White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (2024)

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White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (1)

By: Becky Hardin

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White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is one of my favorite macaroni and cheese recipes. This large-batch skillet mac and cheese for a crowd is the perfect easy one-pot dinner for any night of the week. So much cheese and so much flavor!

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (2)

Table of Contents

What’s in White Mac and Cheese?

I can’t get over how cheesy and creamy this white cheddar mac and cheese recipe is. It’s the perfect combination of ingredients to create something truly crave-worthy. Grab these ingredients and get to cooking!

  • Butter + All-Purpose Flour: Combine to create a roux that thickens the sauce.
  • Milk: I’m using whole milk but skim or 2% would also work in this recipe.
  • Heavy Cream: Adds richness to the cheese sauce.
  • White Wine: Adds a touch of acidity that really enhances the overall flavor of this sauce. If you’re not a drinker, you can swap this out for more milk.
  • Pasta: I’m using elbow macaroni in this recipe but feel free to use what you have on hand! You can of course use cavatappi, mini shells, or any medium-sized pasta shape.
  • Dijon mustard: Adds just a hint of warm, spicy flavor.
  • Salt + Pepper: Enhance the natural flavor of the cheese.
  • White Cheddar Cheese: Freshly shredded cheese melts so much better than pre-shredded cheese– plus it has more flavor!
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Create a crispy, crunchy topping.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a salty, umami flavor to the topping.
  • Chives: Add a pop of color and freshness!

Pro Tip: Use room temperature milk and cream to prevent curdling.

Variations on Mac and Cheese for a Crowd

This savory white cheddar mac and cheese casserole is great as is, but you can spice it up by addingcrumbled cooked bacon, sausage, or ham;shredded chicken; broccoli florets, diced peppers and onions;Buffalo sauceor sriracha; canned beans andsalsa, canned tuna, orchili. There are really so many ways to load up this pasta!

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (3)

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (4)

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What types of white cheese are best for mac and cheese?

I love classic white cheddar, but you could use sharp white cheddar, fontina, Swiss, Monterey jack, mozzarella, or gruyere cheese.

Why does white cheddar mac and cheese taste different?

The flavor difference is usually attributed to a trick of the mind, as the only difference between white and yellow cheddar is annatto food coloring.

What spices go well with white cheddar?

You can add onion powder, cayenne pepper,Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, orBuffalo sauceto spice up your mac and cheese. A hint of nutmeg also goes well!

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How to Store and Reheat

Store leftover white cheddar mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat covered with aluminum foil in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

How to Freeze

Freeze leftovers whole or in individual portions in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Serving Suggestions

White cheddar mac and cheese is a rich and hearty dish that you can enjoy as a simple main dish or a tasty side dish. The addition ofGrilled Chicken BreastandAir Fryer Broccoliwould make this the ultimate weeknight dinner! Or serve thispull apart cheesy breadon the side.

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5-Star Review

“My family enjoyed this side dish today for brunch it was so good will make this for now on thank you.” – Tracy

Recipe

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe

4.78 from 9 votes

Author: Becky Hardin

Prep: 20 minutes minutes

Cook: 20 minutes minutes

Total: 40 minutes minutes

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (7)

Serves8

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White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is a cheesy, easy recipe that covers all the bases: it's made in one pan, it's full of cheesy flavor, and it couldn't be easier to make. This skillet mac and cheese recipe makes 8 servings, so don't be afraid to share it with the whole family!

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (8)

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Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons salted butter (⅝ stick)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk room temperature
  • cups heavy cream room temperature
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 12 ounces dry elbow macaroni
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups freshly shredded white cheddar cheese

For the Topping

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted (⅛ stick)
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped chives

Instructions

  • Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

    5 tablespoons salted butter

    White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (9)

  • Whisk in the flour and stir while cooking for 1 minute.

    ½ cup all-purpose flour

    White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (10)

  • Whisk in the milk, cream, and wine slowly, one cup at a time, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer.

    3 cups whole milk, 2¾ cups heavy cream, ¼ cup white wine

    White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (11)

  • Quickly add the macaroni, Dijon, and salt and pepper, stirring constantly while cooking, about 6 minutes, or until al dente. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan while you cook.

    12 ounces dry elbow macaroni, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

    White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (12)

  • Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. I stirred in about half at a time to make sure none spilled over the sides.

    4 cups freshly shredded white cheddar cheese

    White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (13)

  • In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, breadcrumbs, and parmesan.

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs, ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (14)

  • Pour the breadcrumb mixture over the mac and cheese and broil for 2 minutes or until they are golden and toasted. Top with the chives and serve hot.

    ¼ cup freshly chopped chives

    White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (15)

Last step! Don’t forget to show me a pic of what you made! Upload an image or tag me @thecookierookie on Instagram!

