Easy Macaroni and Cheese with Cavatappi Pasta
This macaroni and cheese with cavatappi pasta is delicious comfort food for any day of the week.
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.
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 is one of the homemade versions of the frozen macaroni and cheese that I make now with Cavatappi Pasta…
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
- sharp cheddar cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- granulated garlic
- salt and ground black pepper
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.
Heat a medium size pot on medium heat and add butter.
Stir the butter around the pot…
…until it’s melted.
When the butter and flour start to thicken (about 2 minutes),
add milk and…
Stir in the granulated garlic and salt.
Remove the pan of white sauce from the heat and set aside for just 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.
Then add half of the cheese to the pasta and white sauce mixture.
…so that the cheese is mixed in with the pasta and sauce.
Top the pasta mixture with the remaining cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven (at 425 degrees F.)…
…the cheese melts (about 15 minutes).
Serve right away while it’s warm.
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Easy Macaroni and Cheese with Cavatappi Pasta
- 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
- 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.
Here’s an example of a main dish made with this macaroni and cheese, and cooked ground meat “Sloppy Joe and Macaroni and Cheese“.
Comfort Food Recipes
Comfort food recipes you may like:
More Macaroni and Cheese Recipes
Here are more pasta recipes you may like “Fideo Pasta and Chicken One-Skillet Meal“, “Italian Sausage with Radiatore Pasta and Marinara Sauce” and “Pork Meatballs and Spaghetti with Marinara Wine Sauce“.
More Pasta Recipes You May Like: