- 16 oz box pasta (elbow or shell)
- 5 cups water (to boil the noodles)
- 1 1/2 lb Velveeta Cheese or shredded cheese of choice (3 1/2–4 cups, cubed) *See Notes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 stick butter
- 1 1/2 sleeves Ritz Crackers (crumbled)
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Coat a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and transfer the creamy mac and cheese to the dish. Evenly spread out.
- For an even cheesier flavor, add 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the top of the noodles.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: American