Creamy Mac and Cheese

I stumbled across this recipe when I was looking to mix up this classic comfort food that makes a regular appearance on our weekly menus.  I had always used a pretty basic one from Better Homes and Gardens that I long ago memorized and tweaked, but I was looking for something richer and creamier and I found it!  This recipe is based on one I found on the food blog alli ‘N sons.  I add quite a bit more chili powder and I love shells for mac and cheese!


  • 2 tbs butter
  • 3 1/2 tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups grated sharp white cheddar (reserve about 1/4 cup to top the mac & cheese for the oven)
  • 1/4 cup grated monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • dash of garlic powder (optional)


  • 1/2 of a 1 pound box of shells (conchiglie)
  • 1/4 cup grated white cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated monterey jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Grease a small casserole dish and preheat oven to 350
  2. Put a large pot of water on for the pasta, cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package directions
  3. Drain pasta and rinse well with cold water
  4. Meanwhile melt butter in a medium saucepan
  5. Whisk in flour and cook for about 2 minutes
  6. Slowly add milk whisking until smooth
  7. Cook on medium low for 8 -10 minutes stirring often until a very thick sauce is formed
  8. Pull the saucepan off heat and stir in spices and cheeses until combined and melted
  9. Combine pasta and sauce in a medium bowl
  10. Scrape into casserole dish, top with grated cheese and chili powder
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and pasta is bubbly (I sometimes make this ahead of time and then bake in the oven, this takes 30-35 minutes)

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