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White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Updated: May 28, 2023

Ditch the boxed mac & cheese and swap it for this homemade creamy white cheddar mac & cheese. No flour, no roux, simple ingredients, and by far the best part: sharp cheese with tons of flavor.


One of the most popular variations of mac & cheese is white cheddar mac & cheese. This recipe uses Sharp White Cheddar Cheese and Parmesan for a tangy and flavorful twist on this classic family dish. Restaurant quality mac & cheese can easily be made at home, allowing you to customize and experiment with different cheeses. This is way better than Panera and just as good as Clarkston Union Mac & Cheese ( if I do say so myself!)

Dinner plate with bbq chicken, broccoli, and mac and cheese

My family loves pasta and one of our favorite go-to dishes is mac & cheese as a side for dinner. This side dish can easily be made in under 30 mins while you have your main dish baking in the oven. We love to pair our mac & cheese with a side of roasted broccoli and some form of chicken. This could easily be turned into a main course dish by mixing your meat (like bacon) and/or veggies directly into the pasta.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes (sauce), 10 Minutes (pasta)

Total Time: 30 minutes

Course: Dinner, Side Dish, Main Course

Cuisine: American

Servings: 12+


You can divide the ingredients in half to make a smaller batch. I like to cook large meals and have leftovers instead of cooking every single day around our family's busy schedule!

 
ingredients: heavy whipping cream, white cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and elbow macaroni
All of these ingredients are available at Aldi!

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

  • 10oz White Cheddar, Shredded

  • 2oz Parmesan, Shredded

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

  • 1 lb Elbow Macaroni


Step 1: Prepare the pasta


Cook 1 lb of elbow macaroni pasta according to package instructions. Be sure to add salt to the water and stir it in to dissolve. Before straining, set aside at least 1/2 cup of the pasta water to add to the cheese sauce later. Strain the pasta and set aside.


straining pasta into a collander

Step 2: Prepare the cheese sauce

1. Measure out and set aside your seasonings.

2. Shred your cheese if needed, measure out the cheese you need and set it aside.

3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy whipping cream stirring occasionally until the edges of the pan start to bubble slightly. Keep an eye on it because it can over boil very easily.

4. Once it starts to bubble, lower the heat and add your seasonings, stir well.

5. Add your shredded cheeses one handful at a time. Stir the cheese into the heavy cream until it's melted.

6. Add your cheese sauce and the reserved pasta water to your cooked pasta. Stir well and let it stand for 5 mins to thicken. Serve warm!


stirring cheese sauce for mac and cheese

 

Watch me make mac & cheese below!





Storage

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove top or in the microwave. You can add a tablespoon of milk to make the cheese creamy again if needed.


Substitutions

• I recommend the combo of white cheddar and parmesan cheese but you can add any cheese you would like.


• Swap out the flour based pasta for gluten free pasta if desired.


• You can also adjust the amount of seasonings to your taste. I like to add ground black pepper to mine but the kids complain so I just sprinkle it on when it's on my plate.


Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

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