strips, cooked and coarsley crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Coarsely ground pepper, optional


  • 1. Cook cavatappi according to package directions.
  • 2. Meanwhile, saute garlic in butter in a Dutch oven. Stir in flour and pepper sauce until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • 3. Stir in cheeses until melted; add green onions. Drain cavatappi; stir into cheese mixture.
  • 4. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs, bacon and melted butter; sprinkle over top.
  • 5. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with green onion and, if desired, pepper. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 706 calories, 38g fat (21g saturated fat), 110mg cholesterol, 782mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 3g fiber), 32g protein

Reviews for Creamy Cavatappi & Cheese

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Reviewed Feb. 2, 2015

"Yes this is definitely a grown-up mac & cheese - my 13 y/o son not so keen about it and asking what's that spicy taste, I'll make one again for the adults and for kids without the hot sauce :)"

Reviewed Dec. 15, 2014

"amazing!! fairly easy to make too"

Reviewed Oct. 31, 2014

"My family's absolute favorite! It is also yummy when warmed up:)"

Reviewed Oct. 30, 2014

"I made this last night. Definitely not a cheap recipe, but very good. I did add 3/4 lb of cubed Boars Head Black Forest Ham because I wanted it to be my main dish and an extra slice of Bacon because who doesn't love Bacon. It does make a lot, but we like the convenience of leftovers. I have 3 elderly parents I send food to. My mom loved it! My mother-in-law will have it tonight. Served with Sugar Snapped Peas. Yes, I'll make this again."

Reviewed Oct. 29, 2014

"Excellent recipes."

Reviewed Oct. 29, 2014

"What a great adult mac and cheese. The hot sauce cinches it for us."

Reviewed Oct. 29, 2014

"Milk, butter, bacon and cheese's whatever the nutritional values are you know they are not going to be good. If you want a healthy Mac and cheese this wil not be it. You can sub all items for lesser calroric intake but it probably won't taste the same. Omg! Delish!! Or consider smaller servings.."

Reviewed Oct. 29, 2014

"You can easily assume when there are no nutritional facts you don't even want to know!"

Reviewed Jul. 5, 2014

"This recipe makes a lot!!!!! I wish they had given the amount of servings with the recipe, It's very good, but it did take me a fairly long time to make. If you decide to try it, have a big group of people first, and have your ingredients all ready when you start. For 5 people we barly made a dent in it. Kids loved it!! I also used Hormel bacon pieces (real bacon) instead of frying the bacon. Tasted great!!!"

Reviewed Jan. 17, 2014

"Looks like will be making this sometime. Will try with bow ties, see how well that goes over."

Reviewed Feb. 24, 2013

"Everyone loved this version of mac & cheese. I thought when making the dish that I was going to have way too much cheese sauce but it was exactly right for 6 cups of pasta. Next time, however, I will make a 1/2 recipe at a time."

Reviewed Feb. 15, 2013

"This is a definite do-over. Made a pan for a family where the young mother of 4 is going through chemo (and a test portion for myself). They went wild over it. Fabulous restaurant quality recipe. The garlic and green onion really set it apart from other mac & cheese recipes. Loved it."

Reviewed Feb. 10, 2013

"Each member of my family came up to me separately and said, "Mom, this is a keeper!""

Reviewed Jan. 15, 2013

"i would like to make it but where are the cal,

fat count."

Reviewed Jan. 11, 2013

"Really tasty and creamy. I cut the recipe in half and it still fed 6. What is with the crazy portion sizes? Left out onions because we don't care for them. Where are the nutrition facts?"

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Wine Pairings

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.