White Cheddar Mac and Cheese in a large bowl.
Homemade White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is made in minutes with tons of tangy white cheddar cheese and perfectly cooked pasta.
Jump to Recipe

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese offers a simple twist on a classic dish. With its creamy texture and bold cheddar taste, this cheesy comfort food is ready in under 30 minutes!

scooped a spoonful of White Cheddar Mac and Cheese.


Mac and Cheese with White cheddar

Our homemade White Cheddar Mac and Cheese recipe is so much better than anything from a box; it has a more sophisticated feel that meets my grown-up standards but is still considered “classic,” so it won’t scare away the kids!

Not only will you love this white mac and cheese meal because it’s made with simple, unprocessed ingredients (nothing chemical-based with artificial dyes and flavors found in a cheese pouch), but also because each bite delivers a velvety texture and savory flavor that can only come from the thick butter/flour roux.

The white cheddar cheese sauce is smooth, velvety, and perfectly coats each pasta noodle; it’s the combination of macaroni and white cheese that creates a gourmet version of the classic dish and makes it taste grown-up!

Why We Love White Cheddar Mac N Cheese

  • Quick and easy to make in minutes.
  • Uses a handful of simple ingredients.
  • Creamy, cheesy, cozy dish that can be doubled to feed a crowd.
  • Delicious comfort food with a grown-up feel.
  • Perfect for potlucks, a holiday side, or a substantial main meal.
White Cheddar Mac and Cheese ingredients.

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Ingredients

  • Medium shell pasta: Elbow macaroni works well for a classic macaroni and cheese look. 
  • Unsalted butter: Salted butter will work well for this dish; please omit the extra salt added later. 
  • All purpose flour
  • Garlic powder: This can be omitted, or a great substitution is onion powder. 
  • Salt: Omit this if using salted butter.
  • Pepper
  • Milk
  • White cheddar cheese

Substitutions and Additions

  • Make Without Milk: I used whole milk to make my white macaroni and cheese, but heavy cream is a great replacement if you are looking for a richer recipe. Please note that if you use heavy cream, you need to lower the flour used to preserve the texture. 
  • Change The Cheese: Monterey Jack is a great substitution if you don’t have white cheddar. White cheddar will be more creamy than Monterey Jack, but the flavor profile will be similar. Feel free to use mild cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar cheese for extra flavor.
  • Pick Your Pasta: Pick a pasta that will hold the cheese sauce well, like shells, penne, rotini, ziti, rigatoni, elbows, and farfalle.
White Cheddar Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.

How to Make White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

  1. Prepare The Pasta: Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and set the noodles aside.
  2. Make The Cheese Mixture: Melt the butter and mix in the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook on low until smooth and bubbly. Reduce the heat, add the milk, and continuously whisk until the mixture bubbles and the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat, and stir in the shredded cheese until melted through. 
  3. Combine: Add the noodles back into the pot and mix thoroughly with the cheese sauce.
  4. Serve: Serve warm with cracked pepper garnish (optional). Enjoy!
cheese mixture in a pot. adding shredded cheese into the pot. adding the pasta into the pot. white cheddar mac and cheese in a pot.

How To Make The Best White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

  • I highly recommend using freshly grated cheese for this recipe. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated with starches or cellulose to help prevent clumping and they don’t melt as smoothly.
  • I find that whole milk works best for the creamiest sauce, but you can also use half-and-half or low-fat milk.
  • Make sure the base of the roux sauce isn’t too hot when the cheese is added, otherwise, the dairy will separate, and the consistency will be grainy.

Bake With Breadcrumbs And Bacon

If you want to add a breadcrumb and bacon topping (like my Bacon Mac and Cheese), you can quickly turn this stovetop mac and cheese recipe into a white baked mac and cheese meal. Simply transfer the mac and cheese to a 9×13 inch baking dish, top with breadcrumbs and/or bacon, and bake in the oven at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.

How to Store Mac and Cheese

  • To Store: Cooled mac and cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Mac and Cheese can be frozen for 1-2 months if kept in an airtight, freezer-safe container. When ready to eat, allow white cheddar mac and cheese to defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To Reheat: Reheat any leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add more milk as needed to keep the mac and cheese creamy.
creamy White Cheddar Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.

More Easy Mac & Cheese Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

What does White Cheddar Mac and cheese taste like?

White cheddar macaroni and cheese is known for its rich and creamy texture. The sauce is made with white cheddar cheese and tends to be smooth and velvety, coating the pasta noodles evenly. White cheddar cheese also has a sharper and tangier flavor than other cheeses. It can provide a slightly tangy taste to the macaroni and cheese dish. The sharpness can vary depending on the specific brand or type of white cheddar cheese used.

How do I get my cheese sauce to be smooth and creamy?

The secret to a smooth, non-grainy, thick sauce is a good butter/flour roux, which is a basic thickener. The flour and butter should be whisked until there’s zero grainy-ness left.

Can I make This a gluten-free white mac and cheese?

Yes, you can easily make this a gluten free dish. Simply swap the all purpose flour for gluten free flour and use your favorite gluten free pasta.

eating White Cheddar Mac and Cheese using a spoon from a white bowl.

Other Easy Pasta Dishes

5 from 1 vote
White Cheddar Mac and Cheese in a large bowl.

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Serves — 6
Homemade White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is made in minutes with tons of tangy white cheddar cheese and perfectly cooked pasta.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) medium pasta shells
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Cracked pepper optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Using a medium stock pot or enameled cast iron pot, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set the noodles aside.
    2 cups (16 ounces) medium pasta shells
  • Returning to your stock pot, melt the butter on low heat.
    4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • Mix in the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper using a rubber spatula. Cook on low heat until smooth and bubbly, about 1-2 minutes.
    ¼ cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Turn the heat to medium and stir in the milk using a whisk.
    2 cups whole milk
  • Whisk continuously for 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat until the mixture bubbles and the sauce thickens.
  • Turn off the heat and add in the shredded cheese and, using a rubber spatula, stir until melted through.
    3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Place the noodles back into the pot and mix thoroughly with the cheese sauce.
  • Serve warm with cracked pepper garnish, optional.
    Cracked pepper

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Cooled mac and cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Mac and Cheese can be frozen for 1-2 months if kept in an airtight, freezer-safe container. When ready to eat, allow white cheddar mac and cheese to defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To Reheat: Reheat any leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add more milk as needed to keep the mac and cheese creamy.
Tips:
  • I highly recommend using freshly grated cheese for this recipe. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated with starches or cellulose to help prevent clumping and they don’t melt as smoothly.
  • I find that whole milk works best for the creamiest sauce, but you can also use half and half or low fat milk.
  • Make sure the base of the roux sauce isn’t too hot when the cheese is added, otherwise the dairy will separate and the consistency will be grainy.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 598mg | Potassium: 255mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 932IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 510mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

Related Recipes

Secrets to Quick & Easy Desserts
FREE EMAIL BONUS
How to make delicious desserts in no time at all!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?