Adult mac n cheese lets you enjoy all the easy cheesy goodness of a stovetop mac and cheese without feeling like a little kid! We all know the boxed stovetop mac and cheese we grew up eating. A childhood treat, but now, we’re adults. We’re grown ups, right?! In less than 20 minutes you’ll boil pasta and make a Cheddar cheese sauce. Combine them together and you’ve got a cheesy mac and cheese worthy of sitting at the grown-up table
Recipe at a Glance
Prep time: About 5 minutes, enough time to shred the cheese.
Cook time: 17 minutes, that includes the time to boil the water!
Notes: Use sharp or extra sharp Cheddar cheese, it will give it that cheese flavor you want!
What makes this adult mac n’ cheese?
Here’s what makes this grown up and not little kid…you’re going to make a sharp Cheddar cheese sauce. A velvety sauce with real cheese, no cheese powder like you find in the box. You’re going to see how easy, and fast it is to make a Cheddar cheese sauce for mac and cheese. Once you pour the elbow noodles into the boiling water, in the 8 minutes they take to cook you make a cheese sauce that’s easy and packed with that sharp Cheddar flavor.
Here’s what you need:
- Elbow noodles
- Half&Half or Whole Milk
- Sharp or Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
Pretty easy, right? Nothing pricey, and easy to find ingredients.
- I recommend using whole milk or half & half. It helps the sauce to thicken to have that fat content.
- If the sauce gets too thick as you’re waiting for the pasta to finish cooking, add small amounts of the boiling pasta water to the cheese sauce to thin it out. Start small, once you add the water you can’t take it out!
- I recommend using sharp or extra sharp Cheddar. You want that strong cheese flavor, and in my opinion and cheese that’s too mild won’t give you that cheese impact!
- Add a little extra shredded cheese on top before eating! Or have fun with other toppings like hot sauce. I also love BBQ sauce.
Or, if you’re pressed for time and like quick dinners, click here to my section on 30 Minute Meals!Print
Adult Mac n’ Cheese
Adult mac n’ cheese is an easy macaroni and cheese recipe that is ready in under 20 minutes! In the time it takes to boil the elbow noodles, you’ll make a sharp Cheddar cheese sauce. This is the mac n’ cheese worthy of sitting at the grown-up table!
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 17 min
- Total Time: 22 minutes
- Category: Macaroni and Cheese
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: American
1 and 1/2 cups dry elbow noodles
1 tablespoon butter
1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk or half&half
1 and 1/2 cups sharp or extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder for seasoning
1/4 cup reserved boiling pasta water
1. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boil. While the water boils, shred your cheese. Once boiling, pour in the elbow noodles and cook for 8 minutes.
2. While the pasta boils, in a medium pan over medium heat add the butter and melt. Once melted, add the flour and whisk until its absorbed all the butter and you’ve made a roux, pour in the whole milk or half&half and whisk to blend the roux into half&half or whole milk. Cook for about 1 minute to allow the sauce to thicken slightly. Then, 1/2 cup at a time add the shredded Cheddar and whisk until it’s melted and combined. Once it’s melted, continuing adding the cheese until you’ve added the full 1cup and 1/2. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Taste the sauce and season more if needed to your taste. If the sauce gets to thick, add some of the reserved pasta water.
3. Once the pasta is done, strain it and add to the cheese sauce. Add 1 cup at a time and stir until you’ve got your desired consistency! I like doing it this way so you don’t add too much pasta and not have enough sauce to cover the noodles.
4. To serve, top with extra shredded cheese or any sauces you like!
Keywords: Adult mac n cheese