We Made the TikTok Mac and Cheese Recipe That People Can’t Stop Raving About

TikTok mac and cheese will shatter what you thought you knew about your boxed Kraft mac.

Kraft is the champion of boxed mac and cheese, according to our mac and cheese taste test. It’s an easy, cheesy fix that requires virtually no effort. Just follow a couple simple steps on the side of the box to make a bowl of creamy pasta! But what if we told you that Kraft is even more craveable with help from this TikTok mac and cheese recipe?

The viral video from TikTok user @_nikkigillespie_ made us realize that boxed mac really can be made even better. There’s no straining—just ingredients, a pot and a spoon. Plus, the end result is allegedly creamier than you’d get following the box instructions!

@_nikkigillespie_♬ original sound – Nikki Gillespie

With Nikki’s video collecting so much traffic, I decided to test the TikTok mac and cheese hack for myself.

What Makes TikTok Mac and Cheese Different?

Normally, boxed macaroni takes seven or eight minutes in boiling water until it’s al dente, and then after straining and returning to the pot, the ingredients mix up in no time.

What’s alluring about this TikTok mac and cheese recipe is that there is no straining required. Instead, all the ingredients are combined before the pot is even placed on the stove.

How to Make TikTok Mac and Cheese



Step 1: Measure ingredients

First, cut a stick a butter in half and measure out 1/4 cup milk. If you’re making two boxes of mac and cheese at once, don’t forget to double the ingredients.

Step 2: Combine ingredients

tiktok mac and cheese ingredients in saucepanHannah Twietmeyer for Taste of Home

Empty the dry pasta into a pot, and fill with water until the noodles are just covered. Proceed to add butter, followed by the packets of cheese powder that are included in the box. Do not add milk—save this for later. Give the pasta, water, cheese and butter a good stir before placing the pot on the stove.

Step 3: Heat the pasta

Heat the pasta mix on the stove over medium heat and stir occasionally until the water comes to a rolling boil. Bring the heat down to low, and let the pasta simmer gently while stirring. Do not cover the pot with a lid. You’ll notice the cheese sauce thickening and the noodles softening as the ingredients simmer together—this is exactly what you want. It should only take a few minutes for most of the liquid to evaporate.

Step 4: Add milk, mix and serve

When the cheese sauce has thickened and there is little liquid left in the pot, add in the milk. Mix it in while the heat is kept low and the macaroni is barely simmering, and keep an eye on it as you mix—you don’t want the sauce to get too thick and sticky. When you’re satisfied with the consistency, turn off the heat and serve.

Here’s What I Thought

tiktok mac and cheese on fork over bowlHannah Twietmeyer for Taste of Home

This TikTok hack for Kraft mac and cheese deserves all the attention it’s getting!

First of all, the absence of straining the macaroni is a nice touch. Using a colander to strain pasta isn’t at all strenuous, but it’s not something I enjoy—I’ll pass on transferring a heavy pot to the sink and the hot blast of steam to the face that follows. There’s an even easier TikTok method for straining pasta, though I often find it difficult with large amounts of food.

The pasta cooked perfectly—it wasn’t too soggy and had just the right amount of firmness. I know that some have had trouble with the pasta overcooking, but that’s why it’s important to check that the water level is just above the noodles in Step 2, and that you keep a close eye on the liquid when cooking.

I was definitely able to tell that the ingredients weren’t dumped in last minute but instead simmered together with the pasta—the cheese sauce itself was thick and creamy, not runny at all, and, dare I say, less salty. For reference, I used 2% milk and I thought this Kraft mac and cheese tasted delicious. If you like, you could add in your favorite shredded cheddar cheese like Nikki does to make the pasta even cheesier. To finish the dish, I topped it off with a dash of cracked black pepper, and was pleasantly surprised.

It’s safe to say that I’ll be ditching those instructions on the box for good, thanks to TikTok. If you haven’t yet, it’s never too late to try more TikTok recipes, like the whipped coffee that got us all through quarantine, and of course, the famous baked feta pasta.

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Hannah Twietmeyer
Hannah is a writer and content creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for all things food, health, community and lifestyle. She is a journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a previous dining and drink contributor for Madison Magazine.