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Creamy Cavatappi & Cheese

Dive fork-first into oodles of noodles baked to bubbly perfection and coated with a to-die-for sharp cheddar cheese sauce in this cavatappi, a grown-up version of mac and cheese. Hot sauce lends mild heat that’s delectable with the smoky topping. —Barbara Colucci, Rockledge, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    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 shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cubed Velveeta
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 thick-sliced bacon strips, cooked and coarsley crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Coarsely ground pepper, optional


  • Cook cavatappi according to package directions.
  • 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 until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in cheeses until melted; add green onions. Drain cavatappi; stir into cheese mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs, bacon and melted butter; sprinkle over top.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° until bubbly, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with green onion and, if desired, pepper.

Cavatappi & Cheese Tips

What is cavatappi?

Cavatappi is a thick, hallow, corkscrew shaped pasta.

What can I use instead of cavatappi?

An easy substitute for cavatappi pasta is elbow macaroni!

What goes well with cavatappi?

Several dishes would go well with cavatappi. The cheesy, creamy dish pairs perfectly with side dishes like a mixed green salad or simple side such as garlic broccoli. Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

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