Save on Pinterest

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

This is the ultimate creamy mac and cheese recipe. It's saucy, thick and very rich, with a wonderful cheddar flavor. Once you taste it, you'll be hooked. —Cindy Hartley, Chesapeake, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces cubed Velveeta
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add 1-1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in sour cream, Velveeta, Parmesan cheese, salt, mustard and pepper until smooth and cheese is melted. Add additional milk to reach desired consistency.
  • Drain macaroni; toss with cheddar cheese. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Stir in cream sauce.
  • Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Creamy Mac and Cheese Tips

How do you keep mac and cheese creamy?

This homemade mac and cheese recipe has plenty of creamy ingredients, and you can make sure to keep all of that creamy goodness by not overcooking your cream sauce. Cook it just until thickened. Once it's ready, seal in moisture by covering your dish with foil for the first half of the bake.

What can you add to mac and cheese to make it better?

Many mix-ins go well with mac and cheese. You can add steamed vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower, or make your homemade creamy mac and cheese a hearty main dish by adding cubed ham, rotisserie chicken, ground beef or pulled pork. Add texture by topping it with green onions, parsley, bacon, truffle oil, crushed crackers or potato chips. Or get creative with the cheese! Trying mixing in an unexpected variety of little-known cheeses for a more complex flavor. Here are more cheese recipes we crave.

How long does homemade mac and cheese last?

To make your homemade mac and cheese last, keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to two months.

Research contributed by Elizabeth Harris.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 653 calories, 46g fat (30g saturated fat), 143mg cholesterol, 1141mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 1g fiber), 25g protein.


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Colleen
    Feb 24, 2021

    I made this exactly as written. Excellent! Very creamy. I try a new mac and cheese recipe each week and I think that this is my favorite so far!

  • Anonymous
    Nov 15, 2020

    I have been looking for a mac and cheese recipe my grandson and I both like. We scored with this one! I did not have Velveeta on hand, so I increased the sharp cheddar to 1-1/2 cups. I baked it in my Ninja Grill on the bake function @ 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Next time I will add the cheddar cheese to the cream sauce as suggested by other reviewers.

  • Adele
    Nov 13, 2020

    I've made this one. I prefer to mix the cheddar with the sauce and melt it that way. As others have said, adding extra milk isn't a bad idea. Also, I divide this recipe in half because I'm only cooking for two people. I stumbled across another recipe which is very similar to this one. It is seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon onion powder and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. My husband likes it this way, because he does not care for bland food. Also, we use sharp cheddar, or, as we call it in Canada, "old" or even "extra old" cheddar.

  • Shelly
    Nov 13, 2020

    653 calories in 1 cup!?! wow

  • movo13
    Apr 11, 2020

    So, the 1-1/2 cups of milk was no where near enough. Good God I could have built a chimney. However, I was able to rescue this. I had used half-and-half instead of 2%, and ended up having to add an ADDITIONAL 2 cups of 1% milk. I doubled the spices as well. With some TLC, it came out irresistible. I cooked 24 ounces (two boxes) of the Prince Thick and Hearty elbows. For topping, I melted 2 T. butter and added 1/2 cup panko and tossed to mix. Sprinkled it on top then sprinkled an additional 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar. Convection baked at 325 degrees for 9 minutes in my counter oven. All family gave it 4 1/2 stars! Some recipes I have call for a little nutmeg in the sauce and others have called for a little dijon mustard. Both are good.

  • Kim
    Dec 4, 2019

    My family loved it! It was delicious and creamy! Finally a mac and cheese recipe that's a keeper! Thank you Cindy!

  • gg150fun
    Oct 3, 2019

    Just ok. Was rich and not the flavor I was looking for. Maybe as someone suggested adding some hot sauce might of giving me the flavor I was looking for.

  • maryannet
    Jun 25, 2019

    Nice Mac and Cheese. I cut the recipe in half. Used small shell pasta.

  • dublinlab
    May 13, 2019

    This was a very nice mac

  • Kelly
    Mar 4, 2019

    I love this recipe. I dont add parmesan because I dont like it,I dont substitiute I just leave it out. I also add potato sticks to the top for baking...Goooooood crunch! pik Nik Stiks. :) If you want it thinner, use a milk with less fat.