Recipes The BEST Baked Mac and Cheese November 11, 2019

When I think of Mac and Cheese, I only ever think my mother Tina’s recipe, who we also call “Teen Teen”. This is one reason I look forward to the holidays so much, because it is a side dish that is always on the menu.

Mac and Cheese

This recipe is legit one of the best side dishes you can take to a family gathering or add to your holiday menu. It screams comfort and will have everyone running back for seconds. Not only is it super creamy, but it has a crunch topping that really takes this side dish to the next level.

Mac and Cheese

It is filled with shell pasta (or pasta of choice), Velveeta Cheese, butter, shredded cheddar, crackers and salt and pepper. For me, I love using shell pasta, however, my mom loves using elbow and egg noodles. Any noodle will work…go by preference here!

Mac and Cheese

Take my advice and always double this recipe. I usually make 2 large pans, especially for Christmas or Thanksgiving so there is enough to go around. From past experience, this side dish is always the first to go. It is sad for anyone in the back of the line that won’t experience the magic of this creamy Mac and Cheese. And let’s be honest, Mac and Cheese is the heart and soul of the holiday meal.

Mac and Cheese

Tips to Make Creamy Mac and Cheese

  • Use Velveeta to get a super creamy consistency. If you are not a Velveeta fa, feel free to use a shredded cheese of choice. Shredded cheddar is a great choice also.
  • Always add salt to your pasta water
  • Cook the pasta one minute shy of al dente (still a bit firm) according to the package instructions. This will allow the noodles to not overcook in the oven.
  • DO NOT DRAIN NOODLES! This is one of my moms main tip for getting a super creamy consistency. There should be a little water left in the pasta. If there is a ton of water left, you can drain off a little, but be sure to leave at least 1 cup of pasta water. This will help with the creamy texture.
  • Make sure not to over bake your mac and cheese. This will dry it out and evaporate all that creamy texture. Follow the cooking time provided.
Mac and Cheese

If you are in need of the perfect side dish for your next social gathering or holiday menu, look now further. This is a traditional recipe that is always on our menu and I plan to keep the tradition alive with my sweet girls. I hope it brings as much love to your bellies as it has ours.

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Mac and Cheese

Love this recipe? Be sure to check out more of my favorites below:

Creamy Spinach and Chicken Enchiladas

Print Recipe
Teen Teen's Mac and Cheese
Teen Teen's BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese. EXTREMELY CHEESY, ultra creamy, and topped with a crunchy Ritz Cracker topping that explodes with flavor. This mac and cheese recipe is most definitely a keeper.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 40 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 40 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, add 5 cups of water a little salt and bring to a boil. Pour in pasta. Let it cook slowly until most of the water cooks away. Be sure to cook pasta one minute shy of al dente (still a bit firm) according to the package instructions. This will allow the noodles to not overcook in the oven.
  2. Remove from heat but DO NOT DRAIN WATER. There should be a little water left in the pasta. If there is a ton of water left, you can drain off a little, but be sure to leave at least 1 cup of pasta water. This will help with the creamy texture.
  3. To the noodles and pasta water, add butter and the cubed Velveeta Cheese (or cheese of choice) and mix until combined with a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste
  4. Coat a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and transfer the creamy mac and cheese to the dish. Evenly spread out.
  5. For an even cheesier flavor, add 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the top of the noodles.
  6. Crumble the 1 1/2 sleeves of Ritz crackers in a food processor. Transfer the crumbled crackers evenly over the top of the mac and cheese.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven covered with aluminum foil for about 15 mins. Take off foil and let topping brown for approximately 5 mins.
Recipe Notes
  • DO NOT DRAIN NOODLES! This is one of my moms main tip for getting a super creamy consistency. There should be a little water left in the pasta. If there is a ton of water left, you can drain off a little, but be sure to leave at least 1 cup of pasta water. This will help with the creamy texture.
  • Velveeta cheese is the brand I use and it gives it an extremely cheesy texture and flavor. 
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