Comfort food to the max.

Macaroni and Cheese on fork

Macaroni and cheese is one of those side dishes that just looks so darn good it’s impossible to pass up.

This simple macaroni and cheese recipe not only tastes heavenly served by itself, but it also makes a great base for a main dish.

Just add cooked ground meat and, or cooked vegetables to it for a quick and easy meal.

Sloppy Joe Macaroni and Cheese on fork

Here’s an example of a main dish made with this macaroni and cheese and cooked ground meat “Sloppy Joe and Macaroni and Cheese“.

How Frozen Food or “TV Dinners” are an Inspiration for Recipes 

When I was growing up my mother made just a handful of homemade recipes so I had a lot of frozen food for dinner.

But since things are relative, I didn’t really know what I was missing.

And I had no idea how much better homemade food was compared to “frozen TV dinners”.

Some of the “delicious” frozen food I remember was meatloaf topped with tomato sauce and served with mashed potatoes, and frozen taquitos with avocado sauce.

But the ultimate best frozen food I remember was macaroni and cheese.

And since it was baked in the oven (pre-microwave days) the top of the macaroni and cheese had a little crunch to it where the pasta would brown, and it was the best part.

So here are the homemade versions of those frozen TV dinners that I make now:

Meatloaf with Seasoned Tomato Sauce on plate

Slow Cooker Meatloaf with Seasoned Tomato Sauce Topping

Corned Beef Taquitos with Avocado Sauce

Taquitos with Homemade Avocado Sauce

And here is one of the homemade versions of the frozen macaroni and cheese that I make now:

Macaroni and Cheese with Cavatappi Pasta

For the record, this macaroni and cheese with cavatappi pasta is even better than the ultimate best frozen food macaroni and cheese that I had as a kid.

About Cavatappi Pasta

This recipe is made with cavatappi pasta which is tubular and shaped like a corkscrew

“Cavatappi” actually means corkscrew in Italian.

It’s one of my favorite pastas because it’s more on the “hearty” side.

And when cooked al-denti (cooked to be firm to the bite), the cavatappi pasta adds great texture to macaroni and cheese.

Interestingly, cavatappi pasta is also known by other names such as cellentani, amori, spirali, or tortiglione.

About the Ingredients 

The ingredients for this recipe are:

  • Cavatappi pasta
  • butter
  • flour
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • milk
  • granulated garlic
  • salt and ground black pepper

Here are more pasta recipes you may like “Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese with Herb Goat Cheese“, “Italian Sausage with Radiatore Pasta and Marinara Sauce” and “Pork Meatballs and Spaghetti with Marinara Wine Sauce“.

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

A printable recipe with the measurements and instructions is located at the bottom of this post.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Add butter to pot

Heat a medium size pot on medium heat and add butter.

Melt butter in pot with spoon

Stir the butter around the pot…

Melted butter in pot with spoon

…until it’s melted.

Add flour to pot with melted butter

Then,

Add flour to melted butter in pot

add flour…

Add flour to melted butter in pot

…and…

Flour in melted butter in pot

Stir flour and melted butter in pot

…stir continuously.

Stir flour and butter in pot

When the butter and flour start to thicken (about 2 minutes),

Add milk to pot with flour and butter

add milk and…

Stir cream sauce in pot with spoon

…stir.

Add granulated garlic to cream sauce in pan

Stir in the granulated garlic and salt.

Stir cream sauce in pot

Remove the pan of white sauce from the heat and set aside for just a moment.

Add cream sauce to pasta in baking dish

In a medium size casserole dish, add the cooked pasta.

Pour the white sauce over the pasta and…

Pasta and cream sauce in baking dish

…stir together to coat the pasta.

Add cheese to pasta in baking dish

Then add half of the cheese to the pasta and white sauce mixture.

Stir pasta and cheese in baking dish

Next,

Stir pasta and cheese in baking dish

stir…

Stir cream sauce and pasta in baking dish

Pasta with cream sauce and cheese in dish

…so that the cheese is mixed in with the pasta and sauce.

Macaroni and Cheese in Baking Dish

Top the pasta mixture with the remaining cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese in Baking Dish

Bake in a preheated oven…

Macaroni and Cheese in Baking Dish

…until…

Macaroni and Cheese on fork

…the cheese melts (about 15 minutes).  Serve as soon as possible.

Thank you so much for stopping by CCC!

More Pasta Recipes You May Like:

How To Make Homestyle Elbow Macaroni Salad

Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce

Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese

Bow Tie Pasta and Italian Turkey Sausage Skillet Meal

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Macaroni and Cheese

Easy Macaroni and Cheese with Cavatappi Pasta

Comfort food to the max.
4.9 from 12 votes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked (al-dente) Cavatappi pasta cook al-dente according to package instructions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk set on counter for about 5 minutes before using so it's room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Heat a medium size pot on medium heat and add butter. Stir the butter around the pot until it's melted. Add flour and stir continuously.
  • When the butter and flour start to thicken (about 2 minutes), add milk and stir. Stir in garlic powder and salt. Remove the white sauce from the heat and set aside for a moment.
  • In a medium size casserole dish, add the cooked pasta. Pour the white sauce over the pasta and stir together to coat the pasta.
  • Add half of the cheese to the pasta and white sauce mixture. Stir so that the cheese is mixed in with the pasta and white sauce.
  • Top the pasta mixture with the remaining cheese. Bake in a preheated oven until the cheese melts (about 15 minutes).
  • Serve right away while warm.

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