Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

Who needs a meal from a box when you can make something way tastier with the same amount of ease? Delightfully rich and cheesy, this hearty pasta dish is a staple for any home cook. Serve with Creamy Tomato Soup. Or serve with Green Salad with Simple Vinaigrette.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler to high.

Step 2

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Step 3

While pasta cooks, combine milk, flour, and peppers in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook for 4 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat. Add cheeses and salt; stir until smooth. Add pasta, and stir to coat. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over top; broil 2 minutes or until browned.

Ratings & Reviews

Star42's Review

June 01, 2013
I have made this recipe twice and I love it! It's a quick dinner, for busy nights. The first try, I thought there was too much sauce and not enough noodles. So the second time around, I reduced the milk to 1 1/2 cups and increased the noodles to 10 ounces, and both times I omitted the bread crumbs & oven time. I have made it as is,added grilled vegetables as well as adele roasted garlic and gruyere cheese chicken sausage, yummy! Very versatile recipe.

dzirin's Review

March 31, 2013
I used 3 cups of pasta (expecting 1 3/4 cups to be 8 oz.) and still had lots and lots of sauce. Tasty.

TheMomChef's Review

April 20, 2013
This was a good, solid mac and cheese recipe. I liked how creamy the cheese was and that it stayed that way, even when served as leftovers. You can read my full review at Taking On Magazines:

sukeedog's Review

August 04, 2013
This tasted somewhat bland to us, but we like things spicy and crazy. Added some andouille sausage and pickled jalapenos to the leftovers, which helped a little... I did appreciate how quickly it came together!

Pincherry2's Review

February 28, 2014
Wow. Quickest and easiest mac n cheese recipe I've made yet. And nice and creamy - I hate a dry mac n cheese. This is a super flexible recipe to use up whatever cheese you have in the fridge. I used about a 1/2 cup black diamond spreadable cheese plus 1 cup grated cheese (guyere + Monterey jack). And based on complaints that some people found it bland, I steeped a crushed garlic clove in the hot milk and added some Dijon mustard. I do agree that there is a LOT of sauce. You may like it that way - so maybe give it a try the first time but you could definitely use 12 - 16 oz of pasta and there would still be enough sauce I think.

Bridgetvc's Review

March 21, 2014
This is a good solid no bake Mac and Cheese recipe. This certainly will not replace the traditional oven baked Mac and Cheese, but for a quick week night Mac and Cheese recipe this works well. I used Panko Bread Crumbs vs Fresh Bread Crumbs and it gave the recipe a wonderful crunch. Don't skip out on the bread crumbs, they help bring the recipe together. Be careful with the ground red pepper, it will add heat. I think I put a bit too much :-) Other than that, good solid recipe.

slocook1's Review

May 22, 2014
I gave this 3 stars because it took some tweaking to get the flavor and richness we like in our mac and cheese. I swapped out the milk and used half and half, used regular Velveeta instead of light (I don't use low fat dairy for anything), used 1+ cup of sharp Cheddar instead of 3/4 cup of extra sharp Cheddar and added 1/4 cup of grated fresh Parmesan. Also I added 4 slices of diced thick cut bacon, fried til just crisp. I coated the bottom and sides of the baking dish with 1 tsp of bacon fat instead of using cooking spray, more down homey flavor that way. Also I doubled the bread crumbs and to them I added 2 Tbs grated Parmesan and 1 Tb of melted butter. It turned out reminiscent of the mac and cheese my grandmother used to make.

JWallerstedt1's Review

October 27, 2013
Very tasty and definitely helps satisfy a craving for creamy, cheesy pasta. A few tweaks: *To up nutrition and fiber, I used white whole wheat flour (1 TBS more than recipe called for to get sauce thick) and 51-percent whole wheat elbows; will use whole wheat breadcrumbs next time, and reduce the amount of crumbs by a third to a half. *I'd reduce the black and red peppers by a third to a half; too assertive for me. Glad I tried this and will definitely make it again/use it as a healthy, tasty sub when I want mac 'n cheese.

jawpayne's Review

November 15, 2013
Nice weeknight mac and cheese recipe. I didn't use any light probably my version was as good to the waist line!

MaryEliz's Review

June 19, 2013
This was fast and easy to make, didn't taste the red pepper, too much sauce. I will make again, perhaps as a side dish. It was fine, not great.