White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

12 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is perfectly creamy, kid-friendly comfort food flavored with a hint of paprika and ground mustard, and ready in 15 minutes!

Classic Macaroni and Cheese is the perfect creamy dish that most of us grew up loving, and amazing homemade mac and cheese is sure to still hit the spot. This version uses white cheddar and jack for a slightly sharper cheese flavor. It’s the perfect dish to enjoy for lunch or serve as a Side Dish at dinner time.

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese in pot


It’s hard to think of a better cheesy comfort food than mac and cheese recipes. If you’re thinking of artificial tasting mac and cheese from the box, then this dish will be a total game-changer. It only takes a few extra minutes to make and it’s about a hundred times more delicious. The rich cheese sauce is made with actual cheddar and jack cheese so that there’s creamy, melty cheese in every single bite. You won’t be able to get enough!

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese in bowl

Shells and White Cheddar Mac & Cheese is sure to become a new favorite weeknight side dish. The cheesy recipe is perfect to go along with simple Chicken Dinners, or you can bring it out as a fun side at your next BBQ along with other classics like Coleslaw and Potato Salad

Plus, if you have any leftovers, you can always store the dish in the fridge. I love heating up servings later in the week for an amazing lunch with no hassle!



  • Cook pasta: Start by boiling water in a large pot. Add the shell pasta, and cook for 1 minute shy of the box instructions. After the pasta cook time, drain pasta without rinsing and set it to the side while you prep the creamy cheese sauce base.
  • Cheese sauce: Add the butter and flour to a large saucepan, pot, or dutch oven and raise the stovetop heat to medium. Stir until the flour and butter are well combined. Cook the flour for an additional 30 seconds, then stir in the black pepper, salt, paprika, and dry mustard powder. Next, pour in the milk in a slow, careful stream, and mix with the flour until well combined. Keep the mixture over the heat and bring it to a simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until it’s thickened. Add the white cheddar cheese and Jack cheese. Continue stirring while melting cheese until it’s all one creamy sauce.
  • Combine: Add the cooked pasta to the pot and stir until it’s coated in the cheese sauce. Serve immediately.

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese in bowl


  • Noodles: You can make this same recipe with different pasta shapes and varieties. Try using elbow macaroni, fusilli, or rotini. You could also use whole-grain or gluten-free pasta to make the recipe work better with any dietary needs.
  • Chicken: If you want to make this into a more filling main dish, you can mix in some cooked chicken along with the noodles. Serving the cheesy pasta with chicken is especially great if you have any leftover Grilled or Rotisserie Chicken stored in your fridge. You can just slice it up and mix it in the sharp cheddar sauce.
  • Flavor additions: You can also experiment with the flavor of your stovetop macaroni and cheese by adding different seasonings and sauces. A teaspoon garlic powder, teaspoon onion powder, a little cajun seasoning, or ground chipotle pepper would all taste great with this dish. You could also try mixing some dijon mustard into the smooth sauce, or adding some hot sauce to give the dish extra heat.

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese in bowl

  • Types of cheese: Feel free to experiment with different kinds of shredded cheese in this recipe. Mozzarella cheese, provolone, Pepper Jack, gouda, or Swiss would all taste great.
  • Extra creamy: To make an even more rich cheese sauce base, you can use heavy cream. Depending on how creamy you want the sauce either replace the milk with heavy cream or use half milk and half cream.
  • Toppings: There are plenty of classic toppings to try with your mac and cheese. For a classic bread crumb topping, sprinkle panko breadcrumbs over the top, or toast your own bread and crumble it into breadcrumbs. For more toppings, you could try green onions, red pepper flakes, bacon bits, or blue cheese crumbles.



  • Serve: Mac and cheese always tastes best fresh. Though, it can sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it goes bad.
  • Store: Cover the dish or transfer the cheesy pasta to an airtight container to store in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat the dish in the microwave, on the stovetop, or even in the oven. Add a little bit of milk over the top when you reheat it and mix some of the moisture back in.
  • Freeze: Unfortunately the cheese sauce and noodles won’t reheat well after being frozen. It’s better just to keep them in the fridge.

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese in bowl

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White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is perfectly creamy, kid-friendly comfort food flavored with a hint of paprika and ground mustard, and ready in 15 minutes!
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound small pasta shells
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 2 cups Jack cheese , shredded


  • Cook the pasta 1 minute shy of the instructions on the box, drain and set aside (do not rinse).
  • In a large pot on medium heat add the butter and flour.
  • Stir well until flour and butter are well incorporated.
  • Cook flour for 30 seconds, stir in black pepper, salt, paprika and ground mustard.
  • In a very slow stream whisk in the milk until creamy and well combined.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes or until thickened.
  • Add in the cheddar cheese and jack cheese, stirring until creamy.
  • Stir in the pasta until well coated.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 723IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 380mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Don’t forget to take the pot off the heat before you add the cheese or it’s going to be gritty