Macaroni & Cheese

During the pandemic, people are turning to comfort food a lot, and it doesn't get much more comfortable than Macaroni & Cheese. I've been making this recipe for over 20 years. The original came from the old Consumer Reports magazine, back when it was in print. I assume they were evaluating boxed kits and offered up this recipe as a better alternative. They weren't wrong.

Over time, I've experimented a lot with this basic recipe. Back when I ate meat, some ground pork and Italian herbs made a great addition. Just brown the pork in the sauce pan, add the water, bring it to a boil, then add the pasta and cook as per the recipe. Oddly, I've found that the key ingredient for this dish is the white pepper. It's never quite as good if I leave it out, no matter what else I add in it's place. For the photo below, I added a tablespoon or two of finely chopped red onion, which is one of my favorite additions.

Macaroni and Cheese
Classic Macaroni & Cheese

You can use just about any type of pasta you want. The Radiatore shown in the photo above is just some I happened to have lying around. The main trick to using a different pasta is adjusting the amount of water. The proportions shown work for any small, thick-walled pasta like classic elbow macaroni. The Radiatore didn't need as much, and something like fusilli will require even less. If you start with too much water, you'll either overcook the pasta before the water is absorbed, or you'll have to drain some of the water off. In almost any event, this is not a recipe for people who are really fussy about their pasta being al dente.


2cups Water
1/4 tsp Salt
1cup Elbow Macaroni
1cup shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2tbsp Butter, salted
2tbspHeavy cream
pinchgroundWhite pepper


  1. Bring salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the macaroni and return to a boil.
  3. Stirring occasionally, continue boiling for four minutes.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook pasta until all water is absorbed.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 1

Amount Per Serving
Calories 1399 Calories from Fat 851
Total Fat 95g 145%
Saturated 61g 305%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 256mg 85%
Total Carbohydrate 76g 25%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 63g