Ultimate Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

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Ultimate Creamy Macaroni and Cheese is the epitome of cheesiness, guaranteed to banish boxed mac and cheese from your kitchen forever! Indulge in this luxuriously creamy dish that will satisfy both kids and adults alike, making it a family favorite in no time.

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Ultimate Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Elbow macaroni: If elbow macaroni is unavailable, feel free to use any pasta variety you have on hand, such as cavatappi, fusilli, or penne noodles.
  • Butter: Opt for unsalted butter, although salted butter can also be used, adjusting the added salt accordingly.
  • Milk: Whole milk is preferred for its richness, but 2%, 1%, or even skim milk can be substituted if necessary.
  • Cheddar cheese & Mozzarella cheese: While cheddar and mozzarella are recommended, feel free to experiment with your preferred cheese blend to elevate the flavor profile.

Ultimate Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

How to Achieve Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

To ensure a velvety smooth texture, avoid reheating the pan after adding the cheese. The residual heat from the ingredients is sufficient to melt the cheese without risking a grainy texture. Once the cheese is incorporated, simply pour the mixture over the cooked noodles and serve immediately while hot.

Ultimate Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Variations of Macaroni and Cheese

For a creamier texture, increase the amount of milk slightly. To add protein, consider incorporating ground beef, chicken, bacon, tuna, or sausage. Experiment with different cheese combinations for a personalized touch. For added crunch, top with breadcrumbs and serve alongside Apple Sauce, creating a delightful contrast of flavors.

Ultimate Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Storing and Reheating Macaroni and Cheese

Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container once cooled to room temperature, where it will keep for 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

To reheat individual servings, add 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of macaroni and cheese and microwave for 60-90 seconds, or reheat on the stovetop. For larger portions, bake covered with foil at 350°F (177°C) for 20-25 minutes, stirring well before serving.

Ultimate Creamy Macaroni and Cheese


  • 16 ounces (about 450 grams) elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 115 grams) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (750 milliliters) whole milk, warmed
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup (115 grams) sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ cup (60 grams) mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture turns light brown.
  3. Remove from heat and gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly.
  4. Return the pan to the heat, whisking another 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
  5. Add the salt, garlic powder, ground mustard, and cayenne pepper (if using), stirring to combine. Remove from heat.
  6. Add the cheeses, stirring to melt.
  7. Pour the sauce over the top of the cooked elbow macaroni. Stir to combine.
  8. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chopped parsley.

Ultimate Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

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