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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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Love this recipe? Be sure to check out more of my favorites below:
Creamy Spinach and Chicken Enchiladas