Dinner, Recipes, Vegetarian

Baked White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Baked White Cheddar Mac and Cheese | www.thestarknest.com

There’s nothing like a bowl of cheesy, gooey, melty mac and cheese. It has to be one of my favorite foods in the world. I think I’ve enjoyed just about every kind around, from the boxed stuff to fancy steakhouse lobster mac and cheese, and everything in between. I love it all, but what I really love the most is a classic homemade recipe, one that you can share at family parties or make as a special treat for dinner. To me, the perfect mac and cheese should be super creamy, extra cheesy, with a sharp, tangy flavor. It really is the ultimate comfort food.

Everyone should have a great mac and cheese recipe in their back pocket, and that’s why I’m going to share mine with you today. Over the years I’ve perfected this recipe, which hits all the requirements I mentioned above. In my opinion, it’s everything that mac and cheese should be. Nothing more and nothing less.




This is a recipe for white cheddar mac and cheese, but you can also use regular sharp cheddar as well.Β  I like to use a combination of a sharp cheese mixed with something smooth and melty like mozzarella. This gives it that perfect balance of cheesy and tangy yet smooth and creamy like I mentioned before.

I make this for almost every family get together. It’s one of those recipes that I’ve made so much that I could probably make it in my sleep. It’s always a crowd pleaser, and you can bet this will be on our Thanksgiving menu this year!

If you’re looking for a dish that will be the star of your next holiday, or if you’re just craving something really cheesy and delicious, keep reading!

What You’ll Need

  • 1 box elbow noodles
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Tony Cachere’s creole seasoning
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed (I like to use one block of Cracker Barrel Vermont Sharp White Cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Muenster cheese slices

Directions

Get the noodles cooking and work on the cheese sauce in the mean time.

To make the cheese sauce, start by making a simple roux. A roux is basically just a fancy word for equal parts butter and flour. This serves as a base and a thickener for our cheese sauce. Melt the butter over low heat, then whisk in the flour.

Baked White Cheddar Mac and Cheese | www.thestarknest.com

Once your roux is made, slowly pour in the milk, whisking as you go so the sauce stays smooth as it thickens. Let the milk simmer for a minute or two until thickened.

Add in salt and pepper, cheese, sour cream, and the secret ingredient – the Tony Cachere’s creole seasoning. Guys, if you haven’t tried this stuff yet, you’re missing out. We use it on almost everything. It works incredibly well in mac and cheese and even scrambled eggs. I can’t explain it, all I can tell you is try it!

The creole seasoning does add a little spice, so start with a small amount and add more as desired. When I make this for a crowd, I stay on the lighter side with this in case anyone is sensitive to spice.

Taste your cheese sauce at this point and make sure the flavor seems right to you. If you need more salt or anything else, now is the time to add it.

Baked White Cheddar Mac and Cheese | www.thestarknest.com

Once you are happy with the sauce, pour it over the cooked noodles and transfer everything to a casserole dish. Add slices of Muenster cheese on top, then bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted. I also like to broil it for a few minutes to get that perfect bubbling, golden brown cheese on top.

Baked White Cheddar Mac and Cheese | www.thestarknest.com

Look at how dreamy this is! Super cheesy, rich, and decadent. The mozzarella helps to create that beautiful cheese pull that we all love.

If you are making this in advance and will need to heat it up in the oven later, you may need to add some milk to it, or even a little extra cheese sauce, to mix in once it comes out of the oven. I do this because the longer the noodles sit, the more they absorb the sauce, and the last thing you want is dried out mac and cheese.

Baked White Cheddar Mac and Cheese | www.thestarknest.com

Baked White Cheddar Mac and Cheese | www.thestarknest.com
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Baked White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

This cheesy, gooey, melty white cheddar mac and cheese recipe is top notch! Perfect for a holiday dinner or family get together!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Author Leah Stark

Ingredients

  • 1 box (16 oz) elbow noodles
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Tony Cachere's creole seasoning
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed or shredded
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Muenster cheese slices

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cook noodles according to package directions.

  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. 

  4. Slowly pour in milk, whisking as you go so that the sauce remains smooth as it thickens. Let sauce simmer for a few minutes until thickened.

  5. Add salt, pepper, creole seasoning, cheese, and sour cream. Let cook until cheese is melted. If sauce seems too thick, add more milk as needed.

  6. Drain noodles. Pour cheese sauce over noodles and combine.

  7. Transfer to an oven safe baking dish. Top with slices of Muenster cheese. 

  8. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Additionally, you can broil for a few minutes if desired. 

I know this is going to be a recipe you and your family will love! As always, let me know what you think of this, and be sure to follow The Stark Nest on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!

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