Need a no fail, delicious mac and cheese recipe? This baked Velveeta mac and cheese recipe is always a hit and has a secret ingredient that sets it apart from all the rest.
Baked mac and cheese is a comfort food that is loved by just about everyone. This baked pasta recipe includes the addition of nutmeg. It adds a bit of warmth and is commonly used in béchamel sauces which is the base for this mac and cheese recipe.
Creamy, cheesy, and oh so good, you and your family are sure to enjoy this recipe.
Ingredients for baked mac and cheese with Velveeta
- Pasta – You can use a classic elbow macaroni, small shells or even rotini.
- Velveeta Cheese – The addition of Velveeta cheese gives this dish a smooth, creamy sauce.
- Shredded Cheese – Sharp cheddar cheese works well in the recipe but you can substitute with mild cheddar or a cheddar blend.
- Butter – Unsalted, sweet cream butter is used to help make the delicious cheese sauce.
- All-Purpose Flour – This helps to thicken the cheese sauce.
- Milk – Use 2%, whole milk, or half and half to make the cheese sauce. Whole milk and half and half will give you a creamier sauce.
- Spices – The secret ingredient in this creamy mac and cheese is nutmeg. Salt, ground black pepper and paprika are also used.
How to make baked velveeta mac and cheese
Step one: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
Step two: Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water. Add in 1/2 teaspoon salt to the water. Cook pasta 1-2 minutes less than the package directions because the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
Step three: Heat a large skillet over medium heat, be sure not to have heat too high to be sure butter doesn’t burn. Add in butter. Melt butter and then stir in flour.
Step four: Stir the flour and then slowly pour in milk. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes smooth. Let mixture start to bubble and once it bubbles, keep stirring for another 3-4 minutes or until it thickens. Stir in spices.
Step five: Stir in Velveeta. Keep stirring until cheese melts.
Step six: Once it’s smooth, stir in cooked, drained pasta with the creamy sauce. Mix to cover all of the pasta with cheese sauce.
Step seven: Carefully pour mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. If you would like a golden brown top, broil for 2 minutes.
Don’t cook the pasta too long. You will want to cook it to “al dente” or a few 1-2 minutes less than the package directions.
Cut Velveeta cheese into equal size cubes. This helps the cheese melt evenly and prevents burning.
Shred your own cheddar cheese. Freshly grated cheese doesn’t have the preservatives and will melt easier than the prepackaged shredded cheese.
Variations of homemade mac and cheese
- Toppings – Want a crunchy topping? Stir together 1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and spread over the macaroni and cheese before baking. French onions are also delicious as a topping.
- Cooking method – This can be a stovetop mac and cheese. Once you combine the pasta and homemade cheese sauce, stir in the extra shredded cheese and serve.
- Pasta – Try a different pasta shape like small shells, rotini, or even rigatoni.
- Spices – Feel free to add in extra seasoning like garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for heat.
How to store baked macaroni and cheese
I recommend spooning the leftovers into an airtight container. You could also cover the baking dish with plastic wrap after it’s completely cooled. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Making it ahead of time
Want to make this dish ahead of time? Prepare the recipe as written, just don’t bake. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
When ready to serve, let the macaroni and cheese sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
What to serve with Velveeta macaroni and cheese
This is great as a main dish or a side dish. There is a whole list of things that you can serve with mac and cheese but here are a few favorites:
- As a side dish for hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, pulled pork, meatloaf and more.
- Serve as a main dish with simple sides like salad, roasted vegetables, apples, and more.
More easy baked pasta recipes
Did you make this baked pasta? Let me know in the comments.
Baked Velveeta Mac And Cheese
- 3 cups elbow pasta
- 1/2 teaspoon salt for pasta water
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta 1-2 minutes less than the package directions because the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
- While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add in butter. Let butter melt and then stir in flour. Make sure to constantly stir so the flour doesn't burn.
- Slowly pour milk into the mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes smooth and starts to bubble. Once it bubbles, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Stir in nutmeg, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ground black pepper.
- Stir in Velveeta. Keep stirring until cheese melts.
- Once it's smooth, stir in cooked, drained pasta with the creamy sauce. Mix to cover all of the pasta with cheese sauce.
- Carefully pour mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. If you would like to brown the top, broil for 2 minutes.
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