Food

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe


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White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is super creamy and filled with rich, decadent flavor. This pasta recipe is the perfect comforting side dish for potlucks, holidays or even weeknight dinners!

If your family loves a good mac and cheese recipe like ours does, you’ll want to try our fall-inspired pumpkin mac and cheese, this spicy buffalo mac and cheese or this grown-up version lobster mac and cheese. They are all so different and SO tasty!

White cheddar mac and cheese in a large pot.

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe

This white cheddar mac and cheese might be even better than the original! It is filled with amazing creaminess and that delicious cheddar taste that we all love. Plus, you have the option to bake it in a dish topped with a buttery, seasoned bread crumb topping. This is the side dish my kids always request, and I’m quite happy to oblige. It’s so delicious, the whole family gets excited when this pasta dish is on the menu! 

It comes together easily with very little hands-on time, making it a great side or vegetarian main for weeknight dinners. It’s also great for potlucks and holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s pure comfort food that you’re going to love!

Ingredients Needed

This white cheddar mac and cheese recipe is made with a combination of simple ingredients that come together for a cozy, comforting combination of wonderful flavor and texture. See the recipe card below for a list of exact ingredient measurements.

  • Pasta: Elbow noodles are classic but we love using shell pasta because the cheesy sauce gets trapped in each shell for heavenly flavor in every bite.
  • Butter: An essential ingredient for rich velvety macaroni and cheese. Use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour will help to thicken the cheese sauce.
  • Milk: We recommend using whole milk for creamy results.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Used in addition to the whole milk for maximum creaminess and richness.
  • Cheese: Sharp white cheddar cheese actually has the same flavor as regular sharp cheddar, it just hasn’t been died orange.
  • Salt and Pepper: To enhance all of the delicious flavors.
  • Seasonings: Add in a small amount of both garlic powder and onion powder for a boost of flavor!

Bread crumb topping for serving

  • Italian Breadcrumbs: The contrasting texture of the crispy bread crumbs with the creamy macaroni is to die for!
  • Butter: Melted butter mixed with the bread crumbs will help them get golden and crisp while baking.  
  • Seasonings: A simple mix of dried parsley and dried oregano add color and a bit of extra flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste!

How to Make White Mac and Cheese

Your family and friends will go wild for this dish! It’s easy and so tasty with the best creamy texture. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Boil Pasta: Cook the pasta according to the package directions until it is just al dente. Drain the pasta and drizzle a small amount of oil over them, toss the oil in the noodles to keep them from sticking together and set aside.
  2. Make the Sauce: In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to create a roux. Gradually pour in the milk and heavy whipping cream. Continue to stir while bringing everything up to temp and thickening the sauce.
  3. Stir in the Cheese and Seasonings: Add in the cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cooked pasta. Stir to incorporate everything well and remove from heat.

For the Bread Crumb Topping

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix Ingredients: In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, melted butter, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.
  3. Toast: Spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly across the baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy.
  4. Serve: Serve the mac and cheese with the breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top, add more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
All of the ingredients for white cheddar mac and cheese in small glass bowls. Included are: shell pasta, white cheddar cheese, flour, garlic powder, whole milk, parsley, onion powder, butter, and salt and pepper.
The ingredients for the breadcrumb topping. Including butter, Italian breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper, and oregano.

Tips and Variations

Here are some simple tips for making white cheddar mac and cheese, so it’s absolutely incredible every time!

  • Cheese: Don’t use prepackaged shredded cheese. That cheese is coated in anti-caking agents to keep it from clumping and sticking to the bag that it’s in. So, it won’t melt as well as cheese that is shredded from a block. To get that creamy and smooth texture, grate your own cheese!
  • Topping: The breadcrumb topping is optional but I like a little flavorful crunch in my mac and cheese. You can also bake the breadcrumbs over the mac and cheese, instead of toasting them on a pan.
  • Baking Option: To bake the mac and cheese, once it has all come together, spread the mac into a deep 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the unbaked breadcrumb mixture over the mac and cheese and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are crispy.

A scoop of white cheddar mac and cheese on a wooden spoon.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

This white cheddar mac and cheese tastes fantastic the next day for lunch! Here is how you can store your leftovers to enjoy later! It’s a perfect quick and easy meal for yourself or the kids!

  • Refrigerator: Once the mac and cheese has cooled, store leftovers in a sealed airtight container then place it in your fridge. It will keep fresh for up to 5 days!
  • Reheat: You can rewarm this either on the stovetop or in the microwave for a couple of minutes stirring occasionally until it’s heated through. Add a splash of milk if needed for creaminess.

A serving of mac and cheese, topped with breadcrumbs.

More Mac and Cheese Recipes

Macaroni and cheese is one of those classic recipes that’s loved by all! It’s so comforting and delicious! Be sure to add these other tried and true recipes to the dinner lineup soon:

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Bread crumb topping for serving

  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions until it is just al dente. Drain the pasta and drizzle a small amount of oil over them, toss the oil in the noodles to keep them from sticking together and set aside.

  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to create a roux. Gradually pour in the milk and heavy whipping cream. Continue to stir while bringing everything up to temp and thickening the sauce.

  • Add in the cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cooked pasta. Stir to incorporate everything well and remove from heat.

For the bread crumb topping

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, melted butter, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.

  • Spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly across the baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy.

  • Serve the mac and cheese with the breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top, add more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Calories: 907kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 27gFat: 60gSaturated Fat: 36gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 939mgPotassium: 374mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2059IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 564mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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