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Super Creamy Mac and Cheese

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1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into cubes
1-1/2 cups light cream
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 (16 ounce) box elbow macaroni
4 cups shredded CoJack cheese
2 cups shredded Havarti or Swiss cheese
1-1/2 cups light cream
5 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Salt and pepper

Super Creamy Mac and Cheese

The best Mac and Cheese is rich and creamy with tender pasta and lots of flavor.

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

I love Mac and Cheese. But the homemade version always seems to fall short. Unless you are going to make a stovetop recipe, the baked ones are never creamy enough. And they are never flavorful enough. Nothing like this Super Creamy Mac and Cheese.

In fact, I should be embarrassed to admit that my favorite is the boxed Kraft Mac and Cheese. I love American cheese. And I love how creamy the sauce is – even though it’s full of all kinds of emulsifiers and additives and color that I’m allergic to.

So getting a nice Mac and Cheese is a challenge. I decided to make two sauces – one made right on the pasta, and another in the microwave, stirred into the pasta just before it’s baked.

In order to have a creamy finish, any baked Mac and Cheese has to have a lot of liquid. I mean a LOT of liquid. So don’t be alarmed when you see how runny the mixture is when it goes into the baking dish. It will all turn out fine.

I promise.

You can make this without baking for an even creamier version. Omit the pasta water, reduce the last amount of light cream to 1 cup. Stir everything together over low heat until the pasta is al dente and the sauce is really creamy.

Enjoy this fabulous recipe for Super Creamy Mac and Cheese and make it when it’s cold and sleety outside. Your tummy (and family) will thank you. Oh and use the leftovers (if any) to make Meatball Mac and Cheese!

Tips for the best Super Creamy Mac and Cheese:

  • You have to use a whisk to combine the cream cheese and the milk. That’s the only utensil that will really remove lumps and make the mixture smooth.
  • Make sure you undercook the pasta at first so it will finish cooking in the sauce and absorb that flavor.
  • Don’t skimp on the sauce. The proportions in this recipe are correct.

Why this recipe works:

  • Pasta can absorb a surprising amount of liquid after it’s cooked. Adding the cheese to the hot pasta just as it finishes cooking helps prevent this by sealing some of the pasta.
  • The second sauce ensures that the finished dish will be creamy.
  • Make sure you undercook the pasta a bit in the boiling water. It will soften and cook more in the oven.
  • Cream cheese is an unusual ingredient in Mac and cheese. I love it because it adds great flavor and really ensures that the sauce is creamy.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Spray a 13" x 9" glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375°F.


Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups light cream, and Dijon in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, then remove and stir with a wire whisk.


If the cream cheese mixture is smooth and creamy, you can stop there. If not, microwave for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Set aside.


Cook the pasta in the boiling water, but take it off the heat 2 minutes sooner than the package recommends. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce in the oven.


When the pasta is done (remember, cook it 2 minutes less than you should), drain it, first reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot and put it on low heat.


Add all but 1/2 cup of the CoJack, and all but 1/2 cup of the Havarti, along with the second amount of 1-1/2 cups light cream and butter. Stir gently until the butter and cheese melt.


Then stir in the cream cheese mixture. Add the reserved pasta water too. Stir in the bacon.


Pour it all into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the reserved CoJack and Havarti cheeses, then sprinkle with the Parm.


Bake the pasta for 25-35 minutes or until it's nice and bubbly around the edges. Dig in.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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