Adult Mac n’ Cheese

stovetop mac and cheese in a white dish on newsprint paper.

Adult mac and 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 and 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
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
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 the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 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!


I say this is 4-6 servings depending on whether you’re serving this as the main course or as a side dish.

Keywords: Adult mac and cheese