The Best Easy Mac and Cheese Recipe
Nov 25, 2020, Updated Oct 27, 2021
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The Best Easy Mac and Cheese Recipe – creamy and fast mac and cheese recipe is made with both cheddar pub cheese and shredded cheddar cheese for a deliciously rich and indulgent dinner recipe that’s ready in about 20 minutes!
This macaroni and cheese recipe is incredibly easy and totally delicious – creamy and velvety, thanks to a heaping dose of pub cheese.
We LOVE pub cheese… it’s one of my favorite easy spreadable cheeses (like my knockout pimento cheese, which is a recipe everyone needs to try at least once!) – and in this recipe, we’re mixing it with shredded cheddar for the most unbelievably delicious mac and cheese.
If you love this recipe – be sure to check out our super easy Bacon Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese, too!
This recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make and is perfect for even beginner cooks – we hope your family loves it as much as we do!
We have a lot of readers on Sweet C’s with lots of questions about recipes, who have asked us to provide more information.
We chose to serve our loyal readers by including lots of information in our recipes – so please use the “skip to recipe” button in the top left corner of the post, or click on the section you’d like to skip to in the Table of Contents below if you would like to bypass all this.
Table of contents
What Cheese To Use
For this recipe, we’re using creamy, rich pub cheese and tangy sharp cheddar for a delicious balance and over-the-top cheesy flavor your whole family will love.
Since this recipe is very simple, it is important to pick flavorful cheeses that will take this creamy pasta over the top!
What is Pub Cheese
Pub cheese is usually made from cheddar cheese, mixed with milk and cream, so it’s easy to spread.
Pub cheese is great spread on crackers – but it also gives an incredible creaminess to macaroni and cheese that you have to taste to believe!
What Pub Cheese to Pick
We picked plain sharp cheddar pub cheese for this recipe to keep the classic creamy Mac and cheese flavor – but you can pick any flavor pub cheese you’d like.
You can change the flavor of your macaroni and cheese easily by grabbing different flavors of pub cheese – from bacon to chive, to port, or even jalapeno!
You can be as creative as you’d like with the type of beer cheese you grab.
What Cheddar Cheese for Mac and Cheese
Opt for sharp or extra sharp cheese for extra tangy flavor – or grab mild if your family prefers a more mellow cheese flavor.
This recipe works best with cheddar cheese that is freshly shredded – not the pre-shredded cheese from bags.
While it is easier to reach for pre-shredded cheeses, they are often treated with anti-clumping preservatives which can change how they melt – so shredding your own cheese fresh is the best option.
Tips To Perfect Creamy Mac and Cheese
This mac and cheese is super simple and easy to make – even for beginner cooks – but we have a couple of easy tips to make this recipe even easier, and to help you make it perfectly, every time.
Make A Roux
Making a roux (a browned butter and flour mixture) is an essential part of this recipe – it is a super simple step, but brings so much flavor.
Don’t rush your recipe or skip the roux – it helps make your macaroni and cheese thicker, with a nuttier, richer taste.
What to Serve With Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese goes with just about everything – it is quick to whip up, and it goes with all kinds of delicious dinners.
We’re sharing our favorite sides with mac aand cheese that are simple, quick, and full of flavor:
- 10 Minute Broccolini Recipe
- Perfect Sauteed Mushrooms
- Garlic Herb Butter Baked Pork Loin and Potatoes
- The Best Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe
And if you’d like to top your mac and cheese with delicious meats, please check out our favorites below:
- Perfect Grilled Chicken Breasts
- The Best Air Fryer Steaks
- The Best Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- The Best Easy Broiled Lobster Tails Recipe
- The Best One Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Recipe Ever
Mac and Cheese Without Mustard
This recipe includes mustard power as a part of the spice mixture – but if you’re avoiding mustard (or you’re allergic to mustard, like me!), I have a few tips below on other ways to get a rich flavor in your mac and cheese without the mustard.
You can use turmeric at a 1:1 ratio instead of mustard – it gives you the same yellow color and a similar earthy richness, but a less spicy kick than mustard.
Horseradish is spicier than mustard, so you won’t want to make a 1:1 substitution – use half or slightly less than half the amount of horseradish you would mustard powder.
Wasabi is spicier than mustard, but gives a delicious tangy twist to this mac and cheese.
If using wasabi powder in macaroni and cheese, use half the amount of mustard powder you would add to the recipe.
Be very careful when substituting wasabi if you have a mustard allergy (like me) – some wasabis are prepared with ground mustard.
Pub cheese is usually found near the specialty cheeses. Make sure to grab sharp cheddar, and not another flavor, if you want a classic macaroni and cheese flavor.
Penne, cavatappi, medium shells are great pasta alternatives for this recipe.
Any spreadable cheese works – be sure to pick a flavor you really love, since this recipe is very simple and doesn’t have many ingredients.
The Best Easy Mac and Cheese Recipe
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- 1 lb large elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces pub cheese
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente.
- Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot.
- Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and stir constantly until a roux starts to form, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Slowly add in the half and half and cook for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Stir in the cheeses and seasonings until fully melting.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and add salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 920Total Fat 63gSaturated Fat 37gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 185mgSodium 980mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 37g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.
Sweet C’s Favorites
If you love this easy recipe, be sure to check out our reader favorites!
These tried and true classics are always a huge hit with our family and our readers families!