Homemade Mac n Cheese Recipe

Homemade Mac n Cheese Recipe

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.

Pretty sure my mom makes the best homemade mac n cheese on the planet and although I have tried for years to replicate it, I have never been able to. Although I am still working on that, I just recently came across a recipe that I love and it is UNBELIEVABLY EASY! I found this recipe in the new Magnolia Table Cookbook by Joanna Gaines. Not only is the homemade mac n cheese recipe to die for, but I’m pretty sure that the majority of the meals I make for my family will be coming from this book for quite some time now! I’m putting the amazon link below, do yourself a favor and check out this book if you have not already!

I think one of the biggest reasons I have struggled in the past with mac n cheese is because the milk would curdle or the cheese would clump. I’ve never been able to achieve consistency. Every time I would make this meal it would turn out different. This is usually a tell-tale sign that I should just find a decent recipe and stick with it, but I’ve been stubborn about this and have continued to just try to figure it out on my own. Oh well, lesson learned…. maybe….


I know it’s mac n cheese so using macaroni is customary, but let’s be honest, the kind of pasta you use doesn’t matter too much as long as you cook it using the directions on the package. I used Rotini because that’s a favorite in our house. Make sure the water you cook it in is well salted!

Cream Sauce

While the pasta is cooking you want to get started on your cream sauce. Oh my gosh, it’s so easy! Throw a stick of butter, milk and heavy cream into a sauce pot and cook it over medium high heat until the stick of butter is melted. Once the pasta is done cooking, drain it and then toss it with the cream sauce. Immediately toss with your dry mustard, nutmeg, pepper, shredded cheddar and cubed Velveeta and keep stirring everything together until the cheese is completely melted.


Transfer to a greased baking dish and bake for about 25 minutes.

The Topping

In a small sauce pan, melt butter down and cook garlic until it is soft (about a minute). Add the breadcrumbs and salt and let them toast for about 7-8 minutes stirring frequently. Pour the topping over the mac n cheese just before serving.

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Homemade Mac n Cheese Recipe

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 725 kcal



  • Kosher salt
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces processed cheese such as Velveeta, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces white Cheddar grated (about 2 cups)

Crispy Topping (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 cups panko
  • 2 pinches kosher salt



  1. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Make the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and return to the now empty pot (this saves on dishes rather than using a new bowl!)

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  3. Combine the milk, cream, and butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Pour over the noodles in the pot. Add the cheeses, dry mustard, nutmeg, and pepper, and stir until well combined.

  4. Pour into a large baking dish and spread evenly.  Bake about 25 minutes.

  5. While the mac and cheese is baking, make the topping, if desired: In a saute pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add the panko and salt and toss. Stir often, until breadcrumbs are lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes.

  6. Remove the mac and cheese from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle on topping just before serving.

Let me know how yours turned out!

I would love to know how yours turns out and if you make any modifications! Let me know in the comments below!

Tools I used to make this recipe

My nonstick cookware: I love this set and it’s not too expensive so I don’t feel guilty if it gets scratched

My hi-temp spatulas: Hands down the most used tools in my kitchen

My bake ware: I use these all the time and they have their own lids which makes it super easy to store leftovers.

Other family friendly meals you might enjoy

Chicken and Rice with Broccoli

Make Ahead Lasagna

Quick Pasta Dinner Recipe- chicken, tomato and spinach


4 thoughts on “Homemade Mac n Cheese Recipe”

  • I love Mac and Cheese so thank you for this recipe! Have you made this dish with anything else? I know ive seen Mac and cheese In a burger, would you enjoy that? I’m not so sure myself. Pasta is my fav dish of all time, any type of pasta. What’s yours?

    • I’m right there with you!  Not sure I would like Mac and Cheese on a Burger!  I’ve seen it on pizza too—- not sure about that one either.  Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  • That looks amazing! I love these types of recipes that spice up these classic go-to meals. I like having options like this that aren’t too time-consuming to make after a long day. I’ll definitely have to throw this into the rotation and try it out. Have you tried other cheeses with this recipe?

    • Yes!  I tend to throw in whatever I have for cheese as long as it’s something that melts well.  Sometimes you can get really good prices on cheese ends at the market— those work well for mac and cheese also!  Hope you enjoy the recipe!

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