Best Creamy Baked Mac And Cheese Recipe With Healthy Velveeta Substitutes

No! This isn’t your regular boxed baked mac and cheese recipe and neither is it like other mac and cheese recipes you’ve tasted before. Incredibly cheesy and extra creamy with a panko-permesan topping. Just like Southern baked mac and cheese, this homestyle creamy baked mac and cheese recipe will make you fall head over heels in love.

Mac and cheese can be made in a variety of ways but I’m partial to this baked mac and cheese recipe especially because of it’s topping. The topping is a mixture of butter, paprika, panko and parmesan. You’d love the golden, crispy look of the topping sitting elegantly on the mac and cheese when it’s baked.

I’d advice against using pre-shredded cheese because it’s coated and usually won’t melt appropriately. Use block cheese instead and shred yourself, you’ll be glad you did. Also, the pasta should be cooked to slightly less than al dente since it’ll continue to cook in the cheese sauce when baking the mac and cheese. We wouldn’t like a soggy pasta now, would we? Feel free to substitute the elbow macaroni for any other tubular pasta. I substituted velveeta cheese with gruyere and parmesan cheese which are super healthy.

Alright then, I really hope you try this homemade creamy baked mac and cheese recipe out. Looking forward to your feedback in the comment section. Let’s dive in!

Total time: 50 minutes (Prep time: 20mins, Cook time: 30mins)
Serves: 12

Ingredients For Best Homemade Macaroni And Cheese Recipe

  • Elbow macaroni (cooked) – 16oz
  • All purpose flour – 1/3 cup
  • Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Unsalted butter – 6 tablespoons
  • Butter – 4 tablespoons
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded) – 4 cups
  • Gruyere cheese (shredded) – 2 cups
  • Parmesan cheese (shredded) – 1/2 cup
  • Panko crumbs – 11/2 cups
  • Whole milk – 3 cups
  • Heavy whipping cream – 1 cup
  • Paprika – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste

How To Make Best Homemade Baked Macaroni And Cheese

  1. Turn on oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly grease a large baking dish of size 3qt – 4qt and set aside.
  2. Combine all shredded cheeses in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place cooked (to slightly less than al dente) and drained pasta in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and stir.
  4. Melt butter in a deep saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and whisk in flour. Continue to whisk until bubbly and golden. It should take about 1 minute.
  5. Slowly whisk in the milk and heavy cream until you have a smooth mixture. Still go on with the whisking until you can see bubbles on the surface. Even then, whisk for additional 2 minutes then add salt and pepper while whisking.
  6. Whisk in 2 cups of shredded cheese and continue whisking till smooth. Add another 2 cups of shredded cheese and continue whisking till sauce is smooth, creamy and thick.
  7. Add in cooled pasta and stir until well combined and pasta is completely coated with cheese sauce.
  8. Pour in half of the mac and cheese into the greased baking dish. Top with rhe 2 cups of cheese remaining and finally add the remaining half mac and cheese.
  9. Combine panko crumbs, paprika, parmesan and melted butter in a bowl. Sprinkle the mixture on the mac and cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes till bubbly and golden brown. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories – 642kcal
  • Carbohydrates – 40g
  • Protein – 26g
  • Fat – 41g
  • Cholesterol – 125mg
  • Sugar – 4g
  • Sodium – 550mg
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