Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min.

Makes

6 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
This is the ultimate creamy mac and cheese. It's saucy, thick and very rich, with a wonderful cheddar flavor. Once you taste it, you'll be hooked. —Cindy Hartley, Chesapeake, Virginia

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces cubed Velveeta
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add 1-1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in sour cream, Velveeta, Parmesan cheese, salt, mustard and pepper until smooth and cheese is melted. Add more milk to reach desired consistency.
  3. Drain macaroni; toss with cheddar cheese. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Stir in cream sauce.
  4. Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
Creamy Mac and Cheese Tips

Can you use different kinds of cheese to make creamy mac and cheese?

If you love cheesy recipes, this creamy mac and cheese might become a new favorite. The Velveeta keeps it really creamy, rich and smooth while the cheddar adds that classic mac and cheese flavor. If you're going to swap out a cheese in this recipe, it would be best to leave the Velveeta and experiment with the shredded cheese stirred in at the end. Instead of cheddar, try another cheese that melts easily like Gruyere, Gouda, Monterey Jack, Havarti or Muenster. Here are more Velveeta recipes if you can't get enough!

What else can you add to creamy mac and cheese?

Many mix-ins go well with mac and cheese. You can add steamed vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower, or make your homemade creamy mac and cheese a hearty main dish by adding cubed ham, rotisserie chicken, ground beef or pulled pork. Add texture by topping it with green onions, parsley, bacon, truffle oil, crushed crackers or potato chips.

How can you add a bread crumb topping to creamy mac and cheese?

It's not uncommon for casserole recipes to be topped off with a crunchy, buttery topping like buttered bread crumbs or crackers. If you crave the extra crunch, buttered bread crumbs can be added to this creamy mac and cheese. Combine 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs with 3 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the mac and cheese before baking.

How do you keep mac and cheese creamy?

This homemade mac and cheese recipe has plenty of creamy ingredients, and you can make sure to keep all of that creamy goodness by not overcooking your cream sauce. Cook it just until thickened. Once it's ready, seal in moisture by covering your dish with foil for the first half of the bake.

Can you make creamy mac and cheese ahead of time?

For the very best texture (not too creamy, not too dry), it's best to make this mac and cheese fresh. But, if you're pressed for time, you can make it ahead. To account for some of the liquid being absorbed by the pasta while it waits to be baked, cook the macaroni just to al dente and add more milk than the recipe calls for. You'll want the mixture to be looser than if you were baking it right away. Stir in 2 to 2-1/2 cups milk.

How long does homemade mac and cheese last?

To make your homemade mac and cheese last, keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Check out our guide to freezing food for more tips. Try more of our best mac and cheese recipes for more deliciously cheesy meals!

Elizabeth Harris and Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 653 calories, 46g fat (30g saturated fat), 143mg cholesterol, 1141mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 1g fiber), 25g protein.