This Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese Recipe is SO easy and INCREDIBLE! Perfectly creamy, it comes together in ONE pan for a great weeknight dinner option. This is my family’s favorite stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe…and it’ll become yours too!
A common question that adults ask kids is “what’s your favorite food?” All of my kids would give a different answer (isn’t it cool how different kids are from each other?). One of them would say “cheeseburgers”; another would say “pizza”, but the third…well, he’ll give the same answer I would: “mac and cheese”.
I knew he was my favorite 😂
Ever since I was a kid, I have LOVED mac and cheese. That creamy cheesy goodness of a four-cheese mac and cheese just sucks me in every single time (plus I just really love pasta).
Thankfully, I have 3 growing boys who, no matter how they might answer the favorite food question, all scarf down their weight in mac and cheese.
But they won’t eat just ANY mac and cheese. Nope, it’s gotta be gooey, cheesy, creamy, and BURSTING with flavor.
Well, friends, I have a recipe I’ve been dying to share for a while now (I had to get good pictures, LOL). And as it turns out, today is the day to share the BEST darn four-cheese mac and cheese you can make.
Ok, ok…maybe not the best on the entire planet, but a darn good version that’s better than almost all others!
Ingredients Needed For White Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese
Here’s everything you’ll need to gather together in order to make this recipe.
- Elbow noodles – prefer other shapes of pasta? I’m pretty partial to rotini or cavatelli if I’m not using elbows! But almost any shape of pasta will work here. Or grab some gluten-free noodles!
- Butter – adds rich flavor to this dish.
- Flour – or use gluten-free flour for a gluten-free version.
- Whole milk – the key to success that most people don’t know about is to use warmed milk – see my note in the recipe tips below.
- Onion powder – I like to buy organic, but in bulk (for spices I use a lot) so it’s cheaper.
- Mustard powder
- White pepper
- White cheddar cheese – to save time, go ahead and shred the cheese before you start cooking.
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Velveeta, cubed – this is about half a package. I recommend cubing it up before you start cooking. Don’t want to use Velveeta? Check my recipe tips below for alternative cheeses that work well.
NOTE: for the full, detailed recipe, please check out the handy printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
How To Make Four-Cheese Mac And Cheese
This one-pot dish is insanely good and just as easy to make. Here’s how.
Prepare the elbow macaroni according to package directions. Do not rinse the noodles after draining.
Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce. In a large saucepan over medium-heat, melt the butter. Whisk the flour into the melted butter and then whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the warm milk.
Cook for 2 minutes, then add the onion powder, mustard powder, and white pepper.
Whisk in the cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese and continue to heat and stir until the cheeses appear melted and fully incorporated into the milk mixture, about 3-5 minutes.
Cut the Velveeta into cubes and then add to the milk mixture. Stir occasionally until the Velveeta is fully melted and the mixture is smooth and consistent.
Pour the cheese mixture over the cooked, drained noodles and stir to coat.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, as desired.
White Four-Cheese Mac And Cheese Recipe Tips And Tricks
- I recommend using whole milk in this four-cheese mac and cheese because it’s creamy and flavorful. But you can use reduced fat or even skim milk, if desired.
- If needed, add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk to thin out the sauce to personal preference.
- LOVE cheese? This recipe is very cheesy, but feel free to add extra cheese if you want even more!
- Heat the milk – My grandmother taught me one important tip when making one-pot four-cheese mac and cheese. Here it is. The key to a lump-free, ultra creamy sauce is to heat up the milk in the microwave before adding it to your pan.
Variations To Try
Play Around With Flavors – admittedly, Velveeta isn’t the, um, healthiest of cheeses. If you would rather swap it out for something less processed, replace it with monterey jack, gouda, cream cheese, or any other cheese you love.
Go Gluten-Free – Replace the flour and noodles with gluten-free versions to make this a creamy, delicious gluten-free mac and cheese. Banza is my favorite gluten-free brand because it’s made with chickpeas instead of corn.
Add Meat – if you want a complete meal, add bacon, chicken, or ham for some extra protein.
Pair It With A Salad – nothing beats my Homemade Copycat Panera Fuji Apple Salad, and the flavors pair SO well with this four-cheese mac and cheese!
Bake it! If you love baked mac and cheese, you can totally transform this recipe into that. All you need to do is follow the recipe. Then, once it’s done, pour your four-cheese mac and cheese into a greased, oven-safe casserole dish. Top with extra cheese, if desired, and baked at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until the cheese on top is melted and starting to brown.
Add it to your holiday table! This recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners, summer cookouts, birthday dinners, and even your holiday table. No matter the occasion, this four-cheese mac and cheese is your new go-to!
Four-Cheese Mac And Cheese FAQs
Can I make this ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can make this dish up to 2 days ahead of time.
The trick will be to reheat it without the cheese separating and getting oily. Microwaving cheesy pasta makes it happen. If you make this ahead of time, I recommend reheating four-cheese mac and cheese in a pan to prevent that from happening.
Can this dish be frozen?
Yes! You can make this ahead of time and freeze it for up to 3 months to use at a later date. When you’re reading to use, thaw completely and reheat as instructed above.
I recommend taking the pasta out of the freezer the day before you want to use it and let it thaw in the refrigerator.
More Crazy Good Family-Friendly Recipes
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Flatbread
- Orange Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Copycat Cheesecake Factory Chicken Bellagio
Pin For Later!
- 4 cups elbow noodles, uncooked
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1.5 to 2 cups whole milk (warmed up)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 4oz Velveta, cubed (half a package)
- salt to taste (optional)
- Prepare the elbow macaroni according to package directions. Do not rinse the noodles after draining.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk the flour into the melted butter and then whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the warm milk.
- Cook for 2 minutes, then add the onion powder, mustard powder, and white pepper.
- Whisk in the cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese and continue to heat and stir until the cheeses appear melted and fully incorporated into the milk mixture, about 3-5 minutes.
- Cut the Velvetta into cubes and then add to the milk mixture. Stir occasionally until the Velvetta is fully melted and the mixture is smooth and consistent.
- Pour the cheese mixture over the cooked, drained noodles and stir to coat.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings (including adding salt), as desired.