Homemade Cheesy Mac

Here is a super easy quick throw together meal that is the perfect comfort food and is the best way to use the rest of the block cheese that you have. You can eat it right when it is done or you can throw it into a casserole dish and bake for 35 minutes to get a crispy browned topping.

In the past, I have sprinkled Panko bread crumbs (mixed with a little melted butter and Parmesan cheese) over the top of the Cheesy Mac and after baking, there is a crispy browned crust that is AMAZING!

This can be served as main dinner food or as a side for your BBQ or regular weeknight meal.

This is some ooey gooey deliciousness!

Ingredients for Cheesy Mac:

1-24 Oz bag of pasta (we like elbow noodles the best for macaroni, but shells are awesome too)
2-3 Cups milk
1/2 Cup (1 Stick) butter
About 4-5 Cups shredded cheese (mix and match makes for the best flavor)

What cooking utensils will I need?

Large pasta pot
Medium-size mixing bowl (to shred cheese in)
Cheese grater
Measuring cup
Strainer (to drain the pasta)

Prepare the pasta:

Preparation time: about 20 minutes

Fill the pot with water (about 2/3 full)
Add one teaspoon of salt to the water
Cover and turn stove burner on high
Once the water is a rolling boil, cook pasta according to the directions on the box (al dente)

After the pasta is done, drain in a strainer

While the pasta is cooking:

Grate the cheese into the mixing bowl

For this round of Cheesy Mac I had Mozzarella, Colby Jack, and sharp cheddar

Measure out 2 cups of milk
Cut stick of butter into 4 cubes for easier melting

Mix and heat the ingredients:

Turn the stove burner to low heat (4-5)
Add the butter and the noodles mix frequently so they don’t burn
Add the cheese
Add 2 cups of milk

Stir frequently as the cheese begins to melt
Add more milk if needed to make the cheese creamier

If you would like baked cheesy mac:

Preheat oven to 375F

Pam spray or butter a casserole dish

Pour your freshly cooked mixture into the casserole dish

For the crispy topping: 

2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon dried parsley

Mix together in a small mixing bowl

Sprinkle a nice even layer over the top of the Cheesy Mac in the casserole dish
Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbling

Important notes for you:

Recommended Noodles: The noodles that I have found to be the most durable are bowtie pasta, small elbow macaroni, or small shell pasta. Otherwise, the noodles get too soft and mushy.

In the past, I have added Cream Cheese (about 1/2 cup) and sour cream, and the flavor was amazing!

I know that some foodies prefer to have macaroni and cheese that has more milk in it so that it is a little runny. We prefer less runny so I add just enough milk to make the cheese mix nicely. Add as much as you would like!

Optional Flavor Additions:

If you would like to add other things to the macaroni and cheese you can be creative however you desire!

– Jalapenos
– Bacon
– Ham
– Hot dogs
– Diced chicken breast
– Tomatoes
– Tuna
– Steak
– Green Chilies
– Ground hamburger/turkey
– Broccoli

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