This Velveeta Mac and Cheese recipe is the ultimate in comfort food dishes. It’s creamy, cheesy, and smooth with tender noodles and a crispy golden crumb topping. This easy side dish is a definite family favorite, one that you’ll be making over and over again.
Making homemade mac and cheese with Velveeta is an American tradition. We’ve all had the Velveeta shells and cheese sold in the blue box. It’s a comforting, simple to make meal that kids and adults go back to time and time again because it’s just so good.
Making macaroni and cheese with Velveeta and sharp cheddar gives this dish the perfect flavor, texture, and mouthfeel. You’ll feel like a kid again while eating this dish!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s Homemade. When you cook convenience foods from scratch you have much more control over what goes into them. Aside from the Velveeta, which is a processed American cheese, the ingredients here are fresh, flavorful, and customizable.
- Super Cheesy. Just look at that ooey-gooey cheesy plate! Velveeta is a specialty American Cheese product that melts so well into an uber creamy sauce for our macaroni noodles. We’re also adding cheddar cheese to give it some variety and interest.
- Simple Ingredients. There are a lot of recipes out there for mac and cheese with fancy, expensive cheeses. And while there are definitely things I like about a “different” mac and cheese, sometimes a classic is really what I want.
- It’s Easy to Make. We’re making a quick cheese sauce, combining it with cooked pasta, and popping it in the oven. It’s really easy!
- Elbow Macaroni: This is the traditional and best pasta for making mac and cheese. You can substitute other short pasta varieties if you prefer.
- Butter and Flour: we’ll be making a simple cheese sauce that starts with a very light roux for thickening.
- Seasonings: Onion powder, garlic powder and dry mustard powder give the mac and cheese the perfect flavor. This combination of seasonings creates a homey, slow cooked feel.
- Milk: Allow your milk to come to room temperature before adding in it, this will give you a creamier sauce and make things easier. Any type of milk can be used.
- Velveeta: Take a half pound of Velveeta and cut it into small cubes so that it melts easier.
- Sharp Cheddar: Our second cheese! I much prefer buying cheddar in a block and shredding it myself. You get better flavor and freshness this way, and there aren’t any added ingredients.
- Breadcrumbs and Butter: We’ll mix breadcrumbs with melted butter and more cheese to create a crunchy topping for our baked mac and cheese with velveeta. You can use any type of breadcrumbs you have on hand, or crushed ritz crackers.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
How to Make Homemade Velveeta Mac and Cheese
- Prep: Preheat the oven and cook macaroni according to the package directions.
- Make Roux: While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add the seasonings: Onion, garlic, and mustard powder. Stir until combined.
- Make Sauce: Gradually add in the milk while whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes, until sauce thickens slightly.
- Add Velveeta: Stir in the Veelveeta cheese, cook and stir until it’s melted in to the sauce. Remove from heat.
- Add Cheddar: Stir in the grated cheddar cheese until it’s completely melted.
- Add Macaroni: Stir the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce.
Don’t overcook the pasta! The pasta will continue to cook a bit while baking in the oven, so make sure to only cook it until just done, or slightly less if you prefer your noodles firmer.
- Get Ready to Bake: Add the cheesy macaroni to a casserole dish. You can use any shape two quart casserole.
- Make Topping: In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with butter and sprinkle them over the macaroni. Sprinkle it with cheddar cheese.
- Bake: Bake as directed, or until the edges are bubbly and the top is golden.
- Garnish: For a pop of color, garnish with fresh parsley before serving.
Add the Cheese Gradually: The cheese will meet easier and more smoothly if you add it in a handful at a time, rather than all at once. Make sure to stir until the cheese melts into the sauce fully.
Use Fresh Cheddar: Freshly grated cheddar has so much more flavor than pre-shredded cheese. Use a box grater to simply grate a block of cheese. It’s less expensive this way too!
Season to Taste: Cheddar and Velveeta are already salty, so I don’t add additional salt to this recipe. You can add a bit depending on your personal taste.
How to Serve Velveeta Mac and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is generally considered a side dish, so serve it along with your favorite meats. It would go especially well with Instant Pot Ribs or Grilled BBQ Chicken in the summertime. Serve it with Air Fryer Nashville Hot Chicken or Instant Pot Chicken Tenders for a simple weeknight dinner.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for longer storage, up to two months.
Here I’m using an Italian seasoned regular breadcrumb. You can also use plain breadcrumbs and add some salt and pepper to them. Panko breadcrumbs work too, and crushed crackers make for an extra crispy, buttery topping.
When you’re ready to enjoy your mac and cheese you can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop at low heat. Add a splash of milk before heating to loosen up the noodles and make the sauce nice and creamy again.
This recipe can be enjoyed as a baked dish, or eaten right out of the pot if you’d rather skip the baking step. Baking macaroni and cheese allows the cheese sauce to thicken up more and lets the flavor of the cheese sauce soak into the pasta, but it’s not one hundred percent necessary for a delicious mac and cheese.
If you aren’t familiar, or maybe aren’t in the U.S, Velveeta is a creamy, soft, processed American cheese that is sold in blocks. It’s shelf stable, extra melty, and delicious on pasta, sandwiches, and nachos. Unfortunately, Velveeta isn’t available everywhere. Readers in the UK, Europe, and elsewhere won’t see this in their grocery stores. I’m so sorry! Try this Macaroni and Cheese recipe instead.
Mac And Cheese Add-ins
Macaroni and cheese with Velveeta is like a blank canvas. You can add almost anything to it! Restaurants all over the country are making money selling mac and cheese variations, and you can make your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Add grilled chicken and buffalo sauce for a buffalo wing style mac and cheese
- Fresh sliced tomatoes and basil under the breadcrumbs gives this dish an Italian spin.
- Crispy chicken tenders, sliced and added on top are just delicious.
- Jalapenos, green chiles, or roasted red peppers will add heat and depth to the flavor here.
- Turn the mac and cheese green by adding a couple tablespoons of pesto and cooked broccoli.
- Cooked Chopped bacon and green onions make for a super savory, salty variation.
- Taco mac and cheese is easy to make by adding cooked, seasoned taco meat and salsa.
I’m so happy that you’re here and I hope that you make this, because I know you’re going to love it! Remember to Pin this recipe for later too.
- 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1 cup milk at room temp
- 2 cups
Velveeta cheesecubed, ½ pound total
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
For the Topping:
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs or crushed Ritz crackers
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 quart casserole dish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions in salted water, drain.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan melt the butter and add the flour, cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add the seasonings: onion, garlic, and mustard powder. Stir until combined.
- Gradually add in the milk while whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the velveeta cheese, cook and stir until it’s melted. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar until it’s melted.
- Stir in the cooked macaroni.
- Transfer the cheesy macaroni to a casserole dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and the butter and sprinkle them over the macaroni. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
- Garnish with finely chopped parsley and serve.
- This recipe serves 6 to 8.
- Freshly grated cheddar has so much more flavor than pre-shredded cheese. Use a box grater to simply grate a block of cheese. It’s less expensive this way too!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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