Nearly every time my family gathers together I make this classic homemade mac and cheese (it even made it into my cookbook!). I’ve used it as the base for tons of variations — with everything seasoning, stuffed and baked in apples, and mixed with hidden veggies to trick my toddler! It’s been a bit since I’ve shared my traditional recipe, and gave it an update for the holidays.  The festivities can officially start once a big scoop of this cheesy pasta gets served on your plate — get the recipe below!

Classic Homemade Mac and Cheese.
  • 6 Cups of Cooked Cavatappi or Elbow Pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1 ½ Cup of Whole Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 2 ½ Cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • *I like to use a mixture of medium and sharp cheddar cheeses
  • 3 Tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and cook pasta as directed; drain and set aside.
  2. In a pot, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour, cooking until combined and thickened to create the base of the cheese sauce. Whisk in the Dijon mustard.
  3. Pour in the milk and continue to cook and whisk over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  4. As the sauce starts to thicken, stir the shredded cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, onion powder, and garlic powder. Continue to stir until all of the cheese is melted into the sauce.
  5. Remove from heat and fold in the cooked pasta. Coat with the cheese sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer the mac and cheese to a casserole dish and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, until top browns just slightly and cheese is bubbling.