If you’re looking for the creamy mac and cheese of your childhood, this is it! Homemade Velveeta cheese sauce with tender mac is what mac and cheese dreams are made of.
These days we have fancy mac and cheese with gruyere and breadcrumbs and all that, but do you ever dream of just easy plain mac and cheese, like the box kind, but without the powdered cheese and that mushy pasta? Enter this Velveeta mac and cheese.
Have you ever seen a prettier mac and cheese?
This mac and cheese is a people pleaser! I mean, right now the only people I’ve been serving it to are myself and Mike, but boy oh boy does it hit the spot, especially after coming in from a crisp and cold walk. Super hearty and heartwarming, so cheesy and so easy.
This super easy homemade recipe is made on the stovetop and can be enjoyed as is, or baked. I like it straight from the stovetop into a bowl, with a spoon because it’s the ultimate in cozy.
Why Velveeta cheese?
Velveeta is the absolutely best nostalgic cheese. It’s the cheese I grew up eating and it makes for the SMOOTHEST cheese sauce ever. It’s makes mac and cheese gooey, cheesy, creamy, and so good. Velveeta shells and cheese is the ultimate taste memory that brings me right back to all the good things about being a kid.
How to make Velveeta mac and cheese
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your mac (or pasta of choice) according to the package directions, then drain well.
- Make a roux. While the mac is cooking, make a roux by melting butter in a saucepan. When it’s melted, add in the flour and spices and stir until everything comes together.
- Add the milk. Pour the milk in slowly, stirring so the sauce is smooth and creamy. When you’re done adding in the milk, let the sauce come to a simmer so it thickens up.
- Melt the cheese. Add the Velveeta – it’ll melt easier if you cube it up – and stir until until the sauce is creamy.
- Stir in the mac. Add the drained mac, mix everything up and enjoy!
Stovetop Velveeta mac and cheese
To be honest, my favorite kind of mac and cheese is stove top mac and cheese because I don’t want to wait for baked! I just prepare the Velveeta mac and cheese and eat it straight from the pot.
Baked Velveeta mac and cheese
Sometimes mac and cheese with a crispy baked top can’t be beat. If you’re a baked mac and cheese lover, just pop the mac and cheese into a casserole dish, top with some extra cheese and bread crumbs and bake at 350°F for about 20-30 minutes, or until the top turns golden, crispy, and crunchy.
Instant Pot Velveeta mac and cheese
- Add 2 cups (8 ounces) uncooked macaroni, 1 3/4 cups water, 2 tbsp butter, and 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, and dry mustard powder to the Instant Pot insert and stir well.
- Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes then quick release and carefully open the lid. Stir in 1/2 lb cubed Velveeta, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar, and 1/2 cup milk until the cheese melts and coats all the mac.
Crockpot Velveeta mac and cheese
- Add 2 cups (8 ounces) uncooked macaroni, 2 cups milk, 1/2 lb cubed Velveeta cheese, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, and dry mustard powder to the Crock Pot and stir well.
- Set on low for 1.5 hours with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
- Test for doneness at the 1 hour mark and add milk, 1/4 cup at a time if the cheese sauce starts to get too thick.
Mac and cheese variations
- Pumpkin mac and cheese – stir in 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
- Green chile mac and cheese – stir in 1 small can of chopped green chiles
- Cheeseburger mac and cheese – stir in 1 lb of seasoned browned ground beef, 1/2 cup diced onion, 1/4 cup tomato paste
- Taco mac and cheese – stir in 1 lb of seasoned browned ground beef, 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning, and 2 chopped tomatoes. Top with Mexican 4 cheese blend.
- Bacon mac and cheese – sprinkle on crispy bacon
- Tuna mac and cheese – stir in 2 cans of drained tuna and 1 cup of frozen green peas
- Green mac and cheese – stir in 2 tablespoons pesto, and 2 cups cooked chopped broccoli
Can you freeze mac and cheese?
Yes! you can either store it in the fridge tightly covered for a week, or freeze in an air-tight container or heavy duty freezer bag for up to 1-2 months. Don’t forget to label and date it!
How to reheat mac and cheese
Pop it in the microwave, covered and loosen with a bit of milk if needed. You can also cover it with foil and bake it in a low oven (325°F) until hot, about 20 minutes. Stir in a bit of milk after warmed through if needed.
What to serve with mac and cheese
Velveeta Mac and Cheese
If you’re looking for the creamy mac and cheese of your childhood, this is it.
- Cook the macaroni in a large pat of salted water according to the package directions and drain well. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When melted, stir in the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and dry mustard, until smooth and incorporated.
- Pour the milk into the pan in a thin stream while whisking, until smooth. Keep on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the cubed Velveeta and shredded cheddar and stir until melted and creamy.
- Add in the drained macaroni, mixing until evenly coated, taste and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
To bake: Scoop the mac and cheese into a oven safe casserole dish, top with 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar and 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs or crushed ritz crackers and bake at 350°F until the cheese melts and is golden and crisp, 20-30 minutes.
Velveeta Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 501 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 12.8g80%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.