Homemade mac & cheese is possibly one of the most comforting comfort foods. Whether you grew up on Blue Box, Velvetta, or homemade, Mac & Cheese has a place in our hearts. Funny story, I never ever wanted my kids to grow up eating blue box. I knew how easy it was to make homemade mac and cheese and I wanted to be "better" than all those "other" moms.
Reality hit, and now my 10-year-old will literally make Kraft mac & cheese from start to finish and I am just happy I didn't have to cook that night. Plus, he is learning to be self-sufficient. He will make an excellent husband one day, I am sure of it.
I am a STRONG proponent of using whatever noodle makes you happy. While there are some general guidelines to help pick one noodle over another, at the end of the day do what makes you happy.
With that said, any ribbed or hollow noodle is preferred as it loves to hold onto the sauce. That doesn't limit you to macaroni. There is a world of options out there.
I decided to use Colavita Radiators. It is a fun shape, it makes my heart happy, and the kids like them. It has lots of deep ribs so it holds onto a lot of sauce. I'm never going to be mad about that.
In the recipe I posted to TikTok & Instagram that decided to get 10K plus views, I used a Vermont Cheddar. It was legit just what I happened to have in the fridge. For this recipe, I'm using White Cheddar.
I was planning on using it for a charcuterie board, but we snacked on everything over the week instead and were just left with a rouge block of cheddar. So, here we are. My last-minute kitchen planning has led me here, haha. It happens a lot around.
All this to say, you have options here too. Smoked cheddar? Yup. Gruyere? That sounds amazing. Gouda...mmm...
Reheating Your Homemade Mac & Cheese
This is something I will get grief for but stick with me. I lived without a microwave, on purpose, for a long time. I have never been a fan of reheating food in general, and when I put anything in a microwave it explodes, is still cold in the middle, or dried out.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that 9/10 when I reheat ANY kind of pasta, I do it on the stove. For this recipe specifically, I would suggest putting your leftovers in a pan with enough milk or water to cover the bottom. Mix while letting it come to a simmer. It will be nearly identical to when you made it the first time.
Level Up Your Mac
If you want to take this homemade mac & cheese to another level up, take about ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs and toast them in a pan with about 1 tablespoon of butter, a pinch of kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Boom. Tastes like it was baked in the oven but you saved yourself 30+ minutes.
White Cheddar Mac & Cheese
Mac & Cheese
- 1 Pound Pasta - any ribbed variety
- 2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 2 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Cups Milk
- 10 oz Cheddar Cheese
- ¼ Cup Sour Cream
- ¼ Cup Heavy Cream
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- ½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs - optional
- 1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter - optional
- 1 pinch Kosher Salt - optional
- 1 pinch Fresh Ground Pepper - optional
- Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta, and cook for the recommended time.
- While your pasta is cooking, add your butter to a saucepot over meidum heat.
- Once melted add your flour and whisk for 2-3 minutes or until you smell a light sightly nutty aroma coming from your pan.
- Next you will add about ½ cup of the milk while whisking quickly. Once thickened, add your remaining milk and whisk again until smooth
- Cheese is up next, and we will also add about ½ of the cheese and mix until incorporated, and then the other ½.
- Once it's smooth, add your heavy cream and sour cream, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste.
- When your pasta is done, add it to your cheese sauce and mix. I like to add slowly so if I've made too much pasta I don't throw off my sauce to noodle ratio.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan. Add the panko breadcrumbs and lightly toast. Sprinkle, or spoon as much as desired.