Adult Mac n’ Cheese

A ramekin of adult mac n cheese with a spoon.

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!



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