This creamy White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food! It’s easy to make, incredibly flavorful, and topped with brown butter toasted breadcrumbs. You’ll turn to this recipe for special occasions and quick weeknight dinners alike – it’s the best macaroni!
This post is sponsored by our friends at Danish Creamery! All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Blue Bowl possible.
Why you’ll love this Homemade Macaroni recipe:
- White Cheddar Sauce – This mac and cheese recipe has a delicious, creamy white cheddar sauce that’s super easy to make with just a few ingredients.
- Brown Butter Toasted Breadcrumbs – Toast your breadcrumbs in brown butter for incredible flavor!
- Easy Stovetop Recipe – This creamy mac is made in no time on the stove top.
- Danish Creamery’s European Sea Salted Butter – This butter is the star of the show! It adds so much flavor and creaminess to the white cheddar sauce in our mac and cheese. It’s slow-churned in small batches for a higher butterfat content, making sauces richer & creamier. Extra time & care make Danish Creamery and meals made with it SO delicious!
- Pasta – Use whatever pasta you like! I used shells for a fun variation from regular macaroni noodles.
- Sharp White Cheddar Cheese – Be sure to buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself for best results. Pre-shredded cheese has stabilizers and will not melt smoothly into your sauce.
- Milk – I used 2% milk, but you can also use whole milk. I would use 2% milk over skim, but it could work in a pinch.
- Panko Breadcrumbs – These can be found in the baking aisle near the box mixes and cornmeal.
- Gluten-free – Use your favorite gluten-free pasta and a gluten-free 1:1 flour to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite dairy-free substitutes for the dairy in this recipe if needed.
How to Make this Creamy Stovetop Mac Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Start the Sauce by making a Roux. Melt your Danish Creamery butter in a large pot or dutch oven. Danish Creamery’s butter is slow churned and made from high-quality cream, making it a dream to cook with! Next, whisk in your flour until no lumps remain.
Step 2: Add the Milk and Thicken. Slowly stir in your milk, then cook the sauce for a few minutes to thicken it up. To test the thickness, the mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon, and hold a trail when you run your finger through it. Season the creamy sauce with salt, pepper, and a secret ingredient – nutmeg! It makes this the most delicious mac and cheese ever.
Step 3: Add the Cheese and Pasta. Slowly stir in your white cheddar cheese, a few handfuls at a time. Then, stir in your cooked and drained al dente pasta.
Step 4: Make the Toasted Breadcrumbs. Melt some more butter, Danish Creamery’s European Sea Salted Butter naturally, in a saucepan and cook for a few extra minutes, until a deep golden brown. Add panko and stir, cooking, for a few minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Enjoy your white cheddar mac n cheese immediately, with plenty of that brown butter breadcrumb topping! This white cheddar macaroni is ultra creamy, extra delicious, and will wow anyone you serve it to. This makes a great main dish, or a fabulous side dish for Thanksgiving – it’s pure comfort food the whole family will love!
Expert Success Tips:
- Shred your own cheese- Pre shredded cheese will clump up in your sauce – just don’t do it.
- Taste & Adjust – Taste the sauce as you go, adding more seasoning as desired. A pinch of garlic powder, white pepper, or ground mustard is always a delicious addition.
- Can I make this recipe ahead? No, I recommend making this easy recipe just before you plan to enjoy it.
- Fresh Herbs – Infuse your butter with a handful of fresh herbs like sage and thyme while it browns for extra flavor! Discard the herbs before you add the panko.
- Cheese – Feel free to swap half the white cheddar for another good melting cheese of your choice like yellow cheddar, gruyere, or gouda. Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack would work too – any great melting cheeses will work! A sprinkle of parmesan cheese would be delicious too!
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Enjoy this immediately once it’s ready. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. You may need to add some extra milk when reheating leftovers to help it become creamy again as leftover mac and cheese will thicken in the fridge.
- Dutch Oven – A dutch oven is one of the most versatile pieces of cookware you can own! I use it for soups, mac and cheese, stews, baking bread, and so much more.
- Whisk – A whisk is an absolute kitchen essential!
More Savory Recipes to Love:
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Cozy Chicken & Dumpling Soup
- Cast Iron Spinach Artichoke Pizza
- Butternut Squash Galette with Asiago & Parmesan
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
- Mom’s Homemade Lasagna
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
White Cheddar Mac and Cheese with Brown Butter Breadcrumbs
For the Mac and Cheese
- 18 ounces white cheddar cheese Buy blocks and grate it yourself!
- 1 lb pasta of your choice
- 6 tbsp Danish Creamery European Sea Salted Butter
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Brown Butter Breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp Danish Creamery European Sea Salted Butter
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- optional – fresh herbs like thyme and sage, or a pinch of dried herbs
- Make the Brown Butter Breadcrumbs: Melt the Danish Creamery butter in a medium saucepan, and add a handful of fresh herbs (optional) while it browns. It will brown in just a few minutes – be sure to stir the whole time. Once the butter is a deep golden brown color, add the breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Toast, stirring, for a few minutes until the panko is browned. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- Prep: Shred your cheese (this can be done up to a day or two ahead). Cook your pasta according to package directions, then drain and set aside.
- Make the White Cheddar Sauce: Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until it's combined and no lumps remain. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly to avoid any lumps. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring lazily, to thicken. See photos above for reference – it should coat the back of a spoon, and hold a trail when you drag your finger across the back of the spoon. Season with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the grated cheese, a few handfuls at a time, stirring until completely melted before adding more cheese. This will help ensure a smooth sauce. Once the cheese is all added, stir in the pasta. Taste the mac and cheese and add additional seasonings as desired.
- Serve + Store: Serve immediately with plenty of brown butter breadcrumbs on top! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Add a splash of milk when you reheat to revive the creaminess.