Becky’s tips

  • This Skillet Mac and Cheese wasn’t an intentional knockoff of Panera’s Creamy White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, but it sure does taste like it. It was a happy accident that I’m more than thrilled with!
  • If the pasta becomes too dry or the sauce thickens too much, thin it with additional milk.
  • Use room temperature milk and cream to prevent curdling.
  • Shred the cheese by hand if possible for the best flavor and texture.

Storage:Store white cheddar mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 888kcal (44%) Carbohydrates: 52g (17%) Protein: 28g (56%) Fat: 63g (97%) Saturated Fat: 38g (238%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 188mg (63%) Sodium: 955mg (42%) Potassium: 401mg (11%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 9g (10%) Vitamin A: 2289IU (46%) Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) Calcium: 650mg (65%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

Did You Make This?I want to see! Be sure to upload an image below & tag @thecookierookie on social media!

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (16)

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (17)

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Meet Becky Hardin

Becky Hardin is a wife and mother living in Saint Louis Missouri. She founded The Cookie Rookie in 2012 as a creative way to share recipes. Now, she is a trusted resource for easy cooking around the world, being featured in Taste of Home, The Kitchn, ABC’s Home and Family, and more. Here at The Cookie Rookie she is the editor in chief of all recipes and continues to enjoy sharing her passion for cooking for busy families. She has since founded two additional food blogs, Easy Chicken Recipes and Easy Dessert Recipes.

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (19)

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27 Comments

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White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (21)

Helen Betts

Posted on 8/27/2021

Very rich and very delicious! I made it as directed except I had to cook the pasta for around 13 minutes instead of 7 to get it al dente. I’m not sure if my pan was too big (so the sauce didn’t heat evenly) or if the sauce was so thick, it just took longer to cook the pasta, but in any case we loved the final product.White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (22)

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (23)

Becky Hardin

Posted on 9/3/2021

Reply to Helen Betts

Thanks for sharing, Helen!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (24)

Shati

Posted on 7/31/2018

I prefer to use a baked mac n cheese recipe but this would be great if you had a bunch of kids to feed.White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (25)

Reply

Becky Hardin

Posted on 8/2/2018

Reply to Shati

Thank you so much!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (27)

Crab Dynasty

Posted on 3/25/2018

yummmm!! That looks so good! Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing

Reply

Becky Hardin

Posted on 3/29/2018

Reply to Crab Dynasty

Hope you love it!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (29)

Maevyn

Posted on 2/13/2017

Good morning, Becky! I came across this recipe whilst looking for something to bring to a Valentine’s potluck tomorrow night. I was wondering if I could make this in a 6 qt. Dutch oven rather than a skillet? Also, would this double well? Thanks so much! :)

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (30)

Becky Hardin

Posted on 2/13/2017

Reply to Maevyn

Hi! A dutch oven should work, although I haven’t made it that way. It should double just fine and I don’t see any reason why the dutch oven wouldn’t be an easy substitute. Hope you love it!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (31)

Maevyn

Posted on 2/14/2017

Reply to Becky Hardin

Thanks , Becky! <3 I'll try to report back & let you know how it went with the Dutch oven method. :)

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (32)

Becky Hardin

Posted on 2/14/2017

Reply to Maevyn

Awesome!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (33)

Maevyn

Posted on 2/15/2017

Reply to Becky Hardin

Hi, Becky! I just wanted to pop over & let you know that I doubled the recipe in the Dutch oven, and it could NOT have turned out more perfect! It was the most talked about dish at our party last night. Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (34)

Nabila

Posted on 2/2/2017

Hey, this looks delicious! I’m excited to try it
I’m just wondering what I can substitute the wine with?

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (35)

Becky Hardin

Posted on 2/2/2017

Reply to Nabila

Hi! You could use a cooking wine or just some chicken stock would also work. Hope you love the recipe!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (36)

Tracy

Posted on 11/24/2016

My family enjoyed this side dish today for brunch it was so good will make this for now on thank you.

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (37)

Becky Hardin

Posted on 11/25/2016

Reply to Tracy

That is awesome!! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. Thanks for letting me know :)

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (38)

Kirsten@humbledish

Posted on 9/15/2016

This looks saucy and cheesey and just ugh yum! Love the inclusion of wine in the bechamel, by the way. Pinned!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (39)

Karly

Posted on 9/15/2016

My favorite words to read in a title… “large and mac n cheese”! ;) This looks SOOOOO good. Definitely going straight to the list of favorites at my house!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (40)

Krista

Posted on 9/5/2016

This needs to be on everyone menu this week!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (41)

Justine | Cooking and Beer

Posted on 9/1/2016

Love this! The perfect mac and cheese!

Reply

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (2024)
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